Wednesday, August 5, 2009

TV - 'The Wire' vs 'Top Gear'

The Guardian are doing an online poll to select the best TV show of this current century:-
What's the best TV show of the decade 2000-09?.

HBO's brilliant Dickens-like, drama series 'The Wire', is a bleak yet monumental tale, documenting the disintegration of modern-day Baltimore (over 5 seasons and through various institutions, from Police Department/City Hall/Ghettos/washed-up Ports/Schools/Kids' Care Homes and back again).

In this poll, the show is currently head to head with, of all things, BBC's 'Top Gear' - a heavily scripted nerdfest presented by 2 of the most odious people ever seen on TV land - pompous, professionally smug buffoon Jeremy Clarkson and his obsequious, simpering, even more smug and self-satisfied, midget sidekick Richard (I hurt my head in a car crash) Hammond.

Now, I don't drive, so I'm not really interested in whether the tyre traction and corner-taking ability is better on a Porsche GT3 RS or the latest Ferarri 360S. Apparently millions of saddos are though, especially the zombies who populate the studio to guffaw at the presenters' pathetic, mindless puns and seem unable to help themselves from salivating over automobiles they couldn't afford, even if they worked until they were 90.

The only redeeming feature is the theme tune - the Allman Brothers' "Jessica", which the production team on this show have even managed to massacre in some sort of mad remix...

'The Wire', on the other hand, is unquestionably, the greatest TV drama series ever made.
I could go on for hours, but here are just a few classic scenes (from the earlier series, which I re-watched recently on DVD):-

  1. The lonesome death of Wallace
    Following instructions from Barskdale mob kingpin Stringer Bell, young dealers Bodie and Poot reluctantly execute their teenager friend Wallace (who had always been too kind-hearted and decent for 'the game'), in what is probably the most excrutiatingly sad and painful scene ever shown on TV.
  2. Mind your language
    Detectives Bunk Moreland and Jimmy McNulty perform a crime scene examination, utilizing their unique communication skills.
  3. Where the F*ck is Wallace?
    An incarcerated and guilt-stricken D'Angelo Barksdale queries Stringer on the whereabouts of Wallace and, by doing so, effectively signs his own death warrant, which has later repercussions for Stringer when D'Angelo's uncle Avon (Barksdale head honcho) finds out, and enables Brother Mouzone and Omar to go after him (Stringer), with quite murderous intent.
  4. "If you come at the King, you best not miss"
    A vengeful Omar, mindful of the recent torture/murder of his significant other (who refused to the end to give Omar up to the Barksdales), takes out one senior Barksdale enforcer (Stinkum) and wounds another (Wee-Bey), whistling as he goes on his merry way...
  5. "I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase"
    Omar continues his mission against the Barksdales and puts yet another one away, running rings around the crew's dodgy lawyer Maurice Levy when he testifies (perjures himself) in court against the gangs' most psychotic hitman 'Bird Hilton'. At this point, Barksdale is running out of enforcers, so, for now at least, it's Advantage Omar!

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant. Just on my 4th journey through the boxsets.