Friday, February 29, 2008

Best Episode of The Wire EVER

Phew, exhale. Breath again. Remove crap from pants. What the hell just happened?!?!?!?!?!

I don't really know where to begin. I think I just watched the best episode of television ever. The Wire, Season Five, Episode 59. I'm not a television critic; I don't have the ability to dissect a TV show into its constituent parts. I had a conversation about the Oscars the other day and it went something like this: I feel like I can watch a movie and be able to discern relative quality of only a couple of the specialties it takes to create a motion picture. For instance, take acting. I believe it's possible to separate good and bad. Cinematography is another example of a specialty I feel comfortable talking about - the use of backdrops, locations, sets, etc. Think No Country for Old Men. The use of camera angles, colors, locations, etc. gave a feel of authenticity and added tremendously to the film.

On the flip side of the coin is directing. I have a much harder time comparing the relative merits of movie direction. I lack the toolset and vocabulary and only "know it when I see it." It's kind of like eating food: you can tell what most of the parts are and whether they're good. Who doesn't like chips, cheese, and salsa? Good directing makes those parts come together like a heavenly plate of Loteria nachos.

Well the latest episode of The Wire was like that plate of nachos after eating nothing but rice and beans for a year. The performances were fantastic - drug dealers that come off as sympathetic, police officers that are loathsome, and drug addicts searching for redemption. The writing is incredible even if the overarching storyline of this season is a little out in left field. And the cinematography makes the city of Baltimore an integral castmember. But those descriptions fail to encompass just how riveting the episode was and why TV and movies can be so powerful.

Unfortunately The Wire is about to end - only one more episode left. But there's hope. A David Simon show in New Orleans? Yes please.

A couple links about economics and what real gangters think (it's a multi-part series).

** UPDATE (11/22/2009)
I have a new rant about this post.


Flagstaff said...

The best episode ever IMO is 2.06 'All Prolouge'

Flagstaff said...

The best episode of The Wire is 'All Prolouge'. Season 2, episode 6.