The Guardian does The Wire
I’ve just discovered Steve Busfield at The Guardian has begun a week-by-week, season-by-season blog covering every episode of The Wire. It’s up to the final of Season One at the moment, but if you want to read them in sequence, or you’re afraid of spoilers, you might want to start at the beginning.
It’s interesting, in a way, to observe the afterlife of The Wire. Despite famously failing to rate during its initial run on television (a claim I always find a little hard to square with the rather obviously inflating budgets of successive seasons) it has gone on to enjoy cult status on DVD and via download, a process which has only added to its rather cliquey, elite appeal (it should come as no surprise that after being bounced around the graveyard shift by the repulsive Channel 9, the ABC has recently announced it will repeat the series from Season One later this year).
For my part I’ve always felt slightly conflicted about the show. For all that I admire its ambition, the sheer richness of the characters and the unflinching nature of its social observation (Season Four, which concentrates on the school system and the children within it is almost physically distressing), I’m troubled by the self-consciousness of that same ambition, the unreconstructed gender politics and the oddly conventional visual style.
But all that said, it’s a show which holds within it moments of brilliance. Who could forget Ziggy finally coming unstuck in Season Two, or Poot and Bodie disposing of Wallace on Stringer and Avon’s orders in Season One? Or the transformation of Prez? Or Bodie and Poot and their girlfriends running into Herc and Carver and their girlfriends outside the cinema? Or McNulty and Bunk’s wonderful “motherf**cker” crime scene reconstruction? Or Omar? Or Bubbles? Or indeed the chillingly hilarious cold open to Season Four, in which Snoop drops into Walmart to buy a nailgun:
And I suppose while I’m here I can’t pass up the chance to give the motherf**cker scene one more airing: