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November 28, 2014

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Jane After Dark: The Wire - season four ends, alliances shift

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jul 26th 2009 6:00PM
The Wire, Season 4, Final Grades, Bodie

Well, well, well. How interesting to see the purchase of the nail gun we saw in the first episode of season four of The Wire come back around to bring everything together. "It's a tomb," says Freamon in "A New Day," and it all makes sense to me. Well, some of it makes sense anyway.

And then there's the teetering decision of whether Freamon will keep getting crap from the higher-ups about going out and looking for Marlo's bodies, using up manpower, and upping the murder rate of the city, or whether they'll do the right thing and actually do their jobs. Oh, the bodies that rolled in.

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Is The Wire the biggest Emmy snub of all time, forever and ever, amen?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jul 20th 2009 10:01AM
The Emmy nomination process is clearly more flawed than a line of Dora the Explorer lawn darts.

The system is outdated and always in need of a revamping, as technology and the proliferation of programming increases every year. Some contenders are just going to get a big, ugly, high school prom date snub.

That doesn't mean the process is without its no-brainers. I'm referring, of course, to the shows that deserve special recognition for changing the course of the medium and showing the world its possibilities and not to the people actually doing the nominating. The last season of The Wire will go down as one of the biggest no-brainers of all time.

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Jane After Dark: The Wire, season 4 - The kids are not alright

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jul 19th 2009 1:01PM
The Wire - Season 4
I'm well into season four of The Wire (just finished "Margin of Error"; read my other Jane After Dark installments), and getting into the guts of the Baltimore political scene and how it's all interwoven with the cops and drug business.

Oh, those kids! It really makes you see how they've gotta be extremely driven to get out of that life, because a lot of the adults are just priming them to continue the drug business into the next generation. Not only their parents -- which is really sad -- but people like Marlo, who has his minions handing out back-to-school cash to build goodwill with the kids. At that rate, those kids don't have a shot of clawing their way out of a life of crime.

It will take me another run-through or two to really fit all the pieces together, but I'm digging how all of the characters have evolved ... or not ...

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Jane After Dark: The Wire, season three - Oh, Stringer!

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jul 12th 2009 10:03AM
The Wire - Middle Ground

Well, holy cow. I did not see that coming, although from what you've all said, I was prepared for just about anything to happen on The Wire. Except that!

I feel like season three ended on a high note. Well, sort of ... at least for McNulty, now walking the beat in the Western Division. Even though he's wearing a uniform, which is just weird for him, he's talking and laughing with the residents, and that's really what it's all about. And Rhonda and Cedric are together (oh, that chiseled butt of his!).

Even with all the busts, though, the drug business sails onward, with Marlo moving up in the hierarchy and Dennis' boxing gym virtually deserted, all the kids lured back into the streets. But mostly, season three was all about Episode 11, "Middle Ground"; in particular, a few penultimate scenes...

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Jane After Dark: The Wire, season 3 - Stringer wears a suit, Omar gets rash

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jul 5th 2009 2:05PM
The Wire, season 3 - Omar and Bunk
After a brief break to watch season four of Weeds last week, Jane After Dark is back with The Wire. I'm half-way into season three, and while there are definitely parts of this show that put me to sleep (ducking and running for cover), it's still a brilliant drama. My teenage son popped in for part of an episode, decided it was too "real," and promptly lost interest.

To help me organize my thoughts, let's take a look at a few characters:

Stringer Bell.
I'm really digging Idris Elba dressed up in his fancy suit, running the real estate company, working with government officials, and holding drug meetings using Robert's Rules of Order. It's fascinating that there's this whole hierarchy within the gangs that most of them respect and follow.

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Jane After Dark: The Wire - Season two ends, the Sobotka clan crumbles

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 20th 2009 3:16PM
Chris Bauer as Frank Sobotka on HBO's The Wire
As John Howard noted in the comments in last week's Jane After Dark column, I really haven't talked much about Omar yet. I just finished season two of The Wire, and to be honest, most of my thoughts right now revolve around the Sobotka clan.

First of all, how stupid was Ziggy? The guy's always been a live wire, and you could see the bad karma building throughout this season, with him flashing money around, showing off his Italian leather coat, and going a little bonkers with the stolen Mercedes. Things were bound to go bad for him, and they did just that when his deal with Double-G went oh so wrong.

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Jane After Dark: The Wire season two - on the waterfront with Amy Ryan

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 13th 2009 2:06PM
Amy Ryan in The Wire
I'm three episodes into season two of The Wire. I tried watching it online as Usama suggested in last week's Jane After Dark comments (thank you for that awesome site!), but decided to just buy the DVDs, because I stop and start a lot and need easy access to it. So I looked around town and found a fairly reasonably priced season two at FYE. It's new; no one seems to have any used sets, which makes me think - as you all have suggested - that no one ever gets rid of their DVDs of The Wire. They keep them around to watch again and again. I'll probably just buy each season as I work my way through the series.

And speaking of starting and stopping, The Wire does not get any easier to watch while doing something else at the same time. Whenever I try to do that, I end up replaying those parts again, because there's way too many subtleties to be only half-paying attention.

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Jane After Dark: I'm still watching The Wire

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 7th 2009 3:31PM
The Wire - Season OneI just watched the last episode of season one of The Wire. You guys are right. It's good stuff. Most of season one was pretty slow-going, but things started to kick in during the last few episodes, about the time Greggs got shot.

As in last week's Jane After Dark column, I'm still a bit lost on exactly what's happening, but that doesn't seem to really matter. The characters are so interesting to watch. It's almost like you're watching a documentary about the real thing, rather than a scripted TV show. I took the suggestion of some of you and started watching with the subtitles on. It really does help!

I noticed that Alan Sepinwall is also blogging on The Wire -- and writing a masters thesis on each episode. He even has two different versions -- one for newbies and one for veterans. I'm the anti-Sepinwall, just trying to grasp the storyline and get the basic gist. But I did read his newbie editions and found them helpful.

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Jane After Dark: The Wire

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 1st 2009 11:00AM
The Wire - Jane After Dark
I never intended to watch The Wire next in my Jane After Dark pursuits. In fact, I planned on watching Veronica Mars, as many of you suggested. But a good number of you also recommended The Wire, and I had season one sitting here, so I popped it in one night.

I'm not gonna lie to you. It's been slow going. Here's how it went down:

Episode 1: I was completely lost, so I watched it twice to see if I could grasp it the second time around. Then I read the detailed synopsis on The Wire's official HBO site. Clearly, this show is not meant to be watched while you're doing something else. You need to sit down and focus on what's going on.

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HBO picks up The Wire creator's new New Orleans show

by Danny Gallagher, posted May 6th 2009 10:03AM
The Wire and Treme creator David SimonHBO has picked up four new shows, one of which could be the smartest and most compelling thing in the history of the universe, as long as the hype doesn't kill it.

David Simon, the creator of The Wire, has received a nine-episode greenlight for his new show Treme, a character drama that looks at the lives of New Orleans musicians in the post-Katrina reconstruction.

Simon brought the show to life with Eric Overmeyer, both of whom worked together on Homicide: Life on the Street. It will also star former Wire stars Wendell Pierce and Clarke Peters as well as Steve Zahn, Khandi Alexander, Melissa Leo, Kim Dickens and Rob Brown.

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HBO plans Lincoln assassination mini-series

by Allison Waldman, posted Sep 18th 2008 1:05PM
logo HBOA week from now, HBO will probably be one of the big stories from the Primetime Emmys thanks to the success of the John Adams mini-series. But it's not sitting on that success, the premium cable net is banking on it. HBO announced today a mini series based on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln called Manhunt. That news would be interesting enough because the series will deal with the 12 days after Lincoln was shot when the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was on the run. However, the guys that HBO have tapped to work on Manhunt are two of the best in television -- David Simon and Tom Fontana.

HBO knows Simon and Fontana's work really well. Simon was the creator of The Wire and Fontana's brainchild was Oz. This is also not a new collaboration. Fontana turned Simon's book, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, into the Homicide: Life on the Streets TV series for NBC.

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Slate interviews The Wire creator David Simon

by Michael Canfield, posted Dec 4th 2006 2:02PM
Kids of While gearing up for The Wire's fourth season finale this Sunday, I checked out Slate's long interview with David Simon. He's the Baltimore resident and former journalist who created the HBO series. Lots of good nuggets about the show, which Simon compares to a "66 hour movie." That's good news, as the show has done 50 episodes over its first four seasons, so evidently the fifth and final season will be super-sized to 16 episodes.

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Patton Oswalt begs you to watch 'The Wire'

by Michael Canfield, posted Sep 9th 2006 7:17PM
Patton OswaltStand-up comic Patton Oswalt (The King of Queens, Comedians of Comedy, Reno 911) has one of the better celebrity blogs I've found. Maybe that's because he mostly talks about comic books and bad road food, and has yet to format anything to look like poetry. His blog's pretty funny, the fact that he calls it his "spew" not withstanding.

Right now he's begging his readers to tune into HBO Sunday night and watch The Wire season 4. Like others have, Patton calls The Wire the "best show ever on television." Here's the money quote : "The Wire is one of the few times you'll watch TV and not feel like the people making TV think you're a fucking idiot."

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David Simon on writing The Wire -- VIDEO

by Michael Canfield, posted Sep 7th 2006 7:28PM
Avon, Stringer, McNulty & Kima; The WireTwo writers of The Wire, co-creator David Simon and novelist Richard Price spoke at the 92nd St Y in New York City last night. Here's a three-minute clip where Simon talks about his hesitation in approaching Price to write for a mere TV show. That's all fine; I found it informative, but the really priceless moment of the clip occurs in the last 30 seconds when Price talks about his own reaction to one of the most surprising developments from the end of last season.

Not only his reaction, but the reaction of a certain segment of the Baltimore population. YouTube also has a few other good clips on The Wire right now, including the two mini-documentaries HBO ran this summer in advance of the new season. (Video clip below the jump.)

[Thanks to Andrew Krucoff for sending this along.]

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Why don't more people talk about The Wire?

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 7th 2006 9:02AM

The WireI've never seen the show, but everything I've heard about the show - from people whose opinion I trust in these matters - rave about it. Every single review of the show uses the words "brilliant" and "great writing" and "great cast," and the writiers and directors on the show (including David Simon, who also worked on Homicide, and crime novelists George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane) are an interesting bunch. So why doesn't the show get the same massive buzz that The Sopranos and Deadwood do?

The Star-Ledger's Alan Sepinwall has a long essay about what makes The Wire so great. It makes me want to watch the show (I guess it did its job), and that's a good thing, since it looks like a final, fifth season will depend on how many viewers tune in to the long-delayed fourth season, which starts September 10.

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