Friday, June 26, 2009

Brilliant isn't always fun

I have a terrible admission. (Molly, prepare yourself) I have had the 4th season of the wire at my house, waiting to be watched, for almost a week and still haven't cracked it open.
And may not tonight.

We drunk writers have not been shy about our admiration for this show, and I certainly have loved it, the dialogue, the way the plot twists, and drama that seems completely true to life and really, characters like Omar and Stringer. There is a reason why this show has been hailed as the best television ever.

And when I'm immersed in a season, I watch it quickly.
But I never tear open the DVD case like a kid with a present on Christmas morning.
I know the season will have it's highs and lows and will tear my heart out while awing me with it's brilliance. I know this, and still the excitement I should have isn't there.

Because what's missing, and what keeps the Wire from being in my top three TV shows, is that sense of fun, and uplifting moments and sheer exhilaration that I got from Battlestar, or Firefly, or even True Blood.
Shows that really, in execution and scripts have more flaws, but I still find more fun to watch.
And I do love the Wire, but will I want to watch it again, just for the sheer pleasure of enjoying great TV, well, I'm not sure.

It reminds me of the movies that I loved passionately while watching, but never really felt the need to re-watch, like The English Patient, or Dogville, or even Saving Private Ryan. While I've watched Star Wars, and 10 Things I hate about you and Terminator over and over.
But in the next three days, I will open that DVD case and start the season and from there, I will once again, be immersed in the great TV that is the Wire.


Maureen McGowan said...

I totally get what you're saying. The Wire is tough TV. For sure. Not fun.

But you'll love Season 4. :-)

Molly O'Keefe said...

I TOTALLY agree -- the wire is brilliant - I won't watch it again. Like Lost In Translation, or The Deer Hunter -- amazing movies - won't watch it again. And you're right, it's not fun. Not many light moments, but I feel and I know I've said this a gazillion times, but each season is a lesson in writing series and some of it I get, and some of it is so far advanced, I may never get.

And, I think the fact that Adam and I were in the baby cave made it so compulsive... although we're gobbling up Freaks and Geeks right now. Oh, Freaks and Geeks....

Eileen said...

Oh, my gosh! You hit the nail on the head. I think this might be why I'm not racing to watch more episodes of Breaking Bad and why I can't wait for episodes of Burn Notice and In Plain Sight. It's the fun factor.

Diana Peterfreund said...

See, I think THE WIRE is incredible and I definitely watch it over and over again. Seasons 3 and 4 are my favorite. Whereas I found BSG unremittingly bleak and boring (as well as a few other choice adjectives) and had to force myself through a whole season before deciding that whatever everyone else saw in it was Not For Me.

Firefly was okay. We own the DVD but I don't know if we've been through it more than once or twice, whereas Buffy S1-5, Veronica Mars S1, The West Wing S1-3, and all of How I met Your Mother are on constant rotation in our house.

You want fun *and* incredible, though? Try AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. Yes, it's a cartoon. Yes, it's ostensibly for 10 year old children. But it combines the best of action, epics, magic, battles, and some of the most insanely good characterization I've ever seen on a TV show ever ever.

Diana Peterfreund said...

Meant to add, there are some things in The Wire so funny they've passed into jargon in our house:

"Yeah, Balmore Maryland."
"See you at the office!"
"That's Protestant whisky."
"Yeah, but the price is right."

Sinead M said...

I love cartoons.. I think it stems from my G force addiction when I was younger, so I will definitely check that out.

I do love the Wire, but find it more relenting grim than Battlestar, even with the dark humor and absolutely unforgettable characters.

But I've also found sci fi a interesting quandry for a lot of people. It can add to a show or movie, or it can subtract, and I know in my case it adds to it, because in sci fi, nothing is really realy, so the entertainment factor is sometimes increased.

But really right now, am completely focused on my current obsession, Tru Blood and my new favourite character, Eric.

The 2nd season, so far, is leagues better than the 1st..

Maureen McGowan said...

The 3rd and 4th seasons of The Wire are my favs too, so far. I did buy them... but time will tell whether I watch again. I might. Season 4 was so darned heartbreaking.

But BSG wow. LOVED that show just loved it. Firefly, too... but BSG more.

I keep meaning to watch AVATAR. I found them online somewhere, but didn't have time to watch them that day.

I was never a big cartoon person... not even as a little kid, but have heard good things about Avatar.

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