The Wire – Season 4

In an interview with Greg Dyke, the former head of the BBC, the president of HBO describes his ethic behind creating original programming:

“Most TV shows allow you to sit back in your couch and take in in what they’re presenting. With shows like The Wire, you have to lean into your TV set – it rewards attention given, like a novel.”

I’ve just finished watching season 4 of The Wire and it couldn’t be a more apt description of what makes it so compelling.

The series holds a lens over the decay that’s been allowed to grip Baltimore. Sit up and take note. There are no easy answers coming.

The show attempts to explain, much like an investigative piece of journalism, the interconnected nature of street level gangs, the school system, police forces and political structures that have to cope with the effects of a drugs epidemic on a daily basis.

The show is a formal essay about a small city with a big problem and the lives of people that have to work within it.

The joy of watching The Wire – if ‘joy’ is the right word – comes not from the anticipating the next big hit or arrest, but from seeing how characters ultimately develop and evolve against the backdrop of grim uncertainty and terrifying violence.

This isn’t a show that volleys its characters around for the convenience of plot, it’s asking bigger questions, and supplying us the viewer with the evidence we need to draw our own conclusions.

It makes us feel uneasy about the part we play in our communities. The story happens to be set in Baltimore, but every town faces its own unique set of challenges. Just who is ultimately responsible for the way a city turns out?

The Wire doesn’t offer any easy answers.

It doesn’t suggest one exists, which is perhaps the scariest aspect of the show.

“You think the world works one way, but it doesn’t. It’s the other [way],” says gang leader Marlo to a security guard he later has killed for talking back to him about shop lifting.

posted by admin at 12:37 am  

Currently watching

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Zone Horror TV channel airs its views on London Horror Comic

“London Horror Comic Issue 2 is surely one of the finest anthology collections around. Don’t miss it.”

Over here

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Snow in London

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On issue 2

Printing a second issue is a milestone.

Like a pub drunk that’s just been knocked to the floor after spilling someone’s pint, you pick yourself up, fancy your chances and let the alcohol convince you your opponent isn’t really that big. You take a spot and swing.

On motives

A friend of mine asked me: “What more do you get out of publishing a second issue? What greater satisfaction does the number two bring that one doesn’t?”

I said that, to me, publishing comics isn’t about publishing one issue or two issues – it’s a continuing process, something I’m compelled to do. When I say that I’m “compelled” to make comics, I mean I’m prepared to go without sleep, save like a nut and work like a slave to get my books out. Doing comics isn’t something that I turn on and turn off, which is, coincidentally what a lot of people do to get by in a day job. Making comics is hard wired into me. I think I scared my friend.

On the end of television

At a time when TV is falling over itself to keep young viewers hooked to a medium they aren’t watching any more, older viewers – the ones that pay the license fee – are left with a trail of bland or just numbing as-close-as-you-can-get-to-offence-without really-offending television. In an industry where people are worried more about their jobs than producing good television, producers just ape the format of something that works.

Celebrity monkey tennis on ice anyone? Cooking in prison with Jamie Oliver?

On important lessons

Decide what things mean to you and make your life a testimony to that.

On friends

Quality not quantity. Facebook friends won’t necessarily give you a couch to sleep on when you’re on the run from the cops. BELIEVE ME.

On the end

Do it your way and no one else’s. You’ll have a much better eternal sleep.

On writing horror (thanks to Richard Laymon)

If there’s some final tale to be told around a camp-fire, on a post apocalyptic version of earth with only a handful of human survivors, it won’t be a story about a professor’s identity crisis or feisty career girls. It will be a story about what’s out there in the dark and what’s coming for you.

posted by admin at 11:00 pm  
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