For the last half week, I’ve been holed up in the lab watching season 3 of The Wire and telling everyone and their mother how phenomenal the show is (Jen’s mom was particularly surprised: not only do I rarely call their home number, I always ask for Jen directly; we never just Kibbitz. Plus, her only exposure to Dominic West was his endlessly memorable showing in The Forgotten, so she was a bit confused that he could be so awesome.). Suffice it to say it’s been a pretty intense week. I don’t know what to do with myself, other than possibly move to Baltimore and get a job as an enforcer for some sort of scallywag drug crew.

Alec, however, does not seem to like season 3 of The Wire e.g. giving it 2 Netflix stars. I want to set the record straight. Alec really liked the season, he was just really angry about the way that it ended. But being so angry is actually symptomatic of having enjoyed it so, and caring so much about the characters. I therefore offer this blog entry as an addendum to his Netflix grade. Be advised any of Alec’s friends seeing his grade: he really loves The Wire deeply.

Perhaps to get me to stop talking about the Wire, Alec lent me his DVD of Season 4 of the Shield. It really is a good show….but better than the Wire? This entails more comparison.

1) Scope of the show. No Question, the Wire. If the Shield is about the Farm, the Wire is about the entire world of Bodymore, Murderland. The detail we’re given on the Wire is staggering. It’s like knowing the name, rank and serial number of every person in the Los Mags. Edge: The Wire

2) Acting. While the Wire’s crew put in some great work, and the show gets points for having so many good actors, the individual performances on the Shield are almost nonpareil. Edge. The Shield.

3) Policeman-ship. If I needed to be saved immediately, no questions asked, the dudes on the Shield. If I wanted laws to be obeyed, and the bad guys to go to jail, I need the guys in the major case unit. Push

4) The villains. Hard to say. The villains on the Shield really improved as the show went on, while the Wire moved toward a different model of television-matic villainy. Really tough to decide, but ultimately, I have to decide on The Wire because it recognizes that society is the true villain.

5) Watchability. The Wire is a television novel, building over multi-episode arcs. The Shield is an in your face, fuck your sister, take no prisoners, community chest landing upon thrill ride. For the first 6 episodes of a season: The Shield. Thereafter, The Wire.

6) Main Characters. The Shield. The Wire really is an ensemble piece, with countless storylines. Even though the Shield isn’t a one person show any more, the main characters shine through. The principals on the Wire are too often lost in a mess of intertextuality.

7) Verisimilitude. The Wire

The winner: The Wire. Some may complain about the deciding factor. If so, I recommend reading 17th century literary theory. Verisimilitude is the highest aim of any art.

Two Posts!

August 10, 2006

Maybe the greatest Reuters article I’ve ever read.

It’s about Mary Carey’s new attempt to run for the governor of Cali.
Highlights: “Carey, who announced in December that she had lost weight, replaced her teeth and acquired new, size 36-D breasts, drew a throng of photographers and gawkers as she entered the building, inspiring one man to call out: ‘Mary, you’re thinner!'”

And that Yesterday’s Salad should really be weekly, or bi-weekly salad. But as none of my loyal readers have ever submitted photographs of their salads, I really can’t blame myself for this. All of you are terrible people.

A couple of thoughts to get the ball rollin’ (like how we play it on the south side, eliminating the R and such)

1) I really need to thank NBC for re-airing the Tonight Show at 2:30am CDT (live for Hawaii, perhaps?). Even while drunk and imbibing copious amounts of water in order to not be hungover in the morning, Leno is intolerably bad, especially when compared to the episode of the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn that I watched earlier. Yes, I have archives of the Kilborn show, what of it? You would too if you were both awesome now and a loser in 9th grade. So take that. Besides, one day CBS will have to syndicate those episodes from me!

2) Who is the 2 am news intended for? After getting disgusted with Leno, I threw on the CBS 2 am news. Is this live? Are there people who normally watch the news–no, make that depend on the news–at this hour? At 2 am I need to see C and D cup breasts on my television, not Mark Malone telling me that the Bears held a practice. All TV shows should be replaced by the spanish equivalent. Then forced to be in English because this is America.

3) Stella is way funnier than Trailer Park Boys

4) While the Cove may have cheaper pitchers, nothing beats Jimmy’s Woodlawn Tap for the chaos that is last call. To be correct there was none. They just kind of kicked us out at 1:38 and offered to sell us six packs for the road. Actually not a bad deal because….

5) Kimbark liquors closes at 11. After milling about the store for what seemed like 3 hours, and threatening to buy only a ton of wine coolers, Alec, Eric and I finally made a purchase. Alec gave me 11 dollars, which I added to my own 11 dollars to not promptly buy some kahlua drink, wine coolers, and champagne. I was embarrassed while buying my alcohol. I told the cashier, “This is the worst 22 dollars ever spent on alcohol.” then he said, “it’s 22 dollars.” Truer words have never been said.

The real lesson for the night: not enough wine coolers.