Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Twenty Questions: The Wire

So I'm on maternity leave, and have had a chance to finally watch "The Wire", a show that ended three years ago. I know I'm super late to it, but this show is absolutely the best drama. Ever.

A quick disclaimer though- it also has the most use of profanity on a drama. Ever. Except for maybe "The Sopranos". There's just something about gritty, murderous, hour long series set on the East Coast that aired on HBO and that mandates excessive and creative use of the "F-word", I guess.

Anyway, I haven't done a "Twenty Questions" since January (!!!), and after reading a recent Minus The Bars post on "The Wire", I figured I'd give it a shot. Here goes!

1.) Why did Wallace have to die? Why?

2.) Just how long were those extension cords the Corner boys used to get electricity in the boarded up row houses?

3.) And whose outlet were they plugged in to?

4.) How ugly was Ziggy's prized jacket?

5.) Have you ever heard of the term "low rise" actually used outside of the series? This Jersey girl was well aware of "high rise", but "low rise"? I would think they were talking about jeans.

6.) How ugly was Shardene's glasses? Did she just keep the same pair from the seventh grade?

7.) Were you as surprised as me that Shardene wound up with Freamon?

8.) How creepy is Omar's whistle version of "The Farmer and the Dell"? Um, what exactly is a dell, anyway? I mean, the non-PC dell, that is.

9.) What do you think McNulty really wanted when he showed up at Kima's apartment late that night just to say, "Thanks"?

10.) Which character had the most obnoxious nickname? Poot? Stinkum? Dukie? Cheese?

11.) Which version of the opening theme song was best?

12.) Did you know "The Wire" and NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street" were both based on the same book by David Simon?

13.) Did you know many of the actors from "The Wire"- such as Clark Johnson, Peter Gerety, Larry Gillard, Jr., and J. D. Williams (among others)- first appeared on "Homicide"?

14.) Did you catch John Munch (Richard Belzer) of "Homicide" and currently, "Law & Order: SVU" arguing at Kavanaugh's in a fifth season episode?

15.) Am I the only one to not realize for a while that Snoop is a girl?

16.) Do you think the Co-op received some kind of business rate on the meeting room they used at the hotel?

17.) Did you smile as much as I did when Bubbles' sister finally opened that basement door?

18.) Who is the Greek? Really?

19.) Wasn't it strange to see Poot selling sneakers in that faux-ref uniform?

20.) Are your fingers crossed for a "Wire" reunion movie?

Hmmm... I'm thinking I might have to do a second part to this. Check out Don's post on Minus The Bars, or if for some (admittedly strange) reason you've read this entire post without having the faintest idea of what "The Wire" is, click here. Then comment away!


Don said...

Long awaited.

1. I believe Wallace's death took place to show how the "youngins" had to put in work to earn stripes and police themselves. And because they felt he would snitch.

2. Very funny (and observant).

4. Ziggy's jacket was so ugly that it made Ziggy himself look cute.

5. I'd never heard of the term myself and, like yourself, I'd probably confuse it as a clothing term. Probably more of a Baltimore saying.

6. Hahahahahaha.

7. Yes I am STILL surprised. Though something tells me they are a perfect couple.

8. Creepy enough to make everyone within ear's reach get out of dodge. I believe a dell is a valley.

Don said...

9. I had forgotten this scene. I believe it extended from he and other policeman wanting to perhaps turn Kima back into a true female. I see this as the makings of a male ego. Judging from how many lesbian police are on the force in my city, I can see man policeman sharing the exact conversation.

10. Dukie, by far. Lol.

11. Good question: Season 1, by far.

12. Yes. Lol.

13. No. But I knew these weren't beginning actors by any means. They were excellent characters so it took exceptional acting, I feel.

14. No.

15. Add me to the list, as well.

16. Probably not. I actually remember a sign outside the hotel advertising the meeting. Do you recall?

17. Yes, and it would've been nice to read the accompanying newspaper article. Bubbles had lived in the basement so long I'd forgotten.

18. Mythical character, mainly a federal agent I suspect. Perhaps the one who notified the Greeks of Sobotka's plans.

19. Poot hardly looked to be the same.

20. YES. Fingers and toes. Definitely has to be a movie!


Keiron said...

1. It was sad to see him die but his death was more tolerable then to see him corrupted by the streets.

2. And who bought them?

3. Either it went to McNulty's house or 1PP.

6. Maybe she had a Clark Kent -- Superman disguise going on.

9. Late and drunk might I add

12 & 13. Thanks to you

19. Word, because we all know that was no Foot Locker.

Keiron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sakinah said...

Why was Omar so tough and thugged out but liked men?

Keiron said...

I have a few questions of my own.

1. Where did dude get a horse to ride around the projects with? What did he feed this horse? Redtops?

2. Why didn't the bully jump him instead of Bubbles?

3. Wasn't Hamsterdam a good idea?

Don said...

@Keiron Your answer to no. 9 is hilarious. Simple and straight to the point. Wanted to answer your questions, myself, but I only had an idea concerning no. 3

@Sakinah That is the one thing about Omar's character that completely turned me away. Otherwise, he'd be my favorite character outside of Michael and perhaps Avon.

Keiron said...

@Don & Alisha -- What are you thoughts on Hamsterdam?

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Don, I know why Wallace was killed, but it seems even more tragic in light of Bodie's untimely demise a few years later. Yeah, I guess Ziggy's jacket was good for something.

I do think Freamon and Shardene were wonderful together. Even though they only had a few scenes together, there seemed to be genuine affection portrayed.

A dell is a valley? Oh...

Yes, I do remember seeing the sign, and after seeing a few of those meetings, I wondered if Prop Joe had talked his way into getting a discount. Or maybe just extra snacks and water, lol.

I really, really would want to read that fictional piece on Bubbles. Somehow, I think I'd like it a lot.

@Sakinah, I actually thought Omar's sexuality was a surprising contrast to the stereotype of the archetypal street thug/murderer/thief. On many television shows, his homosexuality would've been used in an exploitative manner. "The Wire" simply showed it as part of the character, just like his whistling, sawed-off shotgun and long trench coat.

@K, Yes, they probably used McNulty's electricity. I doubt he had much use for it.Nah, that wasn't a Foot Locker... it was like the sneaker version of those corner stores named "6-11". Um, almost, but ultimately, a fail.

As revolting as Hamsterdam was, I think it was a good idea. My only objection was to the children living there. Okay, not my only objection, but the most objectionable.

Don said...

@Keiron I actually see the logic in Hamsterdam. I understand it's not popular opinion, but when there are communities being reduced to nothing more than violence and inhabited by zombies ... there is a certain respect to be immediately gained from removing these eyesores away from population.

Thing is - politics will assume that only means drugs are now being condoned and people need to wake up and therefore the problem will only become worse.

Politics, of course, somewhere sleeping like a baby.

Don said...

@Alisha Wallace, D, Bodie's death always take me back to the chess game where D explained the fate of pawns in the game. The scene is poignant in so many ways.

Lately, I've gone back and paid closer attention to the dialogue between Marlo and Prop Joe. I'm finding many, many gems.

Keiron said...

@Don - I agree politics played a strong role in the disregard of the benefits of Hamsterdam because of the seeming endorsement or tolerance of drugs and the criminal activity surrounding it. I am curious to see how the public of the Western District reacted to its abandonment. Other the other hand what did Carcetti have to show for his drug war exertion except the exertion itself?

Don said...

@Keiron Good question. Lol. And I agree with your reply. All it seems Carcetti could show, besides his political game face, was a report filled with cooked crime stats. Simon had the right idea in shining the spotlight on this practice, and like yourself I really wonder sometimes if this is common practice.

Keiron said...

Thanks Don. Which was just enough to get Carcetti into the governor's mansion.
I wonder if there is a real world implementation of Hamsterdam. Or some hybrid of it?

@Alisha - I must admit: Bubbles is my favorite character in the Wire. Yes I said it, Reginald is my favorite character. He beats Avon, Marlo, and Bodie.
He is one of the few main characters that showed any genuine compassion for the life of another.
I would have like to have read the article but only to see if it did his journey any justice.

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Don, i went back and rewatched the episode where the Co-op met at the hotel and viewers were able to see the sign. It reads, "Welcome New Day Co-Op/ Tomorrow's Success Stories Start Today". Ha ha ha, the show's writers are pretty freakin' good. And in case anyone is curious, the hotel is the Holiday Inn. I think Prop Joe most likely did get a nice business rate. I'm curious as to why the cops never bothered to tap that room.

@Keiron, I love Bubbles. I love that he is the very definition of "snitch", yet no one ever came down on him for it. I think almost everyone could see goodness in him and left him alone because of it.

Also, I noticed another reason why "Homicide" actors appeared to so heavily on "The Wire." The casting credits list one Pat Moran as the casting agent in both.

Don said...

@Keiron Your question caused to pause and think about the amount of corruption which takes place in our police department at various levels, and while I doubt if such a place is as wide open as Hamsterdam, I am inclined to believe there are areas where police brass "allow" drug dealing to carry on without much opposition. Sounds crazy, I know, but not far-fetched.

Bubbles is one of the characters who kept a good amount of dignity, regardless of his struggles. Good choice. Now I can file your comment into the back of my mind when watching reruns.

@Alisha: Good question, I have no idea why the Feds never thought to tap the meeting. Could be the fact that Prop Joe was receiving his shipments through The Greeks, who had inside connections within the Feds and therefore Prop Joe - clearly one of their biggest distributors had protection?

What are some of y'all favorite scenes? I loved the interrogation sessions. Many where pure comedy.

sew0001 said...

Q8. I think that the tune is meant to evoke the song:
A-hunting we will go,
A-hunting we will go,
Hey-ho the derry-oh,
(or Oh what fun we'll have),
A-hunting we will go

Yep, the tune is identical.

Alisha De Freitas said...

Agreed, Sew!

Channing in The City said...

LOVED this! I thought I was the only one who noticed some of these things.

1. Wallace made me cry. D'angelo, too.

5. I have never heard the term low-rise used in real life. Maybe on the news... once.

6. I wondered how Shardene ended up with him. I did a double take at the end of the series.

11. I liked Season 4 because I swore that was India.Aerie but Wikipedia says it isn't :-/

12. I did!

17. I cried when Bubbles' sister opened up the door. He turned out to be one of my favorites. His character development was awesome.

20. I hope so. Mainly because I want to know how Michael's doing. Smh, he makes me sad. And how Marlo did 'staying' out of the game. We need a where are they now special, HBO!

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Channing, thank you for commenting! I rewatched the series a few months ago and it's awesome a second time. It allowed me to catch things I missed the first time. Like all the quiet flirting going on between Freamon and Shardene.

I cried and felt elated when Bubbles walked up those stairs. I'm amazed at how emotionally drawn I was by him and the whole show. I laughed, cried, felt sadness and anger. I really fell in love with that show. Since then, I've watched "Homicide" and started reading the book both series are based on. I'm a total David Simon junkie!

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