Fun with The Wire

6th April 2008 – 8.52 pm

I'm currently re-watching the first series of The Wire. I borrowed the DVD set from a friend after finding out it was written by David Simon, who wrote the book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, which I read recently after being reminded of it, and on which the excellent TV series Homicide: Life on the Street was based. I was so impressed by the first series that I picked up the second and third series, before buying the first for myself. The nature of the show is something I haven't seen before, the whole series being a single story. There have been programmes with series-long story arcs but even they have generally had an episodic feel, where single episodes had a self-contained element that allowed them to be viewed individually. Each episode of The Wire is akin to a chapter of a book: the story is moved along and the chapter can be enjoyed, but it makes little sense outside of the whole. Another interesting feature, which I didn't realise until an audio commentary pointed it out, is that there is no incidental music at all. Any music included is from the environment itself. This seems to draw me in to the world quite effectively.

Upon watching the first series for a second time I have become a little amused with some of McNulty's lines. It seems he has a fair bit of dialogue where he simply repeats as a question one or two of the words uttered by another character. 'Another character?' Yeah, offering up a method of exposition by almost sharing the same rich dialogue of Neo, in The Matrix. Noticing when it happens kind of pulls me out of the immersion, though.

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