Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Wire: All in the game, back in the day

As one of my favorite shows after another has run out of episodes because of the strike, a simple mantra has kept me sane: "'The Wire' is coming. 'The Wire' is coming. 'The Wire' is coming."

If you've read me long enough, you know I think "The Wire" is the greatest drama in TV history, and I've been waiting for some season five episodes like a kid waiting for Santa (or Hanukah Harry, if you prefer). Yesterday, the first seven of the final season's episodes arrived, and it took most of my willpower to refrain from telling my boss I was going home to spend the rest of the day watching them. (If nothing else, I need to parcel them out a little or I'll have almost nothing left to enjoy on TV in a few weeks.)

So far, I've watched two, and while I won't spoil anything major, I can say that David Simon and company are still bringing it. As a veteran Baltimore Sun city editor (sort of a journalistic Bunny Colvin), Clark Johnson (Meldrick Lewis from "Homicide") fits into the cast like he's been on the show the whole time, and there were a number of moments where I began cursing the behavior of the characters as if they were real people. (Carcetti, not surprisingly, inspired the most profanity.) There's a scene with Herc near the end of the first episode that had me loudly whooping with laughter for a good 60 seconds, though you need a bit of "Wire" institutional memory to really appreciate the joke.

Since I don't want to seem like too much of a tease, I'm going to point you towards some new "Wire" content to tide you over until January 6: three short films telling "Wire" origin stories, as we meet both Prop Joe and Omar as children and see the first night of the McNulty/Bunk partnership. Amazon is hosting all three on their page for the season four DVD set, and I'm working with HBO to see if I can link to them directly without taking you to Amazon. All are very true to the characters, and all are very funny.

Also, HBO's going to be airing two documentaries looking back on the series and previewing the final season, at 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 20 and 21. The first is "The Wire Odyssey," about the series as a whole; the second is "The Wire: The Last Word," which looks at the media theme of season five. I was interviewed for both of them, though I have no idea how much I'll figure in, if at all. (As I recall, my answers weren't as sound byte-y as I suspect they wanted.)

19 comments:

Tom said...

I'm rewatching the series in anticipation. They've never done a bad episode. And the Prop Joe origin movie was priceless.

JZ said...

I cannot wait. I came into the game late. I watched Season 4 and was completely smitten, and I just finished watching the show from the beginning (Yay Netflix!).

I had cancelled HBO after Conchords as a cost-saving measure, but it looks like I'm back on.

Thanks, Alan, for a good tease.

Ben Guest said...

I started watching season four again to get prepped. Best show ever.

Ben Guest said...

Also, you've got some serious will-power to not watch all seven right now...

SJ said...

I wish I knew you personally just so I could borrow the DVDs.

Btw, how does the whole screener process work? Do you have to return the DVDs? Also, given last year's fiasco with the whole season being leaked onto the internet, what steps do you think they have taken to ensure that it does not happen again?

The Burack's said...

When I saw American Gangster a few weeks, at the funeral scene for Bumpy i yelled out Stringer Bell! out of excitement. I know i am redy for this show already. The true definition of a great drama. Snoop and Chris still terrify me. Marlo is the baddest ass of all. And Prop Joe has been dong it since he was a kid. There's only 2 shows I have downloaded in entirety to remain on my hard drive for eternity- the Wire and the Sopranos.

Dark Tyler said...

I download every show I watch, but I'm seriously hoping that "The Wire" doesn't leak a la season 4, because I know that I won't be able to resist watching it during a single day. Plus, having to wait between installment might be painful but makes me appreciate the show more and allows me to delve deeper into each chapter.

Please don't leak, please don't leak.

MJ said...

Additional downloadable Wire content? Has Christmas come early this year?? I usually try to avoid online content (multimedia is overrated! just make the show good and I won't have to waste my time chasing thrills all over the internet) but I'll make a teensy exception today.

Jeremiah Peck said...

Alan, what about some other teases like who's writing each new episode, maybe the epigraph? did HBO give you any other new images (i'm assuming the Prop Joe one is from season 5)?

Anonymous said...

I'm way too excited about the Wire coming back. My season 4 DVDs arrived by mail earlier this week and I'll be watching to prep for season 5. January 6.
As a viewer in Canada, I haven't heard yet whether our Canadian broadcaster The Movie Network will be carrying this two part HBO documentary that is airing later this month. I don't suppose anyone has that information?

Anonymous said...

My 'Wire is coming' fervour is tempered only by the numbing fear of facing a post-Wire world. Really is the best television show ever made, and it's becoming less and less difficult to convince people that that isn't hyperbole.

-AH

nfieldr said...

I loved seeing "No Heart" Anthony in the young Omar prequel. I had forgotten all about him.

dez said...

Also, you've got some serious will-power to not watch all seven right now...

No kidding! I'd be all over those the minute they fell into my hands!

I request, though, that you keep the teases here to a minimum (I know you will have to give away some info for your column). I prefer to be as spoiler-free as possible :-)

Dave said...

So if you watched all seven tonight, how long would it be until you got to see 8-10? When they aired for the first time? I don't know which would be harder - having new Wire at my fingertips and not watching it, or waiting seven weeks until I got to watch the next chapter.

I love this show.

And I think the #1 question on everyone's minds is...

Who sings 'Way Down in the Hole' this season?

Ben Guest said...

It's going to be sung by Steve Earle, a well-known rock/country singer with a political slant (I highly recommend his album "The Revolution Starts Now"). Earle plays Waylon, the white ex-heroin addict who Kima brings to visit Bubs in the final episode of season 4. Waylon had popped up a few times over the first three seasons...

Homertojeebus said...

OMG, very excited about The Wire. Do you know if any of the shorts are embeddable? I'd like to do a piece on my AOL blog (http://news.aol.com/political-machine/bloggers/tommy-christopher/)
and embedded video makes it easier to promote.
Is this absolutely the last season?

Chris Littmann said...

Not reading a darn word you said, but The Wire is what's getting me through the strike. I ordered Seasons 1-3 of The Wire on DVD on Black Friday for about $22 each from Best Buy. Getting Season 4 as a Christmas gift. Just finished up Season 1, that stuff is pretty epic!

Dave said...

Amazon has a sale going today (Sunday) where you can get the first three seasons for $27 each or $78 total.

Check it out here

Quipu said...

Oh wow... some tantalizing hints dropped there... Herc's still in the picture?

I really can't tell you just how insanely jealous I am of you right now, Alan.

Stay strong.