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A world in which knowledge is always a double edged sword
April 17, 2009 4:15 AM   Subscribe

The Wire - David Simon's original pitch and series bible. "At the end of thirteen episodes, the viewer - who has been lured all this way by a well-constructed police show - is not the simple gratification of hearing handcuffs click. Instead the conclusion is something Euripides or O'Neill might recognize: an America at every level at war with itself." [Previously.] (via)
posted by Electric Dragon (42 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
Drat. That should read "the reward for the viewer".
posted by Electric Dragon at 4:18 AM on April 17, 2009


I'm going to go out a limb and say that Euripides probably would not recognize America.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:41 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


He'd probably also brusquely say "Yes, yes, Euminides pants, I've heard it, thank you."
posted by Spatch at 5:16 AM on April 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


A download? No, thank you. Anything could be in that file.
posted by QIbHom at 5:18 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Socrates: What are these strange, shifting shapes upon this weirdly magical screen?
Euripides: Well, shit, Socrates! Isn't it obvious? It's an America at every level at war with itself!
Socrates: Oh. Yes, that makes sense. I was about to say that it looked kind of like an America playing the song 'A Horse With No Name,' but I think you're correct. What do you think, Eugene?
O'Neill, swigging whiskey: Sure. I mean, I probably would've said 'at war with itself on every level,' since 'at every level at war with itself' is awkward and has lots of 'ats,' but what do I know about the streets of Baltimore? These crazy kids.
posted by koeselitz at 5:28 AM on April 17, 2009 [19 favorites]


Yeah, I'm flagging this, too. A pdf download on some scummy, skeezy site that I've never heard of which seems to be trying to replicate itself the moment I go there? Why would this make a good FPP? Isn't this particular pdf linked somewhere that doesn't stink of rotting flesh?

And is a single rough script for a TV show that I've seen already really worth a post, either?

I admit that I'm probably biased because this is the billionth time somebody's done the 'The Wire' = Euripides & Shakespeare & O'Neill & Tennessee Williams & Chaucer & Milton & Winston Churchill & Beowolf & every other piece of English literature or drama or whatever that I find impressive' thing, and if I hear or read this crap again I'm going to go on some kinda rampage. I mean, seriously - yes, I liked the show a whole lot, and I think it's fantastic. But you know what's funny? When Tennessee Williams wrote plays, nobody who really liked them puffed up their chests haughtily and declared, "THIS depicts levels of human emotion that SHAKESPEARE would have recognized!"
posted by koeselitz at 5:34 AM on April 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Y'all need to get out more. Mediafire is just a transfer site. Install a virus checker. :p

(thx ED!)
posted by cavalier at 5:49 AM on April 17, 2009


By Thor, lighten up folks, it's The Wire!

On which note -- mirror? Download doesn't work for me and I need this thing now.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:51 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, merde! Less time snarking more time fetching! download121, come back good buddy!
posted by cavalier at 5:57 AM on April 17, 2009


Internet: Anything could be in that file.
posted by fire&wings at 6:06 AM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


mediafire is one of the better ones (IMHO)... some of them are genuinely skeezy.
posted by geos at 6:11 AM on April 17, 2009


Anyplace that recommends a "free scan for PC problems" is skeezy.

I put a copy here for skeez-free access!
posted by Bokononist at 6:14 AM on April 17, 2009 [13 favorites]


The Euripides reference is grandiose but what I think is missing is that it isn't choosing Euripides as opposed to Dharma and Greg, and just choosing it as a stamp of quality, Euripides is chosen as opposed to Shakespeare specifically. The sopranos and deadwood were both Shakespearean style dramas where the wire is more like Euripides in its pursuit of realism and it's even handedness. Probably other factors too. I don't know enough about the history of drama to know if this distinction is fair, but I've read enough articles about the wire that I know that David Simon means greek tragedy in particular rather than awesome like greek tragedy.
posted by I Foody at 6:20 AM on April 17, 2009 [10 favorites]


Skeevy, annoying, web file hosting rapidshit-clone that doesn't work right now and probably won't work in a few years when perusing the mefi archives: BAD

The Wire, and this post otherwise: AWESOME
posted by Rhomboid at 6:21 AM on April 17, 2009


Thanks, Bokononist! Mediafire was giving me attitude.

Does anyone else have any leads on other television bibles? I love the insight you can get into shows.
posted by CarlRossi at 6:21 AM on April 17, 2009


here's a scribd link to the doc for the download-averse.

(but please don't sic the anti-flash zealots on me)
posted by joshwa at 6:23 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I put a copy here for skeez-free access!

Nice one... the original it's timeing out for me.

The BBC2 showing of The Wire first season finished here last night. And instead of going straight into series 2 on Monday as I'd hoped they are taking a 'few weeks' break.... shiiiiiiiiit
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:28 AM on April 17, 2009


I'm really glad they changed the names of a bunch of these characters. Stringy Bell?
posted by snofoam at 6:28 AM on April 17, 2009


(thanks, Bokononist!)

11. Attempted ambush of Omar at his girlfriend's house.

This, making Bubbles younger, McNulty not finishing college, Herc's career trajectory - these were really good changes.

Reading about the Wire while at work and unable to inhale three episodes in a row right away? Not so good.
posted by carbide at 6:35 AM on April 17, 2009


Thanks Bokonist!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:57 AM on April 17, 2009


koeselitz: "And is a single rough script for a TV show that I've seen already really worth a post, either?"

If it's for what is considered by many to be the single greatest achievement in American television... yeah, it's worth a post.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:59 AM on April 17, 2009 [9 favorites]


Terrible FPP.

Also, it's a double, as this content was linked last fall by Bookhouse at a proper site.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:17 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


First a downloadable FPP link, now a document at scribd?

Is it just me or is the internet actually getting less useful?
posted by rokusan at 7:41 AM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


CarlRossi: YSStOG just beat me to it. You should check out this page for all the show bible action you can stand.
posted by hippybear at 7:51 AM on April 17, 2009


"A more congenial Martin Bormann"

Ouch. I thought that the way they handled Burrell was great. Another in a legion of interesting characters.
posted by Kattullus at 8:17 AM on April 17, 2009


[Changed the main link. Questions of skeeziness aside, a download-from-file-hoster link is not a great way to set up a mefi post. If Kottke jumped off a bridge? Etc.]
posted by cortex at 8:48 AM on April 17, 2009


Definitely prefer McNulty to McArdle.
posted by xmutex at 8:59 AM on April 17, 2009


> When Tennessee Williams wrote plays, nobody who really liked them puffed up their chests haughtily and declared, "THIS depicts levels of human emotion that SHAKESPEARE would have recognized!"

I'll take that bet.

Critics have noted Shakespearean overtones to Williams's plays, indicating that Shakespeare influenced his dramatic technique, characterization, and dialogue. David Everett Blythe notes that Williams uses a bit of Shakespearean dialogue from Othello in Night of the Iguana. Jacob Adler, in "Williams and the Bard," explores "analogous interests, patterns, and techniques" between the two, and he points out similarities in the ways both playwrights incorporated history, violence, insanity, outsiders, and humor into their drama (38). Ultimately, Adler concludes that Williams found Hamlet most affecting because of the parallels between Hamlet's life and Williams's life, such as, "A mentally ill girl. A hated (step)father. A young man of exceptional intellect, totally uncomfortable in the world in which he finds himself. A man who (perhaps) pretends to mental illness. A man who in the end is almost attracted to violence" (48).
posted by ardgedee at 9:32 AM on April 17, 2009 [5 favorites]


One of the most amazing shows to ever grace television. Also worth checking out: Generation Kill.
posted by Fizz at 9:44 AM on April 17, 2009


Yes, cheers Bokononist. This is a fascinating look at one of the best TV shows I have ever seen.
posted by ob at 11:09 AM on April 17, 2009


When Tennessee Williams wrote plays, nobody who really liked them puffed up their chests haughtily and declared, "THIS depicts levels of human emotion that SHAKESPEARE would have recognized!"

The difference is that we are still fighting for television as a medium worthy of Shakespearian heft. It keeps coming up because people are still like, "Wait, TV? Really?"
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:42 PM on April 17, 2009


Definitely prefer McNulty to McArdle.

Especially because when Bubbles says it it sounds like "McNutty", which is leagues ahead of "McCattle".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:32 PM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm right here, yo. 'Stringy Bell' is what I call an inadequate moniker fo The Stringer. And McArdle is a name fo some kind of separated dairy shit yo. True. So discomforting show bibles is how we gon do this, dog?

Indeed.

Mo def.
posted by Hugobaron at 1:54 PM on April 17, 2009


koeselitz: "... When Tennessee Williams wrote plays, nobody who really liked them puffed up their chests haughtily and declared, "THIS depicts levels of human emotion that SHAKESPEARE would have recognized!""

That's because they didn't have blogs then.
posted by zouhair at 2:58 PM on April 17, 2009


Especially because when Bubbles says it it sounds like "McNutty"

Actually the other night while watching it, I wondered if that was Bubbles giving McNulty the nickname McNutty or just the way he naturally pronounced it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:51 PM on April 17, 2009


what is considered by many to be the single greatest achievement in American television...

Really?? I liked the couple of episodes I saw but it just doesn't measure up to Breaking Bad, imho
posted by mannequito at 3:53 PM on April 17, 2009


Me too, fearfulsymmetry! It seems almost to be the latter, but I'm not familiar enough with the speech pattern to say for sure.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:07 PM on April 17, 2009


I liked the couple of episodes I saw but it just doesn't measure up to Breaking Bad, imho

I enjoy Breaking Bad, but it's not attempting to do anything as complex as The Wire did. Breaking Bad focuses on one man in a downward spiral, but The Wire depicts the results after an entire city -- police force, city hall, labor unions, educational system -- has spent years in a downward spiral. As a result, it takes more than a couple of episodes for the full impact of The Wire to become apparent.
posted by frankchess at 6:55 PM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


Great interview of Simon tonight on Bill Moyers.
posted by Restless Day at 7:51 PM on April 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


I just got the final episode today from Netflix. I'm afraid to watch it.
posted by neuron at 10:02 PM on April 17, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do love the fact that David Simon - with his years of experience being a journalist in Baltimore, working on the TV series of "Homicide" (a spin-off of his own book) and the writer of both book and HBO mini-series "The Corner" - still pitched the series to HBO as being set in an "Eastern rust-belt city, majority black" without specifying Baltimore. As if HBO might be put off by him knowing too much - and needing to pitch wide, just in case someone at HBO had a hard-on for some other Eastern rust-belt city that they thought would be a better fit for his series. Networks, even HBO, like things to be universal - and yet "The Wire" proves to be that in the end, anyway.

I also like how he compares the series to The Sopranos, Oz, NYPD Blue and Homicide - and makes it clear how The Wire would be like them and also completely different from them.
posted by crossoverman at 3:43 AM on April 20, 2009


Scripts to

Season 1, episode 1, "The Target"
Season 1, episode 9, "Game Day"
Season 5, episode 10, "-30-"

are linked to from here.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:09 AM on April 20, 2009


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