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David T. Cole

Small Talk: Tweedy Impertinence

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Rinaldo, a part of me feels we aren't doing this rewatch right if there isn't some fucking profanity in the titles. When in Rome and all :)

I liked your ideas.

We've had some good responses so I think we can start soon. Maybe people can join as they watch, catch up etc.

Eta: I hope Toxic Unicorn will join it. Had expressed an interest earlier

Edited by KnoxForPres
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I agree about profanity, KnoxForPres. I must confess to some personal discomfort with throwing around the word "shit," even metaphorically; it's just not an appealing image that it evokes for me. But I'll get over it. 

 

Actually, I found a good epigraph for Season 2 (stolen from the book). Coming soon.

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What's our planned pace? I don't want to get behind on creating the episode threads, but it's probably best not to flood us with all 13 before we need them either.

 

EDITED TO ADD: I guess I'll wait until a reply is made to the latest current episode topic, then create the next one.

Edited by Rinaldo

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Thanks. I may get all the episode threads up this week, so we don't have to worry about it later, but we can still keep the watching pace you describe.

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Good luck with your grading, Rinaldo!  I'm hoping to have more time this week, but I'll hold my comments until Wednesday (unless someone else posts).

 

Happy Early Thanksgiving to all who see this.

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Entertainment Weekly just ran a story called "Entertainment Geekly: In praise of things that don't look cool" in which Darren Franich compares & contrasts screenshots from the original & remastered versions of The Wire:


n close to a decade of people saying that The Wire is the best show ever, it’s rare to find anyone who talks about the visuals in The Wire at all.

 

HBO is, now. This week, the network announced that an HD-remastered version of the show would start playing in a marathon the day after Christmas, before it’s available digitally in January and on Blu-Ray later in the year.

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I won't be able to see most of it, but I'm apprehensive. I know the makers consulted on this version, but slicing off the top and bottom of those great scenes just seems certain to lose a lot. We'll see, I guess.

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Hope people are enjoying the marathon.  I'm watching the slow way, on Amazon Prime, about an episode and a half at a time.  I'm about S3 E7 and find myself not too excited about the beginning of this season (much like the last).  I'll post, though, when I can gather some thoughts.

 

In the meantime, I finally finished the entire run of Spooks (MI-5), which I highly recommend.  The subject matter and format isn't the same - it is a much more conventional spy show, but:

 

1) the performances are very nicely understated, like they are here,

2) the writing is reasonably intelligent,

and 3) I watch both shows with the closed captioning on.  (Spooks is a British show).

 

Spooks is available on netflix under it's American title MI-5.

 

Happy New Year everyone!

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I am coming down from a 5 day immersion into the world of The WiredExcellent show.  But I feel so dirty - a deep down soul sick kind of dirty that will stay with me for a long while.

 

I took an instant dislike to McNulty/West, and by S5 I despised him with the fire of a thousand burning nuns.  But I have enough hate in my heart to spread around to most of the other players in this horrid game of life.  The bright spots were few and far between, and I reveled in them.  The dark spots made me want to KILL, KILL, KILL.

 

I guess I could see myself watching the whole thing again, just to see if my perspective changes, but the thought of looking at West's face anytime soon makes me want to punch it (or cap McNulty's ass, take your pick).  I realize this is illogical, but it is a personal and visceral reaction coming from some deeply seated "issues".  :-)

 

I am happy to be a recluse, but most especially today.

 

Now I can cleanse my palate with some nice uplifting post-apocalyptic zombie fare.  The Walking Dead, here I come (again).  :-)

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A question that has plagued me..

 

The Detectives Wake.  Can that really be a thing?  We can just lay out dead, decomposing bodies on a pool table on a Friday night and then we go back to shooting pool on that same table on Saturday?? Ewww.

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I hope no one is answering Brooklynista's question because it's not in anyone's personal experience.  That does sound pretty yucky.

 

I know there are other places where shows are compared and recommended.  Hope it's not breaking any rules to bring the topic up here:

 

Now that we've been spoiled by the quality of The Wire, which shows do you enjoy on roughly the same level?  For example, I can never imagine enjoying a comedy in the way I like The Wire, but I haven't been disappointed by watching the first two seasons of The Americans, which is only vaguely similar because it's intense.  I've tried the pilots of Breaking Bad and Mad Men (a couple times each) and they haven't grabbed me at all.  I suppose I should watch The Sopranos.  But one thing I liked about The Wire was how many people were integral to the plot.  There was a lot to keep track of.  Although the cast is much tinier by comparison, The Americans is sort of fun that way because of all the intrigue, the frequent changes of costume (keeps you on your toes to keep track of the stories), the general quality of the acting, and the focus on drama rather than humor.

 

Most other shows do seem like fluff next to The Wire, though.  Not that I'm against fluff - it's just - comparisons are inevitable.

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I've tried the pilots of Breaking Bad and Mad Men (a couple times each) and they haven't grabbed me at all.

I recently rewatched the Mad Men pilot and was incredibly disappointed in it. Everything was just so very unsubtle, though on the first time through I was grabbed by the style. I think there's an immediate, substantial uptick in the quality of the show from episode two on. Breaking Bad also picks up later in the first season, though I think it was somewhere in season two that I got all the way in. Both are deservedly highly praised, though neither is really anything like The Wire other than being excellent TV.

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Watching the news yesterday, about the man in Baltimore who died after being arrested -- there was an interview outside the Western District police station.  I searched the crowd for familiar faces.

 

Baltimore's current mayor really, really looks like the actress who played Council President Nerese Campbell. 

 

Other shows I enjoy on almost the same level -- the only long-running one is Justified.  I thought The Sopranos had too much violence for the sake of violence.  Fargo and True Detective are possibilities, if they hang around long enough.

 

There's been nothing like The Wire -- probably never will be again.

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A question that has plagued me..

 

The Detectives Wake.  Can that really be a thing?  We can just lay out dead, decomposing bodies on a pool table on a Friday night and then we go back to shooting pool on that same table on Saturday?? Ewww.

 

 

I hope no one is answering Brooklynista's question because it's not in anyone's personal experience.  That does sound pretty yucky.

 

I know there are other places where shows are compared and recommended.  Hope it's not breaking any rules to bring the topic up here:

 

Now that we've been spoiled by the quality of The Wire, which shows do you enjoy on roughly the same level?  For example, I can never imagine enjoying a comedy in the way I like The Wire, but I haven't been disappointed by watching the first two seasons of The Americans, which is only vaguely similar because it's intense.  I've tried the pilots of Breaking Bad and Mad Men (a couple times each) and they haven't grabbed me at all.  I suppose I should watch The Sopranos.  But one thing I liked about The Wire was how many people were integral to the plot.  There was a lot to keep track of.  Although the cast is much tinier by comparison, The Americans is sort of fun that way because of all the intrigue, the frequent changes of costume (keeps you on your toes to keep track of the stories), the general quality of the acting, and the focus on drama rather than humor.

 

Most other shows do seem like fluff next to The Wire, though.  Not that I'm against fluff - it's just - comparisons are inevitable.

 

No dead bodies on the pool table, but we did all snort some of a dear friend's ashes with a shitpile of cocaine during a very long wake, a very long time ago.  And some fishermen/biker pals took their compatriot's body for a final spin (stole his bod from the mortuary), but I was not the designated driver for THAT escapade.

 

My most excellent shows :  Deadwood, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad.  Game of Thrones is shaping up nicely.   I liked True Detective, am really loving Better Call Saul, and am obsessed with The Walking Dead.  Nostalgia forces me to include Northern Exposure.  Mad Men is shite on toast, IMHO.

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So I'm watching the news about Baltimore tonight and I'm thinking this is probably as close to a new episode of "The Wire" as we're gonna get.

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You're right, millenium.  The Wire without social media/rioting teenagers looks practically quaint by comparison; I can imagine these real life events would be the stuff of a sequel..

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which shows do you enjoy on roughly the same level? 

Seconding Deadwood in that it it's one of the closest shows to The Wire: complex, layered characters from every point on the good guy/bad guy spectrum, beautiful glimpses of humanity shining through, a little bit of humor, and a whole cartload of quotable lines.

 

If you want to dig really far back, Hill Street Blues certainly didn't have the aspirations of The Wire, it was a traditional tv series, but it had many of these characteristics and, for the first few seasons, at least, was very, very good (sadly not streaming last I checked, but on dvd).

 

If you like SciFi, give Babylon 5 a try. It's best described as a novel; the show was conceived and written with a beginning, middle, and end, and the characters are as layered as any onion out there. You do have to stick with it, though; they had a limited budget, and the work also suffers from clunky exposition a lot in the first season. But it's an amazing story of sacrifice, faith, destiny, choice and consequences.

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If you like SciFi, give Babylon 5 a try.

 

Babylon 5!  There's a great suggestion.  I remember liking the few episodes I saw, but I got lost and never watched from beginning to end.  Hmm.  I wonder if anyone is up for a rewatch?

 

I've always been hesitant about Deadwood and Justified.  Those are the ones with all the swearing, aren't they?  (or is it only one of them?)  I'm also not the best at sitting through period pieces, which partly explains my reluctance with Deadwood and my dismissal of Mad Men.. 

 

My most excellent shows :  Deadwood, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Breaking Bad.

 

Six Feet Under ... that's another I could try.  Thank you for the suggestions!

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I've always been hesitant about Deadwood and Justified. Those are the ones with all the swearing, aren't they? (or is it only one of them?) I'm also not the best at sitting through period pieces, which partly explains my reluctance with Deadwood and my dismissal of Mad Men.

I hate westerns, but I love Deadwood. Yes, it's chockablock with colourful, creative cussing.

TV shows are like dating—what's the harm in trying an episode or two? You don't have to make a lifetime commitment—and you might learn something new about yourself.

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Babylon 5!  There's a great suggestion.  I remember liking the few episodes I saw, but I got lost and never watched from beginning to end.  Hmm.  I wonder if anyone is up for a rewatch?

 

I think you'll always find people interested in a rewatch. And as I mentioned above, the Babylon Podcast discussed each episode individually, as well as interviewing cast, crew, and the Great Maker himself.

 

I've always been hesitant about Deadwood and Justified.  Those are the ones with all the swearing, aren't they?

 

 

Yes, Deadwood is the one with all the language. Eventually you get used to it. Deadwood can also be very, very brutal--I was four episodes in before I was hooked, because I really don't like brutality or bleakness in my shows. Deadwood also had one of the most amazing Television Without PIty forums ever--it was like a book club that met every week, digging into the characterization, exploring the historical background, trading links to studies of history, economics and sociology on relevant issues such as the state of medicine and the real life of prostitutes in the American West at the time. It breaks my heart that those discussions were nuked by NBC Uni.

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Deadwood -- a fan put transcripts of every episode on-line, which was extremely helpful in following some of the intricate conversations on that show.  They're still here -- http://turtlegirl76.com/deadwood/indexOLD.htm-- and they're still a pleasure to read.  Especially Farnum's soliloquy as he cleaned blood off the floor after Al dispatched one of his victims.  Or was it Dan?  I can't remember.  Brilliant show, but sometimes too brilliant for its own good.  I still can't figure out that deal Al made with Ms. Isringhausen to get her out of town and keep the Pinkertons away. 

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That interview was "edited for length and clarity"?  Holy smokes, he must have been on a tear.

 

Terrifyingly fascinating.  I had no idea so much of the show was so close to reality.

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Watching S2 with a family member who's never seen the show.  He says "This is 15 years old?" 

The only thing that even slightly dates this show is that -- until S3 -- there are very few cell phones.  The styling is timeless.  The hair styles fit the character, not the time period -- same with the clothes.  This show will still look good in 2030 and beyond, I think.

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On 26/10/2017 at 8:18 PM, AuntiePam said:

Watching S2 with a family member who's never seen the show.  He says "This is 15 years old?" 

The only thing that even slightly dates this show is that -- until S3 -- there are very few cell phones.  The styling is timeless.  The hair styles fit the character, not the time period -- same with the clothes.  This show will still look good in 2030 and beyond, I think.

Agreed. This is one of those shows that is timeless, other than for the computers, phones and lack of tablets. Everything else is almost pertinent 10 to 15 years after the show, and will probably stay true for at least another 10-15 years

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