Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Stuff over the transom

Two new items came over the transom this week (via Play or Be Played). I normally don't just echo PoBP, but these are some really quality stories.

The First is a top 25 list of Andy Sayer's favorite character's from The Wire. He makes the good point that many shows don't have enough quality to write a Top 10 favorite characters, yet there's still quality actors left out of Sayer's article. The fact that Norman Wilson (Carcetti's Black Political Conscience) and Butchie the blind bartender don't make the list are a bit criminal, but you can't fit them all in. Also, my man Bubbles only makes no. 10 (should be in front of Kima, IMO). Despite these reservations, Sayers manages to discuss all of these characters WITHOUT SPOILERS. Quite impressive, indeed. It helps that he doesn't mention any characters in Season 5. I should probably learn a thing or two from Andy in writing without telling the whole damn show, but it just spills out.

The Second article looks at The Wire with a uniquely British sensibility. It's very analytical and lauds Simon for analyzing the postindustrial American Dream in all its failings and successes, not through a war movie or a western, but through a show about the postindustrial American Dream. I really do love its British tone, evident in quotes like this one:
This is the heart of The Wire - the memorialisation of an army of young men and women for whom death itself is a rite of passage.
Aidan Gillen leans into the voracious politician Tommy Carcetti like a mariner heading into a gale, an all-forward-movement performance, while Clarke Peters' detective Lester Freamon is a sedentary piece of winningly hambone stoicism.
But be aware. Kent Jones analyzes each of the seasons and makes no bones about throwing spoilers around. While he does a fantastic job on the first four seasons, his complaints about season 5 are typical of whats already been written (unrealistic, just Simon with a bone to pick, too compressed, etc.). Despite that, read through the end. Very well done and indicative of the show's growing global audience (this blog has received visitors from Sweden, the UK, Australia, Canada, and even Croatia). I wonder if The Wire will ever be Big in Japan?

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