Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I've been watching Season 2 of The Wire. Man, I love this show. There is some interesting discussion of David Simon, the creator, and his politics on the internet. (here and here) But these discussions often miss the main draw of show--the wonderfully interesting characters. Hell, the characters are so well done in The Wire I find myself wanting to read Bleak House just because others have used it as a basis for comparison.

I also recently watched a few episodes of 24, the first time I've seen the show. My first reaction is disappointment. What's so great about this show? It seems like a bad, interminable Tom Clancy movie. If every single episode has a 180 degree plot twist, 180 degree plot twists quickly lose their novelty. If the good guy acting as bad guy actually turned out to be a bad guy then I might be surprised. But in the world of 24 all good guys acting as bad guys always turn out to actually be good guys - and vise versa. As far as overly complex, yet mostly traditional television goes, give me Lost over 24 any day.

The most fun I've had watching live TV in the past month was the Giants-Patriots game. I was rooting for the Giants as much as anyone else but at the end of the game I changed my mind. Bill Belichick really is smarter than everyone else and I hope they win the Superbowl. Who else is there left to root for? The Cowboys just seem like a slightly less talented version of the Patriots. Indianapolis is good but doesn't play like they care all that much. The Redskins and The Chargers have been fun to watch recently but don't have a chance of winning it all and neither does Brett Favre. If this NFL season were a novel I was writing, Cleveland or Minnesota would have defeated The Patriots in the postseason. Thankfully we have the Presidential primaries to hold us over until Oakland's amazing 16-0 record-breaking performance next season.


herr zrbo said...

Never seen the Wire but I hear good things about it.

Me and my girlfriend's favorite show for a long time has been Lost. It's had some of the greatest OMG WTF?!? moments in TV history. The opening of season 2 when we first see what's in the hatch with the Mama's and the Papa's "Make your own kind of music" playing - just brilliant. For me that music is forever linked in my brain to that part, like the "stuck in the middle with you" part from Reservoir Dogs.

BUT, then we started watching Battlestar Galactica. Wow, just wow. This has now topped our list of favorite shows. I think I was mentioning to LE that it's one of the only shows to effectively deal with 9/11, and it does it all with humans versus Cylons in a remake of early 80's sci-fi!

And then, the beginning of last season was just mind-blowing, *spoilers*, with the occupation of the humans by the Cylons, we've got the whole Iraqi conflict, but they've turned it around and made the humans the 'insurgents' and the 'suicide bombers', and what's so great is they aren't afraid to use these terms in the show! It's such a direct correlation with our current war that I'm half surprised they can get away with it on television. Absolutely brilliant.

And don't get me started on the mind-bending cliffhanger of this past season, I never thought "all along the watchtower" could be used so effectively to reveal so much about a show's story and where it's heading.

ninquelote said...

The wire is an amazing show. Yoggoth and I were discussing it earlier in the week.

I have also started watching BSG. I saw a few episodes of the 80's version and thought it was kinda cheesy, but a friend of mine convinced me to check out the new version, and I have to say that I was impressed. I have only seen the first 5 or so episodes, but the rest are lined up on my Netflix account along with season two of the Wire.

I rent more TV than I watch on cable. Maybe I should save a couple bucks and just cancel it.

Anyway. If you like BSG and Lost, zrbo, you should really check out the Wire.

herr zrbo said...

Ok, I've put the Wire of my netflix queue, thanks for the recommendation.

yoggoth said...

I've heard good things about Battlestar but haven't seen it. I thought the first two seasons of Lost were good but the third was muddled. I reached a point where I thought to myself, these writers have no idea where to go with this. That sorta took the fun out of it.

herr zrbo said...

You should like BSG then, it hooks you like Lost, but the payoff comes faster, though it still manages to retain a good bit of mystery. Plus this next season is it's last, which IMO is good, it will make the entire series leaner and we won't have to deal with filler episodes.