The Wire – Season Two

This stuff just gets better and better. I’m done with season two now and looking forward to more. I’m moving at about a one season per quarter pace, which is sped up because I’m traveling a lot and always watch one episode per flight on my iPhone. Outside of sports and an occasional Netflix movie, this is my primary form of screened entertainment, which is good. I don’t covet more.

Aside: I’m struck by the odd mix of entertainment I’ve decided to restrict my consumption to as I get older. As of today, and it’s changing, here’s the hierarchy of entertainment media consumption in my life arrived at via an unscientific study based mostly on gut feel:

  • Books
  • Sports on TV
  • Music
  • Screened entertainment via iPhone
  • Movies via Netflix
  • Miscellaneous stuff on Facebook and Twitter
  • YouTube

Network TV is almost completely eliminated outside of the sports angle. Gratuitous TV watching is not part of my life, I primarily press power on the TV to watch a scheduled sporting event. That’s about it.

I assert, and my wife disagrees strongly, that I can do without the sports also. I’m ready to ditch cable at the drop of a hat, as long as Gail is okay with it. She wouldn’t even have to tell me.

However, I’m not one of those self-righteous snobs who shuns cable. I certainly have time for it. In fact, I get angry when fellow Americans say, “I don’t have time for that.” That statement is full of hypocrisy and lies. To be truly honest with yourself, that phrase should always be followed with the word because and an explanation of other time wasters that you choose to partake in. For instance, here are a few examples that pertain to me:

I don’t have time to read the WSJ because I read too much trash fiction.

I don’t have time to train for a marathon because I play too much golf.

I don’t have time to go to the movie theater because it’s NBA playoff season.

I could make time for seeing movies, training for a marathon, and reading the WSJ, but I choose not too. For me, there’s not a period or exclamation point after the words “I don’t have time for that,” there’s the word because with some insight and analysis into my own personal shortfalls and demons. I feel like I’m being more honest with myself. In truth, I have time for whatever I want to have time for. Any denial of that fact would be putting a blind eye to bouts of laziness and unproductiveness.

Okay, enough of that, back to The Wire. I was especially struck by episode 6 and the theme of accepting your life or trying to change your life.

** PLOT KILLERS FOLLOW **

Episode 6 was an inspired effort. It opened with the Omar’s testimony against Bird (hilarious and inventive) and closed with the murder of D’Angelo (surprising).

Omar says something like this to Levy during the cross examination:

I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase. It’s all in the game.

I watched it on a flight and busted out laughing at this. I probably got some looks.

Now D’Angelo’s murder, that was a little more somber. I should have seen that coming early in the episode after the prison book club meeting with D’s soliloquy about The Great Gatsby and how we can’t change our true self. I knew they were going to try based on Stringer making the payoff, but I thought D was too integral of a character to be killed off.

But as you know, HBO is not afraid to kill off key characters. They certainly did it during Game of Thrones. Check out this guys take on that (he’s an NBA writer but talks about TV every so often). I’m not familiar enough to make this proclamation because I think The Wire is the only HBO series I’ve watched. Oh wait, I think I saw the first season of that funeral home drama, Six Feet Under. Was that HBO or Showtime? I guess I could Google it, but I’m writing this on a plane on my iPhone after watching episode 9 and I think I’ve just met Brother Mouzone. Wow, this is such a cool show.

There’s a lot of rich stuff on the net about The Wire and it prompts some serious debate. I’m amazed at the cult following this show has. Check out Chuck Klosterman’s take at Grantland (no plot spoilers in that one, don’t worry). I hear references from friends and see references on the net, so I really have to make a conscious effort to avoid plot spoilers. It’s tough given the wide-ranging acclaim this show garners.

I’ll start season three in August some time.