Omar Little

September 5, 2012

Simplistic TV: The Wire, Season Five

The Wire, Season Five – Bravo

*Spoilers Ahead*

After watching four seasons of “The Wire” in about the span of three weeks not only was I heavily invested with what would happen to the Barksdale Crew, Jimmy McNulty, Bunk Moreland, the New Day Co-Op, and Omar Little, but I was getting mentally exhausted.  All the shows run a full hour (more on the season openers and finales) and the show-runners pack so much in each episode that I hit information overload at certain points.  However, regardless of how much is is crammed into each show, I couldn’t get enough and needed closure, and I really wanted some good to come out of the whole shitty mess that is West Baltimore (I got some, but I mostly got kicked in the nuts).  This brings me to Season Five of “The Wire,” the final season, and an excellent conclusion to a series that you could call “The Standard for all crime dramas.”

Released in 2008, (season four finished up in 2006, so for those who were watching season-to-season, there was almost a 14 month waiting period between the end of four and the start of five) we shift to the magical land of journalism and the offices of the Baltimore Sun.  As in real life, the written word is on the ropes and newspapers are slowly becoming obsolete so writers are becoming more desperate and trying anything to cling onto their jobs, similar to the drug trade in Baltimore, which is shrinking as crews are falling and the Stanfield Crew has monopolized the market.  Desperation is a major theme for this fifth season as McNulty starts a new “crusade” to finally put an end to Marlo Stanfield’s crew, newly-elected Mayor, Tommy Carcetti, wants a “serial killer” who is targeting the homeless caught, and the clock is ticking as job cuts at the Baltimore Sun are starting to affecting employee morale.  If people weren’t desperate in Baltimore before, they certainly are now.

The one gripe I could find with this season are how the plot lines are tied up. You could tell that HBO was ready for the show to end (not because the show was bad, but when it comes to business, its all about ratings, and during the original run of the show the ratings were lacking), and the plot lines had to be cleaned up as best they could.  Season Five was also the shortest season (ten episodes).  However, I will say everything came to a satisfying end and watching the ending montage made me feel happy, mad, frustrated, hopeful, but most of all, in awe.

Watching “The Wire” made me realize that TV isn’t dead.  To be honest with you, it took me watching this show to really get back into watching TV and wanting to see if I could find something that could really top “The Wire.”  There are a few shows (funny enough, most of them are on HBO) that can really hang, but I will include “Justified” and “The Shield” in that grouping (funny enough, both on FX), but I think I’ll be hard-pressed to find another show on TV that really gave me everything I wanted (and ironically, didn’t want) from a TV show.  “The Wire”……bravo……

Fun Fact:  Dominic West, who plays Det. Jimmy McNulty, directed the 8th episode of Season Five, “Took.”

August 29, 2012

Simplistic TV: The Wire, Season Three

The Wire, Season Three – Stride

*Spoilers Ahead*

 I believe that the third season is very interesting in any television series.  Usually it works this way;  if the first season is exceptional and gains a sizable audience the second will have much loftier expectations.  The second season comes and it can really be a make or break (see “Heroes” for a prime example of how good series’ go wrong).  If a series can get past a lackluster second season and moves into the third season, a network usually has faith.  Also, a series can usually hit its stride in season three, and that is exactly where “The Wire” found itself after two seasons in the books (Wow, that has to be a record for using the word “season” in a single paragraph).

I like to call this season of “The Wire” The Comeback.  We move away from the docks of Season Two and re-concentrate back on the East and West Baltimore drug war and the City of Baltimore’s “war on drugs”.  We meet some new characters including Marlo Stanfield, an up and coming dealer who lives by his own code, and his two lieutenants, Chris and Snoop.  On the “law” side we get better acquainted with “Bunny” Colvin, a police Major on his way to retirement with his own ideas on how to solve West Baltimore’s drug problem, and Tommy Carcetti, a councilman with mayoral aspirations.

The first episode really sets the tone for things to come with a very symbolic “downing” of the Franklin Terrace Towers in a scene very reminiscent of the 9/11 tragedy.  However,instead of using Muslim extremists as terrorists, we see the City of Baltimore bringing down the Towers and the dealers looking on, helpless, seeing their way of life, essentially, coming to an end.  After this event, battle lines are drawn all over the city and by the end of this season, several characters meet their “ends.”

Overall, if you’ve stuck with “The Wire” for two seasons, this is a great payoff for your time spent following everyone from Bodie Broadus to Lester Freamon as their characters, and several other main characters, continue to develop.  If by the end of season three you don’t think “The Wire” is the best TV drama ever (I won’t go best show ever) you should stick to your Kardashians or “Jersey Shore” shit.

Fun Fact:  You might know Tommy Carcetti, or Aidan Gillen, for playing another scumbag; Petyr Baelish, aka, Littlefinger on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”


Welcome to the new home of SimplisticReviews.net - We're currently still working on the site. You might notice a few issues, please be patient with us. Thanks! (Store also in testing — no orders shall be fulfilled.)
Scroll to top