(S05E02) "This ain't Aruba, bitch." - Bunk
No... it's not. Of course, Bunk was referring to the Natalee Holloway case from a few years back. The case (which added considerable fuel to the frenzy that surrounds "missing white woman syndrome" in the news outlets) was addressed because of what it implies. The question? What's it take to get noticed? What's it take to get proper news coverage and police investigation? As we've learned, 22 dead black males just don't make the cut. As Bunk and Lester reasoned, you need breasts, white skin, and a cheerleader's outfit for good measure. That or be a tourist.
Frankly, I found it rapid-fire and too confusing to be practical. I feel only marginally more knowledgeable about the series than before I watched the preview. However, it's fun to watch. If I was to improve on it, I would have the voice-over start with "Previously, on The Wire..."
Video after the jump...
(S05E01) "The bigger the lie, the more they believe." - Bunk
The beginning of the end. But how do you put it into words? The Wire leaves you breathless at the end of every episode. Every season features such a slow and deliberate pacing as it starts off as well as a new focus. It's not hard to figure out why so many people never stuck with it after McNulty's fateful meeting with Judge Phelan. But the real fans, the ones who have watched each season countless times and dissected every tiny detail (there's an infinite list), truly know that it's worth it every time. This show is art. In the streets. Down at the port. In City Hall. In the schools. And now in the newsroom. Every season is a puzzle piece and we're finally lucky enough to see the last one. I'm completely ripping off HBO with this next line, but there really isn't a better way to say this: it's all connected.
...Four TV shows you should be watching
Let's not beat around the bush -- television is a humongous, bloated wasteland. Granted, it's a humongous, bloated wasteland that I adore and worship any chance I get, but it is a humongous, bloated wasteland nonetheless. Due to the copious amount of crap that is placed on the airwaves many good shows are pushed aside, waiting for an unknowing viewer to tune into them and get hooked. Sometimes, these shows grab a few people, develop a following, and become a hit. Other times, they disappear down the television toilet, never to be seen again.
So, in order to save them from the Great Flush, here are four (plus a few more) shows that you should be watching.
...eight seasons to look forward to.
Ho ho ho... nothing's on... my remote is collecting dust. Pesky writer's strike. Season's greetings? Not so much. More like "seasons canceled" or "seasons delayed." Fortunately (thank the TV gods) some shows didn't get touched when the WGA hit the picket lines. Either they wrapped production before the guild walked out or in some cases, full seasons had already aired. Here's to hoping that the New Year brings a speedy resolution to this whole mess so that business can move on as usual. And by "business as usual," I mean a selection of new episodes instead of me going out of my mind deciding if I should watch a Law & Order re-run from 1998 or 2002. Angie Harmon or Elisabeth Röhm... tough decision. Anyway, in the meantime, we have plenty to look forward to.
1.) The Wire, season 5: All in the game for one more season. As the fifth and final season of The Wire approaches, I can't help but be giddy over the fact that it wrapped production before the strike got underway. With only ten episodes, can you imagine the mess that would have been created if production would have been tweaked by a mere few weeks? Similar to the predicament Scrubs finds itself, HBO's greatest achievement could have been without a series finale. The thought terrifies me. Not the case, so take a deep breath and watch all these great previews. The Wire premieres on Sunday, January 6.
The Wire may have wrapped production on its final season, but with the ten episode send-off set to premiere in one month, the promotional campaign is in full swing. HBO has already been airing a short teaser promo and behind the scenes look, but now? They've added more. In case you can't tell already, I'm absolutely in love with this masterpiece... so I'm going to write about pretty much anything I can find. The pay cabler is now airing new short promos. I saw the McNulty and Marlo versions last night for the second or third time and it prompted me to look for more. As I expected, someone far more resourceful than I has put them all up (there's five total) on YouTube. If that wasn't enough, HBO has also released three short prequels currently available for view at Amazon according to The Hollywood Reporter. Read on to hear my thoughts.
Same as they did for season four, new episodes for the fifth season of The Wire will be added to the HBO On-Demand playlist one week before they air. The ten episode final season premieres on Sunday, January 6. However, the premiere will be available for preview screenings on Monday, December 31. The same trend will continue throughout the season with new episodes airing on Sundays and the next episode debuting On-Demand the next day. This is pretty much my favorite show ever, so I'm thrilled about this. To be honest though, I never really understood this practice...
My favorite cop television shows over the years often reflect those characters and it's sometimes a bit surprising how close they come to actual police I know ... or how far they stray from the reality of police work.
All in the game. HBO has been running these new promos for the fifth and final season of The Wire for about a month or two now. I think I first saw them at the beginning of October. Anyway, they play pretty infrequently and I'm not sure if everyone has seen them. The first is a short promo with no scenes. Just someone typing on a monitor, making general statements about the new season. As you can see from the screenshot above, the more things change, the more they stay the same because it sounds like McNulty is hitting the Jameson again. The second video is a short behind-the-scenes featurette with interviews from David Simon and some cast members. The Wire returns with its final ten episodes on January 6, 2008. Both videos are after the jump.
Oh, that new trend? Talent from abroad is coming here, getting cast on television shows, and adopting American accents. My personal favorite Baltimore's Finest is Domenic West playing Jimmy McNulty on The Wire. He was born and raised in England, went to college in Dublin. In an episode during the second season, he had to speak with a British accent. It sounded fake because I'm used to his American accent.
If any fans of the critically-acclaimed HBO drama The Wire would like to visit the set sometime in the future, you better bring a shopping list. It's being turned into a Wegman's Food Market.
Yup, The Wire is ending after this upcoming season. I have to admire the show for ending after five seasons even though it's a big hit with critics and loyal fans. I've often said that many shows should be like novels and have a definite end time (Lost, Alias, other shows) so they don't go out of control or overstay their welcome or come up with lame plots in later seasons, so it's good to actually hear that creator and executive producer David Simon feels the same way.
This final season will focus on the slimy tactics some people in the media use (that doesn't include bloggers, of course). The show returns in January.
[via TV Tattle]
If this keeps up, every actor in Hollywood will either be on Heroes or Lost... nobody is safe! Days after the announcement that Lost landed the talented Ken Leung to star as that smarty-pants mathematician we've all been reading all about, the show has added another respectable name.
Lance Reddick, who most will recognize as Lt. Cedric Daniels from HBO's The Wire, has joined Lost in a recurring role according to Ausiello. Reddick will play Arthur Stevens, an "intimidating corporate recruiter." Sounds like he'll only be seen in flashbacks/forwards unless there's an office park on the island we've yet to see. I would assume that most of The Wire's fifth and final season is near completion since it started shooting back in April. Like Lost's fourth season, The Wire doesn't return until February 2008. So who knows, maybe we'll see more of Arthur Stevens than we expect.
Now, I intend on using every one of Carlin's "dirty words" after the jump so consider yourself warned. Be prepared to wash your computer's mouth out with soap. It may look like a saint, but it swears like sailor.
Expect to see nothing but Iraq war films, miniseries and television shows coming out of Hollywood over the next couple of years. Enough time has passed since the war's inception to see all manner of first person narratives and analysis published and snapped up by production companies. What distinguishes Generation Kill is its look at the war's earliest days, the specificity with which it addresses military bueracracy and its characterization of today's soliders. They are not their WWII and Vietnam counterparts. As Wright described them, Marines are "on more intimate terms with videogames, reality TV shows and Internet porn than they are with their own parents." Different generation. Different war.
Lists like these can be a little confusing at this point in time. If you think about it, what exactly constitutes a "television season" now? It's hard to find something that puts a smile on your face as shows come and go so quickly. Cable networks roll out new programming whenever they want, broadcast networks start popular shows late in the season so dark weeks are avoided, and mid-season replacements pop up like weeds it seems. It feels like there's no rhyme or reason to it. That's partly due to the fact that the formula for a TV show isn't what it used to be. One thing remains though: it's either good or it's bad. Simple as that. So with that in mind, here's what put a smile on my face (and what didn't) in '06.
Michael C. Hall on Dexter -- I really can't say enough good things about Hall and this show. It's easily the best original series Showtime has ever produced, which up until now had been Huff. But the Hank Azaria drama has since been canceled and Dexter blows it away. It's that good. Hall is freakin' spectacular in it and deserves the Golden Globe. Hopefully he gets it. Seriously though, look into this show if you haven't already. You won't be disappointed.
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