so, really, the point of this changes every time i get on here. i'll usually open the post, fill in my mood and music, and start writing, whether i have an idea or not. i guess that's why most of my posts recently begin with re-establishing setting, where and how i am, and connection to my previous posts. an apology for being gone -- apologize to who? -- or random thought always suffices. then, i really DO find something to talk about. i finish what usually equates to a short encyclopedic dissertation, then i change my mood and music, and fill in the subject line. hmm, genius.
but, the reason i did jump on here today is important to me. it isn't to update you (me) about my short film, "Love, Alice" (now over 3 years -- december 2006 to march 2008 -- in production), or make excuses for the speed bumps and downright walls in my creative life. nor is it about venting. nor is about some random stupid insights or some observations that i figure are just downright fucking nuggets of o holy truth. no, no.
i wanted to write something about "The Wire", a series my two close friends and i have admired for a long time. there are no qualifications i'm going to list for why the series is amazing or how big of fans we are. simply put, the show's great -- the best thing on television ever, only bested by "Alias": Season Four -- and we're some of the most committed admirers of its greatness.
"The Wire" ended with a 94-minute series finale last sunday. it was arguably the best show of the series, and with it went something at once very depressing to let go and yet very satisfying for one to realize they witnessed.
never before has a series engaged social, political, institutional, and psychological issues in such an unapologetic way without eventually betraying its structure, campaign, and higher meaning.
that's a big thing to say, and most would start searching for a rebuttal to an outrageous claim. but i present this argument:
- most programs tailor their subjects and characters to an audience, a network, and to ratings. "The Wire" put blacks and whites on screen depicting every facet of American life, good and bad, rich and poor, cop and criminal, gay and straight. and even though Season 2 faked you out with more white faces, in no way did "The Wire" ever become the white suburban housewife's perception of blue collar inner city life.
- it didn't let viewership influence WHO and WHAT found its way into each season, each story. proof is in the fact that from season 3 until most of its recent episodes, it suffered some of the lowest cable viewer numbers across the board; a fraction of what heavyweight, "The Sopranos", used to carry on an average week. and while those numbers would call for automatic cancellation -- "Deadwood" anyone? -- for the very fact that it turned off HBO's bread and butter, the bohemian artiste crowd and the rather superficial couch potatoes just wanting 30 minutes of raunchy comedy or Real Sex exposé, "The Wire" had something that can never be denied: critical praise. that along with fervent hardcore fans made "The Wire" an anomaly of art & commentary being allowed to roam free with very little corporate interference.
- the show's themes continued unabated throughout its five seasons, infused with a liberal, borderline socialist compassion. and like a Russian novel (or manifesto), something it is often compared to, the breadth of the show's depiction and investigation into self-destructive character and socio-political prisons of American life was ever-widening. although it spit unpopular subjects in the faces of viewers, such as inner city education, political corruption, and despicable poverty, it never reevaluated or sugarcoated its stance to make for an easily ignored, passive viewing experience. if you didn't agree with the politics, so what?
- like films of the 1970s, "The Wire" FORCES you to engage it. fuck it, you do not get to fold your laundry or balance your checkbook while it's on in the background (the gods will not save you). you do not get anything out of "The Wire", a seemingly familiar crime drama, that you do not put into it. if you don't actively become obsessed, the show just becomes another variable in your misunderstood quest for guffaw-inducing succubus stupidity; another trite, fleeting place holder of your time. like the saying goes, great art doesn't give you the answers, it poses more questions. and that's what "Wire" fans stuck with the series for: debate, discussion, and, in the case of me and my friends, endless quotables.
and while most shows have to change their formula in sake of better ratings, better writing, and to at least stay viable for future debate (see "24"), "The Wire" is perfect -- an infinitely relevant, intelligent, and tragic thesis on what we'll NEVER do to improve our ignored shadows, those hopelessly lost urban landscapes.
"The Wire" was written for film buffs and crime fiction fans. so they would know what's going on in the world around them.http://www.hbo.com/thewire/finaleletter/index.html
it happens in bursts. i remember i have a LiveJournal account, decide to post something...or not. then another long stretch occurs until i remember AGAIN that i do, in fact, have a blog to, at the very least, entertain, analyze, and give the old shot of psychotherapy to my life. i would say "entertain my friends" or write "for my audience". but let's be honest, i'm probably the only person reading this shit. others might find this site by accident, skim my bullshit, pick up on one CAPITALIZED word or phrase, and leave a jerky quip like "that's all very clever, greg. too bad you wasted it on empty, meaningless blogging. imagine if you put all that commitment into your REAL life..."