If the plug was pulled on the Big Bang Theory today, I wouldn’t mourn. Sure I’d be sad but I wouldn’t lock myself in a room and cry like a baby about it. Don’t get me wrong, Big Bang Theory is a damn fine series. Anybody who thinks otherwise be damned. How can you not love Sheldon? How can you not laugh at Raj? What Big Bang Theory offers you is a truckload of laughter, pure comedy. But comedy shows are a dime a dozen. They are all over. They come and go as they please. The degree of funny may vary but laughter is guaranteed. And laughter is good. Laughter is very good. A world without laughter would be like…I can’t imagine such. If junkies live for the next high, then I live for the next laugh. There is nothing quite like a hearty laugh. But while comedy shows give me my laugh, they don’t have a place in my heart. Why should they, laughter is after all a passing thrill. Laughing at Raj or Alan Harper is no better than laughing at a guy falling off a Motor Bike cruising at 300km/h(You don’t think that’s funny? Watch Whacked Out Sports)
The shows that got to me offered something different, something that I could identify with or something that moved me. The first was The OC. Seth and Ryan’s Orange County. I watched it from start to finish and for some reason, I feel it ended prematurely. It started a trend for all series that I would love. They somehow all end prematurely but maybe that’s the genius of it. The OC gave me alternative rock. It gave me Death cab and The killers, Rooney and Modest Mouse and who can forget that moment when Fix You played at the prom? I remember Seth sitting in his room seemingly heartbroken and dejected when he couldn’t get Summer back with End of The Road by Boyz II Men playing in the background. I remember Seth explaining to Ryan that his eye was’ just a little bit blurry’ because Summer had poked him in the eye with her big toe when they had sex for the first time. ‘It was an accident, there were limbs everywhere, I’m lucky I can still see’, he explained when Ryan inquired why she would poke him during sex. At times, I was Seth chasing Summer and I was Ryan being a misfit when it suited me but mostly Seth because Seth was cool. But one thing from the OC that I will never get over is the sweaters; Seth’s sweaters. I wear sweaters because Seth wore sweaters. I’m vain yes but damn it I look good in them!
They could have done a better job with the ending but I’m just grateful that they didn’t stretch the plot until it became unbearable. That would have broken my heart. The shows thereafter came and went or rather, I left them when they didn’t stir anything in me. I watched House and liked it until I couldn’t anymore. The storyline became monotonous. I watched many more but none struck a chord until The Wire.
If you watch just one show about American gangsters and selling drugs on the streets, please, let it be The Wire. If you watch just one show about the effects of drugs on people’s lives let it be The Wire. If you watch just one show about City politics, let it be The Wire. If you watch just one show for nothing else but its sound bites, let it be this one. The Wire is arguably the best series ever created. It’s main character is the city of Baltimore, Maryland. The show tries it’s best to show the different facets of life in Baltimore. The Wire keeps it real. So real that they even have a convicted felon on the cast acting…..a gangster.
The title of this post is one gangster’s last words. It is one of TVs immortal lines. Mike, if you haven’t watched this show, said ‘You look good girl’ then shot her in the head. She knew he’d kill her and she knew she couldn’t convince him otherwise because she had taught him better. But a girl, even when that girl is Snoop, has to look good. Even for death. For the gangsters of The Wire, death is an everyday thing; it is part of the game and it when it comes, it won’t matter if it’s from friend or foe. Death is always lurking on the streets of The Wire. The Wire shows how violence is a way of life on the streets of Baltimore. It will show how politics is a part of everything. How politics interferes with things and why it interferes.
The Wire will show you Bubbles, a coke addict at his worst saying that ‘it’s a thin line between heaven and here’. It will show you his fight against addiction, his relapse and his subsequent victory against it. The Wire will show you Omar Little; a gangsters’ gangster; a gangster with a code; a gangster who only steals from gangsters. Omar will tell you that money has no owners, just spenders. You will love Omar until he is shot by an Eight year old boy. The Wire will show you, through the rise and fall of the ‘Gangsters of The Wire’, that nothing lasts forever. In The Wire, you’ll meet Jimmy McNulty a man so hell-bent on self destruction, he makes Don Draper look like a saint. You’ll see people undo themselves with their greed. You will see that nothing is as simple in life as you always thought.
‘A life, Jimmy, you know what that is? It’s the shit that happens while you are waiting for moments that never come.’ This was Freamon’s advice to McNulty. The Wire is full of these sound bites and moments. One standout poignant moment is Avon and Stringer’s last moment together. They stood on a roof top and recalled their old days and how far they’d come. They were brothers by the streets codes yet fate had come in between them. They stood in each other’s way and each wanted the other gone. Each a betrayer of the other but none knew but for that moment, they were just Avon and Stringer. Trying to recapture the intimacy of the past but the poison of betray seeped through the surface. It stung their hearts for that short moment but what had to be done had to be done. The scene of betrayal ends with a hug because what act of betrayal would it be without a hug? Then there is Stringer’s death. McNulty was crestfallen at the sight of Stringer’s body lying on the ground. He had finally caught him and yet Stringer, now dead, would never know.
The Wire is raw. The language is uncensored and the acting is top-notch. Like all good shows, it ended too soon. But boy wasn’t good while it lasted!