March 11, 2008

Cable Boxing: ‘The Wire’ is gone but not forgotten

The WireEpisode 60: “—30—”HBO, Series finale, aired March 9. Starring Dominic West, Wendell Pierce, Clark Johnson, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn, Clarke Peters and Seth Gilliam.Synopsis: Carcetti maps out a damage-control scenario with the police brass in the wake of a startling revelation from Pearlman and Daniels. Their choice: Clean up the mess ... or hide the dirt. Bubbles debates whether to greenlight a newspaper story about his life; Dukie seeks out an old mentor for a loan; Marlo oversees a new co-op order as he maps out his next move. As the officers stage an Irish wake for another dearly departed officer, the seeds of the future are sown throughout Baltimore. (HBO.com)Sara: “The Wire” has come to an end. It’s the talk of the town, and for good reason. HBO should be commended once again for providing quality TV programming. In a country where the naming of the most recent “Dancing With The Stars” contestants gets higher billing than the Democratic primaries or the war in Iraq, it’s good to hear that such a groundbreaking show made such an impact. That being said, I never watched the show, I’m sorry to say. So Sunday night’s series finale was my first. Think of it as skipping to the end before starting a book — I definitely plan on consuming all five seasons this spring.Mat: Shame on you. As punishment, you will buy all the series’ DVDs when they come out. And watch the extras. And the credits. For each episode. But at least you’re watching. If it isn’t already, “The Wire” should be required viewing for Metro Mayor Jerry Abramson, Police Chief Robert White and Commonwealth Attorney David Stengel, and whoever else is involved in adjudicating crime in Louisville. We’re not lily white, either.Sara: Seemed like everyone had their paws in some dirty business — from the cops to the city government officials to the newspapermen. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.Mat: Yeah, everyone covers his or her own keister, but that’s the great aspect of “The Wire.” It doesn’t skew toward the overdriven “Entourage,” or the dearly departed “Sopranos” — “The Wire” is about exploring gray areas. Conflicts start but are not resolved. Like, you know, in real life. Co-creator David Simon, a former Baltimore Sun reporter, shows his contempt for the state of newspapers today, while showing that real press peeps (like Clark Johnson’s character) don’t chase glory like a paparazzi chases Britney Spears.Sara: Yes — in one of the last scenes, Gus (Johnson) looked around his dwindling newsroom and said, “The pond is getting smaller and the fish are getting nervous.” Loved the stark scenes of the Baltimore cityscape throughout. Some showed the beauty of the eastern city, while others revealed the grit that lies beneath postcard views.Mat: Baltimore is depressing, and the characters’ behavior is a function of that. Maybe they need a Museum Plaza. Or a new arena. Hey, the Cordish Co. is based there. Oh, wait … Drop us a line at leo@leoweekly.com or check out our TV blog at cableboxing.blogspot.com