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Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

– 30 –

Before I leave, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least comment on the series finale of The Wire this past Sunday evening. Though a latecomer to the show – this final season was the first I watched in real-time – I’ve become something of an obsessive over the past year so I’d like to think that I’m able to celebrate and mourn the show as much as anyone who’s been along for the whole ride. Or close to it, at least.

And this is where the “SPOILERS” warning comes into effect, so if you’ve not watched it yet – Brad, I’m looking at you – walk away now.

Not that I’m going to get into too much detail. The finale, and the series, has been analyzed and dissected by many people far more insightful than I, so I’ll direct you to some of their observations below. I had the finale downloaded a few days prior to the actual air date (I don’t have cable!) but had resisted watching it, instead wanting to see it the same time as everyone else in a minor act of solidarity. I’d expressed concerns about the truncated season length all year – 10 instead of the usual 12 – and while I did find this season to be a bit rushed compared to the others, the feature-length finale felt just right. After the rush of the penultimate episode – Marlo gets got! – this one followed the fallout and gave each character their final resolutions. And, lest we forget this is The Wire, just desserts aren’t necessarily on the menu. All in all, things end on a more positive note than I’d have expected – though not shown in this ep, I was particularly glad that Poot seemed to escaped the corners – though the fate of Doukie, though predictable, was still heartbreaking. It’s a real testament to the whole crew of the show, on both sides of the camera, that I (and most other fans) were so emotionally invested in these characters.

And now it’s done, there’s naught to do but watch all 60 episodes all over again – when’s that season five DVD set come out? I’ve also intentions of getting the sister shows – The Corner and all of Homicide: Life On The Street – but I know, deep down, that it won’t be the same. “The best show on television” – an epithet that’s been repeated so many times when describing The Wire that it’s now cliche… but it’s still true.

I find the discourse surrounding the show to be almost as entertaining and interesting as the show itself and of all the media outlets covering the show’s finale, New York Magazine has been by far the most expansive. I particularly liked their scene by scene analysis of the final montage. For interviews with show creator David Simon – always a fascinating subject himself – head to The AV Club and especially What’s David Watching for the most in-depth post-mortem you’ll find anywhere. And for more reaction to the final episode, try Salon, The Kansas City Star, The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. And for a slightly less glowing review from the paper depicted in a less than flattering light in this final season, try The Baltimore Sun. And sadly, the fascinating ongoing feature at Freakonomics where the writer watched the final season in the company of real “thugs” and “gangsters” came to an early end when the crew declined to watch the final two episodes. But even that premature final installment is worth reading.

Elsewhere…

NPR talks to Ladyhawk, who’ll be at the Horseshoe on March 22 in support of their new album Shots.

NPR also has a World Cafe session with Lightspeed Champion.

The Australian talks to Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.

Billboard brings news from the land of Robyn Hitchcock, including a forthcoming DVD, another Venus 3 album in 2009 and a collaboration with Andy Partridge.

Anyone wondering what former Curve vocalist Toni Halliday has been up to, the answer is a) becoming very blonde and b) starting a new project called Chatelaine. Via No Rock N Roll Fun.

And now I have a plane to catch.

By : Frank Yang at 6:10 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. Kari says:

    i finally started watching the wire, partly b/c of your raving reviews. im halfway through s1 and i love it!

  2. Embs says:

    I too was a latecomer to the Wire, but I’ve been hooked ever since I watched the pilot last year. In a word: amazing. It’s such a shame there isn’t more television like this.

  3. dc says:

    I have watched the wire from the beginning and its good that everyone else realizes that it is the greatest piece of media ever created. no other show is this angry, intelligent, funny, heartbreaking etc…

    the game is the game.

  4. hiddenexposures says:

    like you, this was the first season i watched in real-time. those people who i’ve gotten to watch the show (always warning them that they need to watch a few episodes before really getting into it) have seemingly gotten as obsessed as i’ve been. the world is now divided in my mind – those who watch and understand the beauty of the wire and those who are so clueless. i’m not a tv junkie but this show had me hoooooooked!

    i find it interesting that i read your blog for music bits and here you are loving the wire as much as i do. great minds think alike!