Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Watching The Wire with Brits

So. I have decided that, since almost every conversation I have, I reference The Wire, it's time I served as an ambassador of its greatness to my British friends and host watching nights at my new flat. They've all expressed interest, but many of them have been under the same impression: "didn't they broadcast it with subtitles in the UK?" Which isn't true. No doubt, it can be intimidating-- hundreds of characters, oceans of slang, measured pace at times. But I mean, it's not like I knew anything about that world when I started watching. 

The genius of The Wire is you don't have to know that world or its language when you start watching. The writing is so contextual, and one of the best examples of NOT just using exposition, but allowing the story to reveal the info, that as long as you're paying attention, you'll get it. 

Remember how I mentioned my run-in with Paul Rudd as one of only two celebrity encounters that actually enriched my life? Well the other one, the real one, and one of my all-time greatest NY moments was the night August: Osage County won the Tony Award. I was at their after party. I had just recently re-seen the show, obviously, because Jim True-Frost, aka, Prezbo (my fave) from The Wire, had gone into the show. At the party, we had a long conversation about the show, art, life. It was amazing. They always say Dickensian about The Wire. But it's just true. And not just because there's a million characters who will all cross over each other at some point. But because of the way it illuminates bureaucracy and social infrastructure. I'd say about 80% of everything I know about how the world actually works I learned from The Wire

So while I do anticipate a few good laughs from me having to translate some Baltimore-ese to my pals, I still think they'll see its utter brilliance. Fellow Wire fans out there, can you think of any potential areas that just won't make sense? I'm trying to head them off at the pass. In case you've forgotten, here is the amazing video, 100 Best Quotes from The Wire and it's follow up, 100 more best quotes. Oh, indeed. 

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