Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Favourite TV Shows 2008 - #01 The Wire

Honestly, it couldn't be any other show. Believe the hype. With people from TIME, Entertainment Weekly and The Guardian calling it the best show on TV, it's normal to think "stupid critics, don't know a fucking thing about television". However you are fucking wrong, you are so fucking wrong that the only way you could be more wrong is if you tried to deny the holocaust. Trust me, The Wire is unequivocally the best show on television...ever. I might hold Lost as my favourite television show, but The Wire is possibly the only show which can contest that, however I will say that it is better than Lost in terms of what it is. It is just superb. I'm probably going to go around in circles just sort of quietly ranting to myself in a corner. I'm nowhere near qualified enough to actually comment on what this and how it does it so well. It's riveting. I've never seen anything which attempts to do what this show does, and it does it perfectly. It comments superbly on just how fucked up some of America is and all the problems that it has from drugs, police, politicians, dock workers, journalists and the school system. However, and there is no way I can word it better, "no other TV show has ever loved a city so well, damned it so passionately, or sung it so searingly", it's just so fucking true! You can tell that the creator David Simon, loves Baltimore, loves it with all his heart, and yet he knows exactly whats wrong with it. He writes this searing criticism of where the city is going but it just seems like this massive warning saying "I don't want this to happen to my city!" I've seen interviews with the guy and he's oh so intelligent. He's funny and he's up on politics. Most of the stuff I watch is little geeky TV shows, and they're fucking awesome, don't get me wrong, but The Wire is just a completely different level to all other TV shows. It's just a shame that it doesn't get recognised by awards shows (however that's because TV awards are fundamentally broken, but that'll make a good blog later on.

Last year I said this about The Wire:

The Wire is a novel. There is no other way to describe it, if you miss a single episode you’re fucked. However the show includes a massive array of characters and each episode focuses on multiple plot points, and it makes it work.

and it sticks. The Wire is exactly like a televised novel. Not some shitty novel. This is one of those almighty amazing novels which is just so great you read it one sitting (I've done that many a time). The Wire may just be one of the storytelling pinnacles of television. The story feels realistic. You might think I'm bullshitting you but I'm not. The Wire doesn't have characters who can survive a million bullets, moving islands, superpowers or people that can wake the dead. It has real people, many of whom are actually played by people from Baltimore and not professional actors. Speaking of which the acting in The Wire is possibly the highest level I've ever seen by an ensemble. There isn't a weak link at all. It's like they're all operating at 110%...honestly.

Last year The Wire was at number 5 last year and this year it's number 1. Really the main reason for that is I just fucking got it this year. Last year I knew it was god but I wasn't too sure. This year Season 3 grabbed me by the balls and season 4 by the heartstrings. Season 3 and 4 of this show combined are one of the strongest showings of any show ever (it's stronger than Veronica Mars Season 1). I've spoken about television perfection before and I would say that this show is one of the few that has obtained that. Yes Season 5 is a bit weaker but it's still fucking better than 99% of the shit that currently airs. The Wire is that once in a lifetime show. Something which may never be bettered and something deep I hope isn't, because if I die and something better than this is made? Well I won't be able to do anything because I'm dead but I'd be quite miffed wherever I've ended up.

Here's Charlie Brooker of Screenwipe's opinion:

Honestly I would love to go on but The Wire is something that you need to experience. I could talk about Michael K. Williams portrayal of Omar or Andre Royo's portrayal as Bubbles. But then I might take away some of the joy of getting to experience these characters, as they are some of the strongest written in a fucking long time. Everything on this show comes together in the most satisfying of holes. The acting, writing, setting, directing, dialogue and characters. If you're looking for an amazing show to sink you're teeth into then this is it. It's 60 episodes long and is quite honestly one of the best experiences that you can possibly have sat in front of a television. You might not be interested in black American lifestyles, but this show will make you interested and just hold you by the neck showing everything you don't want to see. Drug overdoes, murder and gang wars. Along with the dirtiness of politics, prostitution and the police force. How shit the school system is and what do the newspapers really miss?

This is my final plea. If you haven't seen this show then do it. Don't give up after 3 episodes because the dialogue is so thick with slang, stick with it and you'll come across one of those hidden gems of television. Something you can treasure for ever as you are one of the select few to experience it. But remember your tissues for Season 4.

I do wish there could be more episodes of the Wire, because I would love to put it as number 1 next year. But there won't be. I'm just glad I got to watch this masterpiece before it ended. It truly is astonishingly amazing. Something which shouldn't be passed over.

1 comment:

neha said...

Thanks for sharing this good link. The Wire is a fantastic show. The quality of the eps is very good and i have big collection of The Wire episodes.