I was underwhelmed by the first couple of episodes of “The Wire,” but after renting a few more via Netflix, I’m beginning to see why this show has attracted a loyal following.
While I still think Dominic West looks a little too much like a J.C. Penney model to be fully convincing (and his divorced, hard-drinking character is somewhat cliched), the rest of the cast and the consistent writing overcome that minor quibble.
Another observation: Like “Deadwood” (which I never liked), “The Wire” can be comical in its over-the-top profanity. The writers seem almost to be mocking themselves in one five-minute scene that involves the use of nothing but the F-word and its variations. It was amusing enough, but I wonder if such a self-referential stunt really serves the larger story.
I’ve never seen Deadwood or Wired, but I liked your comment about self-referential stunts.
I know that lots of wonderful writers work in television, and I’ve heard the commonplace that all the great writers who would have filled magazines with top-flight fiction in past generations are writing for television now. Still, whether it’s the economics of the business or some other reason, I don’t think it’s possible for any television show to make a big splash these days without a gimmick.
Detectives Beyond Borders
“Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”