If you are a fan of film of any kind, be it film (like those people who have an illogical disdain for television but enjoy movies), or myself (list of movies I need to see is lengthy, but am a tv snob), I still can't recommend enough giving The Wire a shot (and I'd be happy loan it to you) and the TV hating people I know (including vegan neighbor who has the tiniest color tv known to man) will back me up here. It's engaging, it's enthralling, it's got compelling characters and compelling storylines that reach into the deepest reaches of our shame and our guilt and brings them alive. The humanity and the realization that this is the world is what makes the show all the more compelling, and being 2/5 of the way through I'm fairly confident that I've found a winner, especially considering the dozen emails I got after singing its praises last.
Ok, so here's the deal:
THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS!!!
DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT.
Alright, I'm not going to spoil everything, but with a program as intricate as this I feel it to by neigh impossible to discuss without giving away something. That said, I was asked to update when I finished season two, and while I'm a little late (i've actually finished season 3 too, but i will write about that tomorrow)
It was good. Was it as good as season one? No, but being from a non-union and non-port city (Dallas) I do think a lack of being able to relate was a factor, as was having a bevy of classic Northeastern US jack-ass characters, which again aren't entirely relateable as a Texan. We have our share of Ziggy's down here, but it's not quite what it's like in the Northeast, and he was an instant turn-off as a character to me.
Much like season one, I thought season two started off a little slow and it took me three or four episodes to really start to get a grasp on the characters. With the "good guys" (i use that term loosely) spread amongst several deparments of BPD, a new cast of characters in the stevedores, Deangelo and Avon in prison, and the introduction of The Greek and his crew-it just took me a while to wrap my head around who everyone is. That said, once I did the season was greatness.
Using the harbor as ground-zero for the season turns out to be a great idea, as there is actually enough that goes on at the harbor to make it almost as interesting as west baltimore had been in season one. I really didn't think there would be, but between the insane drunken-ness, the smuggling of women and drugs, and the politics of it all paired with their desperation as a dying union, there proved to be plenty of good storylines coming out of the harbor, and more than enough to make a compelling season when paired with Stringer taking over Avon's crew, Stringer's taking up with Deangelo's girl, and finally Deangelos death-to saying nothing of Omar and Brother Mozone.
I didn't like it as much as Season One, but at the end I was definately ready to jump right into Season 3. I'm not sure how people were able to take the suspense of waiting weeks/months between episodes, because there've been a couple 3 hour stretches of The Wire for me as I get enthralled by the storylines.