Thursday, March 13, 2008

All tapped out of "The Wire."

Seems strange, no? Even now. I'm sure I'll go back and rewatch the season at some point, but as it stands, I'm already swamped with shows and moving forward (I've gotta say - four parts of "John Adams" had me wanting a lot more "Wire" instead...).

Now I can tell you my dirty secret, which I held closely for a long, long time this season: Once I realized the unprecedented media attention "The Wire" was getting this season - and not just because of the David Simon/Baltimore Sun angle, but because it was last chance on the bandwagon - I lost my enthusiasm for doing interviews/podcasts with Simon or jumping too heavily into the whole "Wire" world outside of this blog. That's nothing against Simon - who remains one of my favorite television writers, but there was just such enormous saturation that I didn't want much part of it. I like to be away from the numbers, as The Jam once sang. At work I was being bombarded with e-mails from publicists at different publications with all things "The Wire" - look who talks here, guess what Simon says there, blah blah blah.

So, that's why I wasn't in the pack. Now, here's hoping he gets his New Orleans show.

Moving on: I just wanted to thank everyone who came to TGTV, now just called TIM GOODMAN (yes, I just referenced myself in the third person), because it turned out to be a really intelligent bunch of people talking about television - and that was a great luxury (for proof, look at some of the comments left by people on my sfgate.com stories; most claim not to watch TV at all and only want to post to say it's all crap and quote the "vast wasteland" speech or some other kind of boring ignorance). Here and on The Bastard Machine, I've been blessed with people who don't have knee-jerk reactions, realize how great (and yes, how lame) television can be and have the intellectual capacity to discuss it rationally.

Thanks for that.

This is just an item to say starting soon - probably tomorrow - I'll be having regular content here. Already, I've increased the volume on The Bastard Machine, so have a peek over there as well. Just adding to what I wrote in a previous post here about what direction this site will take, I'm thinking about posing broader, perhaps more philosophical or - as we say in journalism - more "thumb-sucker" questions. They may not be as frequent as stuff on The Bastard Machine, but I may put to you Big Picture questions. So have at them with verve and intelligence when they do show up.

19 comments:

Harold said...

I sympathize with your desire to distance yourself from the hype machine during The Wire's final run. I actually just let the shows pile up on TiVo and starting watching them on Monday -- one per day. Somehow I felt like the pressure of watching it simultaneous to all the valedictory speeches was just too much. It's weird, too. I never felt that way about any other show. The Sopranos. I was there for every show that last season, no matter where I was. For The Wire, I guess I wanted it all to myself.

Brian said...

Omar back! Did anyone catch the Michael K Williams cameo on "Human Giant" the other night. Some of the best sketch comedy on TV right now, imho.

bjergy75 said...

I'm finding it harder to let go than past seasons, I guess because I know it won't be returning. I've check some George Pelecanos and Richard Price books out of the library and started reading a behind the scenes book that came out around the time of Season 3. I'm finally get caught up on Season 2 of Dexter, but find my self needlessly comparing. Watching Dexter speak at his NA meeting I kept thinking how phony it looked compared to Bubs' meetings. And I need to stop that, because I do enjoy Dexter. :-)

Anonymous said...

bjergy: I'm a big Dexter fan, but Dexter and The Wire are so completely different. In terms of the NA scenes, in Dexter, the writers are using the scenes to advance a plot, while in The Wire, they are just part of the story. It's easier for things to seem real when you are just telling a story.

suzyq2 said...

Also the tone of Dexter, of which I am a huge fan, is quite different than The Wire, it's more stylized than realistic. Come to think of it, if it were as "real" as The Wire it'd be way too creepy.

I always felt like I was a fly on the wall watching a slice of real life when I was watching The Wire. It's very sad to put it in the past tense.

Tom said...

Tim, besides your excellent deconstructions each Monday, I've also been thankful for the intelligent, open-minded discussion. As fans of "The Wire," there is a certain homogeneity, but it's cool that everybody who has shown up has played nice with others.

I must confess: Anytime someone at Bastard Machine or SFGate (or at a national-media Web site) prefaces with "I don't watch TV ..." or "You people need to get a life," I think (or blurt, if my 4-year-old is out of earshot) "Why the f--k are you bothering to post, then?" Disdainful and irony-challenged is quite a combination.

I'm all in for the Big Picture, thumb-sucker direction you're planning.

By the way: Nice thank-you note from Simon to, well, us:

http://www.hbo.com/thewire/finaleletter/

Pinkhamster said...

Tim:

This negative analysis someone on IMDB made of Season 5 of The Wire seems spot-on to me. I have no idea if you have the desire or time to check it out, but here it be. It's coming from someone who, like me, liked the first four seasons:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0306414/board/thread/99931386?d=99931386&p=1#99931386

Dennis said...

I still loved the season but it was hard to follow up on seasons 3 and 4 and I knew that going in.

And, personally, I liked S2 a lot more than most.

Simon doesn't seem to think so -- and it's his baby -- but the season seemed clipped to me; understandable given it was basically 10.5 eps. And I also thought the Whiting character was nothing outside of buffonish.

JulieM said...

I know I shouldn't say this, but yay...The Wire is over! I can finally start visiting this blog again without worrying about getting 2 seasons ahead of myself.

Looking forward to the new and deeper content Tim, but take care of yourself...don't stress those wrists out too much. I had a ganglion cyst sitting on top of nerves and tendons in my primary wrist (which was incorrectly diagnosed as carpal tunnel initally) for many years, and I remember the pain well.

Btw, many months ago, you mentioned the possibility of a midseason hootenanny. Any chance of that happening now that the strike is over?

Falcon Eddy said...

I always try to get "Away from the Numbers" especially when I'm "In the Crowd".

Tom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom said...

In the city, there's a thousand things I want to say to you.

YogiBarrister said...

If any of you Wireheads want to post a comment to David Simon, here's where to go.
>
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-simon/the-wires-final-s_b_91926.html#postComment

Anonymous said...

There is a hilarious posting on McSweeneys website about a guy trying to get his family to watch the Wire. www.mcsweeneys.net/2008/3/7blaszak.html. Fo sure

johng said...

Tim, I know you are done with "The Wire", but if you have not done so already you must check out Simon's piece on Huffington Post, in which he says that nearly everybody missed the point of the Sun story:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-simon/the-wires-final-s_b_91926.html

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I just started reading your column within the last 6 months, and you turned me onto The Wire. I ended up buying all 4 available seasons on DVD, and just watched the repeat of Season 5 on HBO!

I've been immersed in The Wire for over a month now, and it's sad to leave, but I saw some fabulous writing and acting.

As I watched the final montage, I couldn't help thinking of the sales clerk when I bought Season 1 sometime in February. He got this whimsical look on his face, said this was his favorite show, and that he was so jealous because I was about to see it all FOR THE FIRST TIME! But now I get to loan the DVDs to all of my friends and see their satisfaction at seeing one of the best television shows ever done.

Irish_Bruin said...

Tim said: "I've gotta say - four parts of "John Adams" had me wanting a lot more "Wire" instead..."

Amen to that! John Adams was dreadfully slow, and lacked any complexity that would make it interesting.

However, Simon's "Generation Kill" is outstanding. The perfect antidote to anyone with Wire withdrawal.

Tim Goodman said...

Thank you for this info

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