The Wire.......any good?

I have heard that the HBO show The Wire is supposed to really good. Up there with The Sopranos. A lot of people even prefer it to The Sopranos. So does anyone here watch it? And if so would you recommend it? Its not aired over here, so I will have to rent it.

Re: The Wire.......any good?

I had only seen small bits prior to last season. But I did see most of the last season, and I thought it was excellent. Have been meaning to rent the whole series myself before the final season airs (next year I presume).

There's too much political correctness underlying some aspects of it for my taste. But if you want a look at the seamy side of inner city crime, politics, and public education, it's outstanding. Much more story-driven than the Sopranos and lacking its "literary" constitution and flourishes and great black humor. But every bit as committed to ugly realism.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: The Wire.......any good?

I agree - it's a great show (and I don't use the word great in relation to TV much). It's very well put-together - the show's main strength is probably how the story flows over the course of the season, and unlike a lot of shows (including the Sopranos), there aren't really any stand-alone episodes. You have to start at episode one and end at episode 12 or 13. The show isn't entirely humorless, but it is definitely less devoted to humor than the Sopranos was.

The next season starts January 6th, 2008 (about five weeks). I'm sure there'll be discussion here, as I plan on watching and hope to talk about it with some Chase Loungers. Will you be joining in for the new season Fly?

Re: The Wire.......any good?

Wow, jouster I didn't realize the new season is starting so soon! Yeah, I plan on watching, although I really wish I had time to see the whole series before. Unfortunately the local Blockbuster only stocks one or two of the seasons, so it would be hard to get the whole back story.

What attracted me more to last season than to the bits I'd seen of earlier seasons was the focus on that group of young kids. And the ending, with the one kid Michael, was tragic.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: The Wire.......any good?

I really need to get into this. I've heard absolutely wonderful things.

I've also heard a lot of comparisons between this show and "The Sopranos" (kind of "one series vs. the other"-type articles), though since I've never seen "The Wire", I'm not sure if the comparison is even justified (you know how a lot of times, people try comparing two things that are so inherently different, they have no business being compared in the first place?)

Well assuming that's not the case, how does this stack up against 'this thing of ours'? Might it seriously make me reconsider what the "greatest television series" of all-time is? Is it "that good"?

The only thing is that when I get into a TV show, I really get into it - I have a terribly obsessive personality. But I'm not sure if I'm quite ready for a new obsession just yet, though.

Re: The Wire.......any good?

I'm kinda bummed because I missed the show 2 Sundays ago. And because of that I didn't want to watch last Sunday's. I guess I'll have to wait now until the end of the season when they have some marathon catch up session unless I want to watch out of sequence.

I wasn't liking this season as much as last, and I really never watched it at all before last season. So I don't feel qualified to make a thorough comparison to the Sops. All I can say is that by the time I had watched a full season of the Sopranos, I knew I was watching something for the ages, something monumental, something that was more than occasionally perfect and that stirred both my emotions and my intellect like nothing else I've ever watched.

I have never gotten anything close to that feeling from watching The Wire, although, as I've stated, I think it's got many strong points. I think it compares well to the Sopranos in terms of gritty realism and in terms of indicting just about every public institution there is. But it suffers from a little too much political correctness, IMO, in terms of how it treats the obvious connection between race and urban social pathologies.


What I have been watching the last two nights -- and liking a bit more than I anticipated -- is the new HBO series "In Treatment", where Gabriel Byrne plays a shrink. (No doubt in my mind which series inspired this one, or at least made it commercially viable!) Another of the little ripple effects that will undoubtedly be felt for years to come.
Tony, his spirits crushed after b-lining to the fridge first thing in the morning: "Who ate the last piece of cake?"

Re: The Wire.......any good?

Because I have heard so much about the show i decided to buy season 1. I am three episodes in and its pretty good so far. Its very gritty and realistic, and there's no doubt in my mind that it could be the best cop drama out there, but.......

Its very story driven and I thought since it was compared to, our classed as better then the sopranos by some critics that the characters would be key to the show. Meaning that we would get to see the affect of the streets and the job on the characters and how it affects family life and what not. But I see very little of that so far, three episodes in and I have only seen a glimpse of what its like to be McNulty. If I compare to the sopranos; the very first person we see in the sopranos is Tony, Dr. Melfi opens the door and says "Mr.Soprano?". The show is basically telling you right from the start that this is the main character and the rest of pilot introduces the remaining characters and locations. This was not done with McNulty which led me to believe that the characters change from season to season and the drugs continue on.

Hopefully the show does go more in depth into the characters, but I haven't seen much of that so far. But I'm keeping my hopes up and with an open mind. So far its good, sort of like a really realistic version of Law and Order, NYPD blue etc... But the case is told over an overarching narrative over a complete series.

But at this moment, its not better then the sopranos.

P.S, The intro to The Sopranos is better then the intro to The Wire.lo

P.P.S; I have watched another two episodes (the joys of been a student). The show is getting better, more in depth into the characters. Still nowhere near the level the sopranos obtained with character development even 6 episodes in. As I said before, I think the main story will go on but characters will come and go. There was a really brilliant scene in episode 4, mcNulty and his partner were investigating an old murder and all they said during the 5-8 minute scene was "fuck" or "motherfucker".

Fly I think you should buy or rent season 1, I think it would be unfair on the show if you only watch the last season. Like if someone who never saw The Sopranos and then suddenly watched the last series or the final 9 and said it was shit. It wouldn't be fair.

Re: The Wire.......any good?

I could go on and on about The Wire vs. The Sopranos debate.

First things first- The Wire is a very intelligent show. It is a very-well plotted show--you may even make the case that it is, at times, plotted better than The Sopranos. It is a very well-made show. But it ain't The Sopranos.

The Wire tends to have one tone-gritty, dark, depressing. And while The Sopranos could be that much of the time, it was also at times weird, silly, meandering, surreal, hysterical etc, etc. It was much more of an all encompassing work to me; there are so many more colors and tones in the Sopranos palette than on The Wire.

Wire vs. Sopranos comparisons in my opinion are like comparing the Ramones to The Beatles. One did one thing extremely well, while the other was so much more than just one thing.

Re: The Wire.......any good?

AJColossal wrote:Wire vs. Sopranos comparisons in my opinion are like comparing the Ramones to The Beatles. One did one thing extremely well, while the other was so much more than just one thing.
Interesting thoughts, AJ. Keeping this in mind, I'll have to give "The Wire" a try anyhow. I'm thinking a first season rental is in order this weekend.

Return to “Television”