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Hook me up to The Wire

EPI and I finished watching Season 1 of The Wire this evening.

The Wire got a fair bit of exposure around here this spring when our new mayor said he would refuse to work with any political party that had not watched all five seasons of it. [Think I’m kidding?]

I’d had it on my to-watch agenda for about a year before then, but when everyone around here started watching it, I thought I’d better start watching it too.

Because I’m real susceptible like that.

Anyway, after about four episodes, we were like WTF?!? What is this shit?*

So I put a MAYDAY out on Twitter, all like: “Is it sposed to get better?”

The answer came back loud and clear: YES.

Four episodes later, we were irreversibly hooked.

I’ve now ordered the box set, thanks to a kind reader who offered to bring me a care package from the US.

How I’m going to hang on until he gets here is another matter entirely.

* Unbeknownst to me, we were already talking like The Wire gangstas. My dear blog friend Andrea told me: “It will change the way you talk.” SHE WAS RIGHT.

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  • Lissa July 17, 2010, 5:25 am

    If you come to Baltimore, I’ll be glad to take you on a Wire tour. Some of it was filmed not far from my house. Like a few blocks away. I have a good friend who lives in the development the second season flutters around. She has an amazing view.

    It is a truth about this city. Not the only truth, for sure.

  • Amy Clifton July 17, 2010, 12:07 pm

    tru dat!

  • kevin oconnor,waterford ireland July 17, 2010, 12:25 pm

    Yes I have heard about it,hard hitting gritty etc, Still at least you can watch it switch of the TV and think to yourself Thank god I live in Reykjavik, probably not as social model that would meet with much enthusiasm from Reykjavik City Council for instance. ha ha.

  • Icelandbob July 17, 2010, 12:44 pm

    I´ve watched all 5 season of the wire. The thing about it is is that it´s not completely Linear in it´s plot structure (and there are multiple plot threads), there are numerous characters in each season, and unlike all the other TV Cop dramas, the bad guys win more often than not.

    In other words, it´s a dense TV show that requires you to think… and pay attention. And it´s bloody brilliant! It´s a travesty it was never shown on commercial UK TV(you could only have seen it on Satellite/Cable).

    As for Icelandic TV? well it would never be shown on Skjáreinn/ Stöð 2 as it would get in the way of the likes of “So you think you can Dance?” and “The Biggest Loser”.

    It could perhaps be shown on RUV, but the street dialect and drugs lingo would be an absolute nightmare for the translators. But someone needs to make it happen somehow…..

  • alda July 17, 2010, 1:15 pm

    Um … actually it was shown on Stöð 2.

  • Getefix July 17, 2010, 1:24 pm

    I have been trying for two years to get Icelanders to watch _The Wire_. The street slang tends to stop them cold — without subtitles most seem completely unable to process it. They also seem to have a similar problem with the _Deadwood_ accents.

  • Scoats July 17, 2010, 1:36 pm

    The Wire is probably the best television series ever.

    It brilliantly tells the story of how certain areas of American cities became the hopeless, violent places that they are. It explores the issues and causes from numerous directions.

    I don’t think you overpraise this show enough. But the real question here is, what does it have to with a tiny socially progressive nation like Iceland? Nothing that I can tell.

  • kevin oconnor,waterford ireland July 17, 2010, 1:37 pm

    Slightly off topic but have you noticed Alda how this European heatwave England baking,Germany scorching,crop failures in Mother Russia etc seems to have passed Iceland and Ireland by, 15 degrees C here.

    Please accept my apologies for discussing weather on the Icelandic Weather Report 🙂

  • sylvia hikins July 17, 2010, 6:23 pm

    Scoats-‘a tiny socially progressive nation like Iceland’. Iceland like many other places, has it’s dark side, (as well as a corrupt clan system).
    Alcoholism. Drug addiction. Probably not as bad as other places, but it’s there (just take a look around the bus station at the far end of Laugavegur). Jar City is worth a read if you haven’t already done so.
    sylvia from viking wirral.

  • kevin oconnor,waterford ireland July 17, 2010, 7:15 pm

    @Sylvia No No Iceland is perfect perfect, I myself am a total expert on Iceland despite having never been there, plus I am a a Iceland Review subscriber so there !!!!

  • andrea July 17, 2010, 11:58 pm

    All in the game yo, all in the game. Feel me?

  • Larsson July 18, 2010, 4:39 am

    I have to agree with Silvia… I haven’t watched The Wire, but you don’t need to watch it to understand how humanity has a way of being hypocritical. You don’t need to watch North American or British TV to understand this. And those outside of Nordic societies shouldn’t act like there is any society out there that has ‘figured things out’.

  • Scoats July 18, 2010, 1:26 pm

    I am quite aware that Iceland has a dark side; every place does. I have read Jar City and I’ve been in the Reykjavik bus station looking for a pay phone, and it is indeed very seedy. I’ve also been to Baltimore and I live in a large US city similar to Baltimore. They are really nothing alike.

    There is large scale systemic failure in the US that has lead to the issues that big cities here face. Several of the issues in the Wire are deadly violence caused by the narcotics underground, the loss of the jobs, and bad schools in the inner cities. Iceland’s drug issues are like those of a US suburb, still very real, but not a large scale systemic failure. The point of the Wire I believe is that if you want to stop the drug violence, all of other things need to be fixed.

    I’d say Iceland was more like the movie SLC Punk. For the record, I’m willing to work with people who haven’t seen SLC Punk.