Friday, December 08, 2006

Dark days ahead

Today's column previews the finale of "The Wire" and the "Tsunami: The Aftermath" miniseries that will precede it:
The season finale of "The Wire" includes an on-camera suicide attempt, the murder of a familiar character, and the fates of several 13-year-old boys being utterly destroyed. The new HBO miniseries "Tsunami: The Aftermath" features parents losing children, children losing parents, and corporate and government wrongdoing on a massive, deadly scale.

This is bleak territory, two stories filled with despair and institutional indifference and no obvious solutions to any of the problems being depicted. But where "Tsunami" has no problem wallowing in that despair, "The Wire" transcends it.

In fairness, this is less a condemnation of "Tsunami," which is a reasonably effective bit of agit-prop with a moving central performance by Chiwetel Ejoifor, than it is a celebration of "The Wire," which continues to make grand entertainment out of thoroughly depressing material.

To read the full thing, click here.

7 comments:

Manuel said...

Man, what a brilliant, yet heartbreaking finale. Do we already know when the fifth season is to air?

Louis said...

I wonder if the actors on The Wire are aware that they're involved in something great, or if they consider it just another job. They may land higher-paying roles in the future, but they're not likely to be part of something so high-quality again.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that season 5 is set to start filming sometime in March. Don't know if that is accurate. If I can find the link where I read that, I will re-post with it.

But, if March is indeed when they plan on filming again, then I'd imagine they'd be looking at another September start time in 07???

SJ said...

I read that they are going to start filming in March, and the show will air in late '07 or mid-'08.

Anonymous said...

Yo, be conservative with those spoilers, dog. I read the first line, and saw "suicide" and had to throw my computer across the room. I was convinced it was Bubbles who off'd himself - who else would. And was depressed when I saw him swinging. You can't imagine my happiness when he lives to cop another day. Or make it out alive.

But, point, day before it airs, don't want to know none of it. Good recaps though. Great ones.

Anonymous said...

"I wonder if the actors on The Wire are aware that they're involved in something great, or if they consider it just another job. They may land higher-paying roles in the future, but they're not likely to be part of something so high-quality again."

This is exactly what I thought last year after I read that Dominic West was taking a sabbatical to goof around in Hollywood: "Dude, it's extremely unlikely you'll star in any Hollywood flick that'll be remembered 10 years from now, but you're currently making television history with The Wire. THIS is what you'll be remembered for. Cherish it while you can."

Anonymous said...

"...The Wire [...] continues to make grand entertainment out of thoroughly depressing material."

It's true: Given its subject matter, The Wire ought to be grim, dreary, and utterly depressing--but it's just the opposite.

Is this the sign of great art?