TV: The Wire – Series 1

I recently watched all 13 episodes of the first season of The Wire on the BT Vision on-demand service (which I must blog about at a later date). I watched them over the course of about 3 weeks, maybe 4 I can’t remember. I know, I’m a long way behind but the show never really took off here. It was tucked away on a smallish satellite channel for a while, and while BBC2 did show all the series, they did it nightly at 11.30pm – if you didn’t have a DVR, as I didn’t at the time, you were screwed and guaranteed to miss a few.

While I can’t speak to the realism of the criminal activity, the actual style of the show, the locations and portrayals, were very good indeed and certainly made it very believable. The dialogue was almost entirely in the local dialect or slang which made it really hard to follow at first, but once you picked up certain words it got easier. They never once diluted it for the audience, or if they did it was seamless.

There was a notable difference between the style of speech of the detectives and the gangs each with their own words (though with enough crossover). And a hell of a lot of swearing! Again that added to the realism, it wasn’t watered down or neutered for the sake of TV, which I loved. On the whole you really felt you were a fly on the wall, not watching a group of actors but perhaps some locals with cameras around.

It was a really interesting story, generally based around a detective (Jimmy McNulty) and a gang member (D’Angelo Barksdale, nephew of the area crime lord) and their respective troubles with each other and with their respective ‘superiors’, but also touching on the other characters notably in the police unit that grew up around McNulty as things progressed. The character development of the rest of the police unit was slow to get going yet worth the wait as I began to warm to even the most annoying of them by the very end.

Both the cop and the gang member were fairly low in their respective food chains, and both seemed out of place in their worlds. We saw the development of both characters as they interacted with their peers – and each other. They had long journeys.

I’m purposely not leaving spoilers, in the hope I convince anyone else to check it out who’s let the show pass them by so far. I really really enjoyed it.

My only real complaint was the final episode seemed a little rushed, it didn’t ‘feel’ like the rest of the series. I’m not sure if that was because the setting was so different by necessity, or if they had to rush production for some reason. I don’t think it ruined the quality of the series as a whole though.

Score:  9/10. It kept me coming back for more. A week has gone by and I still hear the calls of McNulty and Barksdale ringing out. Adult themes (murder, drug dealing) dealt with in an adult manner (no hiding away from the viewer) means this isn’t necessarily for the Midsomer Murder set, but if you’re willing to accept those things you will be greatly rewarded. If you liked The Sopranos or Homide: Life On The Streets* you’ll like this.

*now there’s another show I never saw enough of;

I have four more seasons of The Wire to watch but they aren’t available at the moment on BT Vision, which is one of the drawbacks of the system. I have plenty else to watch in the meantime, perhaps they’ll show up on this or another service soon.

I’ll post more of these series reviews ad hoc as and when I finish them. It does usually take me a while to get through them.

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Earworms: #2

I very much like this really quite catchy song. Nothing out of the ordinary, just a straightfoward guitar/drum song with a catchy hook – something I’m a sucker for. And the name of the band is genius!

Unfortunately the video isn’t brilliant, they did what they could with a limited budget I suppose. Don’t let that affect how you listen to it.

Enjoy.

Video from their official YouTube profile.

Artist: We Were Promised Jetpacks
Song: Quiet Little Voices
Album: These Four Walls
Year: 2009

I’ll be back with another song soon… and hopefully some other blog content!

Hear more of my Earworms.

Earworms: #1

I like music. I like different sorts of music but mainly I like stuff with guitars, whether it be loud or quiet, soft or hard. I also like to let people know what I like, in the hope they might like it too. So here is the first of what I hope will be many Songs of the Day [2012 edit: I’ve now renamed this strand ‘Earworms‘].

My first choice is here for no other reason than I was in the mood to listen to it this evening, I was always going to put the first in the series up today but hadn’t decided what to pick, if I’d been in a different mood I might have shared a relaxed track or in an angry mood something raucous so this is very much an unplanned series, I’m just going with the flow.

I hope you like this series, you’ll possibly find you’ll like some things and not other things, that is the nature of music and I hope if you don’t like something you’ll come back in a few days to try the next one. Eventually you may find you like or dislike the stuff I’m posting..

This is Youthmovies with ‘The Naughtiest Girl Is A Monitor’ from their album ‘Good Nature’, as posted to what seems to be their own YouTube account.

Artist:  Youthmovies
Song
:  The Naughtiest Girl Is A Monitor
Album
:  Good Nature
Year
:  2008

Hear more of my Earworms.

Welcome to my new blog!

A special welcome to my new personal blog!

I have been writing about motorsport for some time and I’ve come to realise I need a place to put my thoughts about the world in general. This could be to let people know what I’m thinking, it could just be as a vent for any creative feelings, or it could simply be so that I can refer back to it later because I’m unbelievably forgetful.

I’m not planning regular updates, let’s just keep it natural and let’s see how it flows. It will probably have posts about music, TV, films and things I’m doing as well as the odd thought on wider events. We’ll see what appears, what works and what doesn’t. For the moment I’m just going to leave it at this post while I play around with the blog theme and settings, and I’ll be back in a day or two with the first real blog post.

Special mention to Christine, Lukeh, Gavin and RG among many others for showing that you can make a personal blog without being all self-absorbed, as my dim and distant first incarnation was several years ago!

In general they’ll probably just be short updates the size of this one but I am known to waffle when I’m sat at the computer typing away, after all I may not be a good orator, but I am better with a keyboard.