Second series of The Wire

16th April 2008 – 1.52 pm

I finished re-watching the first series of The Wire and have moved straight on to rewatching the second series. It's an interesting combination of stories, with the main team working on a case on the docks and the Barksdale story continuing almost in the background. The two stories never meet, apart from a tenuous connection supplied by Proposition Joe half-way through, which gives an odd feel to the series. It is almost as if we are watching two programmes meshed in to one. It works quite well, though. If a viewer has watched the first series then the Barksdale story holds plenty of interest, and the main intrigue is still supplied amply with the docks smuggling investigation.

Watching the series for a second time, and after having watched the third series, it seems that the series is trying for something even more bold than the first series set out to achieve. The Barksdale secondary story of the second series is effectively all a prelude for the third series, with the main characters' stories kept updated and new characters introduced who will go on to play main roles in the next series. A third or more of the second series is really just setting the scene for the third. It's worth watching the programme a second time to catch all the references and introductions that occur through the series.

I also note that in the opening credits a signal trace dissolves to become the line of a boat, which I didn't notice at all the first time I watched the whole of the second series. Either I'm not particularly perceptive or I didn't pay much attention to the opening credits.

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