The Wire Prequels
December 5, 2007 7:45 AM   Subscribe

More info.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:47 AM on December 5, 2007

What, what?!

I've finally come to terms with being a total The Wire fanboy. But this... it... I'm having a hard time resisting the impulse to skip around the room like a little girl.

Bless you for posting this.
posted by sdodd at 7:58 AM on December 5, 2007

Eh, bullshit. Wire got together in 1976.
posted by koeselitz at 7:59 AM on December 5, 2007 [3 favorites]

Awesome. Thanks!
posted by gaspode at 8:01 AM on December 5, 2007

posted by AceRock at 8:01 AM on December 5, 2007

How would someone go about downloading these and converting them to a more DVD-friendly format?
posted by box at 8:03 AM on December 5, 2007

I want to have your babies.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:05 AM on December 5, 2007

Oh, and here's a tip: Don't bother to read the "More info" link. The quotes from the HBO marketing people will not reaffirm your faith in humanity. They're so clueless I don't know how they can find their way out of bed in the morning, much less operate a motor vehicle.
posted by sdodd at 8:13 AM on December 5, 2007

Oh man. Thank you very much for posting these, I just cannot wait until season 5 starts.
posted by electricinca at 8:20 AM on December 5, 2007

posted by dead_ at 8:22 AM on December 5, 2007

Season 5 can't get here fast enough.
posted by birdherder at 8:23 AM on December 5, 2007

Also, this is strangely appropriate as I ran into just now:
Charlie Brooker talking about the Wire (first series).
posted by slimepuppy at 8:29 AM on December 5, 2007

Omar, a bad-ass even at age eleven.
posted by Nelson at 8:37 AM on December 5, 2007

Definition of Godsend: Wire shorts that don't spoil the next season and build on well-loved characters. Bravo kirkaracha
posted by Molesome at 8:42 AM on December 5, 2007

From slimepuppy's Charlie Brooker link: "If you like good drama, you have no excuse for not indulging in [The Wire]. It is just fucking brilliant."

Says it all. I've given up on recommending books and filmed entertainment to friends, as there's no accounting for taste. But I make a special exception for The Wire.
posted by sdodd at 8:46 AM on December 5, 2007

Is season 5 of The Wire safe from being screwed up by the writer's strike? Because I just watch the season finale of Heroes and I'm pissed.
posted by Nelson at 8:46 AM on December 5, 2007

The Bunk & McNulty clip is gold.
posted by skechada at 8:50 AM on December 5, 2007

I finally started getting the series on Netflix. Will watching these spoil anything for someone who is only partway through the first season?
posted by stefnet at 8:52 AM on December 5, 2007

I don't think they'd spoil anything, but the more you're familiar with the characters the more likely you'd be to enjoy the prequels. I haven't seen Season Four yet, but these seem to be stand-alone character-driven vignettes that don't refer to anything specific in the plots of the show.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:57 AM on December 5, 2007

stefnet: No. =)
posted by mrzer0 at 8:58 AM on December 5, 2007

Thanks for these. I'm a big fan of the show. These are amusingly slight. A great amuse bouche.
posted by OmieWise at 9:10 AM on December 5, 2007

Nelson: no, the wire wrapped before the strike. Season 5 is only 10 episodes, sadly, but that had nothing to do with the strike.

I can't wait for Season 5 to start either but I'm also a bit sad that it's the last one so I want to prolong the excitement.
posted by neustile at 9:44 AM on December 5, 2007

Fuck. Fuck! Fuck.


posted by zerobyproxy at 9:50 AM on December 5, 2007

yo, these clips is right, son.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:52 AM on December 5, 2007

Thank you!

I just finished reviewing season four DVDs. I worked for a while on a Snoop Pearson FPP last night before learning that there was one. But it was missing this non-spoiler moment from season four which I love.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:57 AM on December 5, 2007

Just great - a few teasers for The Wire just as the the WGA goes on strike for issues related to internet promotion and dissemination. I hope the writers got paid for their efforts, rather than being screwed via 'promotional' caveat.

And WTF? McNulty and Bunk drinking in the office? I thought that their whole operendus depended on doing that shit after-hours?
posted by vhsiv at 10:06 AM on December 5, 2007

Thanks lots for posting these!
posted by waraw at 10:07 AM on December 5, 2007

posted by inigo2 at 10:16 AM on December 5, 2007

Ed Burns, the ex-cop who helps writing the show was interviewed on Fresh Air recently.
posted by SageLeVoid at 10:20 AM on December 5, 2007

Christmas come early! :D
posted by cowbellemoo at 10:26 AM on December 5, 2007

My favorite drunk Jimmy moment.
posted by splatta at 10:38 AM on December 5, 2007

Count me in as a Wire fan. Most of the way through season 2 right now, wondering what took me so long finding it in the first place.

Am I wrong to suggest it's better than Sopranos? Are they apples and oranges? I've seen every episode of Sopranos and loved it, but I'd have to go back and watch it after watching The Wire, see if it still holds up.

The Wire seems to a much "tighter" show than The Sopranos story-wise through the course of the season.
posted by starman at 10:56 AM on December 5, 2007

Am I wrong to suggest it's better than Sopranos?

posted by AceRock at 11:11 AM on December 5, 2007

It's far, far better than the Sopranos. The Sorpanos really only had about two, maybe two-and-a-half seasons of true greatness, and they never got close to being Season-Four-of-The-Wire awesome.

Here are my (small) problems with The Wire though (spoilerish):

1). Omar has turned into a superhero. I hope he either dies or doesn't do much in season five.

2). And please never bring back Brother Mouzone, and double-please don't team them up again.

3). I hope they don't abandon the kids the way they abandoned the docks. Clearly Michael is going to stay in the story, but I want to know about the others as well.

4). I hate them for only doing ten more episodes.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:29 AM on December 5, 2007

What a great fucking show, seriously. Just got done watching the first three seasons over the course of about a fortnight, and I now feel like I know McNulty and Daniels and Avon and so on better than my parents. Well, better than my girlfriend, at least. Season two's my favourite, though it starts painfully slowly - some really epic Shakespearean tragedy stuff towards the end. You really get a sense of how pretty much every character is trapped by their circumstances - the narrative has this powerful sense of inevitability to it. God, I'm babbling. Just wonderful.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 11:33 AM on December 5, 2007


Dude, the Mouzone / Omar dream team was fucking great, what are you talking about? Omar's the gay black Punisher, sure, but I've never felt like I needed to suspend my disbelief.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 11:36 AM on December 5, 2007

I'm pretty sure this season is going to tie back to things that happened at the docks.
posted by drezdn at 12:24 PM on December 5, 2007

What great teasers. Reminded me to bump season 4 to the top of my netflix queue!

I wish Young Omar hadn't had the scar yet. IIRC the actor got that in a 21st-birthday barfight; he said something to the effect of it probably has helped him get acting roles.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 12:48 PM on December 5, 2007

I live to see Omar. When my wife and I went to see Gone Baby Gone and he showed up, she whispered excitedly, "Hey it's that guy!!!" and she's seen about an hour total of The Wire.
posted by docpops at 12:51 PM on December 5, 2007

2). And please never bring back Brother Mouzone, and double-please don't team them up again.

Totally. I love The Wire so much that it probably qualifies as a paraphilia, but every scene with Mouzone made me wince. Mouzone? More like Mougroan!

It's weird, because I'm clearly not in a position to advise Simon and Burns about realism in the Baltimore ghettoes, but Mouzone always feels like he's stepped out of some kind of blaxploitation James Bond flick. I remember a scene where he delivered a line that was something like: "Nothing in the world is as dangerous as a nigger with a library card", and cackled - I fully expected lightning to strike, followed by shots of his sinister laughter ringing through the projects. Every other supervillain in The Wire - even Marlo, who is still pretty much an enigma - feels like a fully organic personality, but Mouzone seems to have no motivation beyond being awesome. Maybe it's because he's from New York.
posted by stammer at 12:56 PM on December 5, 2007

What is an FPP?

Were you working on a collection of Snoop scenes? (awesome idea).
posted by shakobe at 1:24 PM on December 5, 2007

I wish Young Omar hadn't had the scar yet.

I don't know about that, TPAA. It makes him all the more interesting of a character. Obviously he had some fucked up shit go down very early in his life that instilled in him not only a capacity for violent crime but also a strong sense of honor and the criminal code. What it could be is so mysterious, but also obviously intense.

I want some more prequels: Avon the boxer turning to drugs. Avon and Stringer meeting up for the first time. Daniels' shifty early years on the force. Rawls turning into the massive asshole company man. There are so many fascinating little stories that could be told, even if they were just 1-2 minute vignettes like this.

Anyway, I gotta say, I like Mouzone. He always struck me as a gangsta putting on a front, and I'd like to see more about what's behind the Farrakhan facade.
posted by papakwanz at 1:31 PM on December 5, 2007

Damn, the kid that plays young Prop Joe is just so fucking good at it. He got the cadence down perfectly.
posted by mathowie at 1:34 PM on December 5, 2007

The Believer had an article where Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, etc.) interviewed David Simon. There's only a partial excerpt online, but it's worth reading nonetheless.

I, for one, love the swagger that Simon brings to his writing. For example, "I’m from Baltimore and I’ve got some shit you fucking need to see, people! Put down that CSI shit and pay some heed, motherfuckers!"
posted by skechada at 1:39 PM on December 5, 2007

We really need a prequel that delves into Rawls in the gay bar. I mean, what the fuck was that? Besides being fucking cool.

Oh, and awesome awesome awesome post.
posted by Football Bat at 4:37 PM on December 5, 2007

Damn you, I was just off to bed, when I stumbled over this...

I've said it before and I'll say it again... the world is divided into those who think The Wire is greatest television program ever... and those who just haven't seen it yet.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:43 PM on December 5, 2007

We really need a prequel that delves into Rawls in the gay bar.

Yeah, what was that? I wonder if they just threw it in as an aside -- like, maybe the actor was just visiting the set and they thought, what the hell?

Mouzone always feels like he's stepped out of some kind of blaxploitation James Bond flick.

Yeah, right after he appeared, he shot cheese with a specially loaded bullet, and gave a little speech about it, and I said, Oh, shit, The Wire just jumped the shark. The show recovered, of course, but I never got over feeling he didn't belong.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:05 PM on December 5, 2007

I can not wait to get home from work. Six hours to go...

Other prequels I would like to see:

1. How Stringer came to work for Avon Barksdale. (I always feel like Stringer should have been the top dog.)

2. How did Maurice Levy end up as the dodgy Barksdale lawyer? (I think he probably went to law school with a dodgy-lawyer career in mind.)

3. How did Tommy Carcetti get into politics?
posted by robcorr at 7:14 PM on December 5, 2007

I'm just glad to finally see "No-Heart" Anthony
posted by arruns at 11:46 PM on December 5, 2007

Okay, home now, and watched them.

The beauty of the Prop Joe and Omar clips is that they fit so well alongside Season 4.

When Prop Joe was in school, he was crooked, but it was an altogether more innocent type of crookedness.

Even by the eighties, in the Omar clip, the schoolkids are carrying guns. But robbery is, if not less evil, then at least less complicated than drug dealing.

By the time we get to Michael and his friends, they've got all kinds of shit to deal with.
posted by robcorr at 12:53 AM on December 6, 2007

Season Five preview with links to five promo vids on youtube... as far as I can tell it's just about spoiler free - there's dissuasion of the theme of the season and the very start of the main character's plotlines.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:47 AM on December 6, 2007

Just have to chime in on Brother Mouzone -- I love his character. That library card thing seemed to reference a Richard Wright essay (and dozens of other literacy narratives, I guess). There's no doubt that the dress of Nation of Islam members has become iconic, but the armed-with-intellect criminal is a pretty common figure too (like The Misfit -- his reasoning may be twisted but that doesn't mean he doesn't speak the truth). I don't know how to explain what I mean exactly but Brother Mouzone feels like one of those characters who bases his image on those kinds of icons, like he's meditated on it.

Thanks for the links to these prequels. Holy crap, I love Omar.
posted by frances1972 at 7:25 AM on December 6, 2007

I am going to disagree with pretty much everyone here and say that these prequels are lame and self-serving, not to mention CHEESY. David Simon and Ed Burns can do much better than this.
posted by dhammond at 1:22 PM on December 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

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