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youngsyr

Original Poster:

7,675 posts

75 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
Now I realise this is tantamount to blaspheming in the Vatican, but what the hell is the deal with the Wire?

Slow isn't the word for (at least) the first 5 episodse of seaon 1 (that's how far I've got), I'd call them "glacial"!

I ordered the series from Lovefilm after all of the hype to give me and the OH something to watch together, but with limited viewing time available, watching 5 hours with little progress in the plot is taking the p!ss a bit.

It's not as if they're developing the characters in all that time either, if you actually pay attention to how it's shot (I've started to out of boredom), a lot of the screen time is taken up with lengthy (and time wasting) panning shots to and from characters before you even see a character, let alone learn anything about them. Each scene has a lengthy intro like that - even if it's an environment (e.g. cop's office or the Towers) that you've seen dozens of times before.

Plus it's showing its age now - the cops in the first series are using typewriters FFS! Yes, I know it's supposed to be showing that they're underfunded, but that's a bit of a stretch.

Surely it can't just be me that's finding it so hard to get into this show?

sleep envy

61,765 posts

132 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
heathen wink

the first series is 10 years old so it will have dated

every scene is so tightly scripted and it is a slow burner, however, you really need to pay attention as the most insignificant of details usually leads to bigger things - do you remember what McNalty said about diesel fumes in the first episode??

have you gotten to the kitchen fk fk fk scene yet?

Smiler.

6,229 posts

113 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
Have you got subtitles on?

That will help in many scenes.

SSCooperS

931 posts

47 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
I have to agree with OP. I bought the first series a few weeks ago, and I'm three episodes in. I've never been so bored in my life!

youngsyr

Original Poster:

7,675 posts

75 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
Understanding what they're saying isn't a problem, it's just that it takes so long for anything to happen. Like I said, I'm 5 hours in and all that's happened is getting to know the characters and pretty minor office/department politics.

I think people must be looking back on the whole show with rose tinted glasses and haven't watched the early episodes recently, as if this had started on tv last month at S1 E1, there's no way I would have bothered to tune in past episode 3, let alone push on through to the next season and I'm a big fan of US shows.

As for the typewriters, I worked as an auditor 9 years ago and so got to see a wide variety of offices, including some that were pretty down market and dated; not once did I see a type writer!
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sleep envy

61,765 posts

132 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
maybe if you concentrated on the plot rather than worrying about the typewriters you might enjoy it more hehe

skoff

1,265 posts

117 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
Everybody finds it hard to get into, but when you get hooked, you really get hooked.

There are some great characters, some great revelations, and the seedy backdrop of Baltimore just gets better and better.

I would recommend sticking with it...

Heskey

4,047 posts

76 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
Hi guys,

Thought I'd give a bit of balance here (stay with me on this):

I love The Wire. I have the DVD Boxset, and have now watched it 3 times; that's once with commentary etc (which I can't say I've done with anything else before), and am contemplating watching it again.

When I first watched The Wire, I too had limited viewing time (i.e. kept falling asleep), and yeah I thought it was very slow, quite boring, defo' unlike anything else I'd watched - I got 7 episodes in over the course of 2 weeks or something with a lot of stopping and starting... I could not understand my brother's hype about it.

Then a few months later when I had some more free time and was very bored I thought I'd give it another shot. I paid attention and fell in love with it. Because it's so unlike anything else currently out there you do need to pay attention to the little details as they do matter, and you will hopefully love it too.

Start from the beginning and tune your ears/mind in, and let us know what you think after the first series?




On a similar note, I hated the 2nd series when I saw it (because I grew so attached to the setting of the 1st), but having seen it again, it's probably now my favourite one as I watched the other 4 series with tinted spectacles expecting it to be 'more of the same' of series 1, which it isn't.

TEKNOPUG

9,576 posts

88 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
Maybe you should consider watching the remake of Hawaii 5-O if you aren’t interested in character development & plot and just want action?

redtwin

7,132 posts

65 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
youngsyr said:
As for the typewriters, I worked as an auditor 9 years ago and so got to see a wide variety of offices, including some that were pretty down market and dated; not once did I see a type writer!
How many of those offices were in the Baltimore police department?.

The show is universally lauded for its realism, if you saw them using typewriters on the show then you can reasonably expect that typewriters were being used in real life. It will hardly be the case that the show's producers cut the budget tight and couldn't afford to have a PC as a prop.

As for it being slow, again that is part of the realism. The majority of murder and narcotic cases are not solved in an hour or a day or even a week. There are lots of other options out there if you are only interested in shootouts and car chases, they won't have any bearing on reality whatsoever though.

youngsyr

Original Poster:

7,675 posts

75 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
sleep envy said:
maybe if you concentrated on the plot rather than worrying about the typewriters you might enjoy it more hehe
What plot?! All that's happened in the 5 hours I've watched so far is as follows:


[Spoilers below]




- mid level, but connected, gangster from a ghetto gets away with a murder charge as witness are intimidated by his gang, which p!sses a judge off.

- one witness who isn't intimidated is killed a few weeks later.

- maverick cop knows judge and wants to take down the whole gang that gangster belongs to - pulls strings to get judge to push police department to investigate.

- police department mightily p!ssed off with having to investigate "just another" murder in the ghetto and that the maverick cop is pulling the strings, so throw as little as possible at the investigation to make it seem like they're doing something.

- we find out a bit more about the day to day lives of the mix of no-hoper and promising cops that are assigned to the case as well as a bit more about the gangsters.

5 hours for that! That's three average length films just for the above!

I may be from generation X, but I like to think I have a longer attention span than most, and I'm more motivated than most to watch this kind of series as I'm a big fan of the US, but even I am very close to throwing in the towel. I pretty much had to force my OH to watch the last episode and she's showing no inclination to watch the next.

youngsyr

Original Poster:

7,675 posts

75 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
redtwin said:
youngsyr said:
As for the typewriters, I worked as an auditor 9 years ago and so got to see a wide variety of offices, including some that were pretty down market and dated; not once did I see a type writer!
How many of those offices were in the Baltimore police department?.

The show is universally lauded for its realism, if you saw them using typewriters on the show then you can reasonably expect that typewriters were being used in real life. It will hardly be the case that the show's producers cut the budget tight and couldn't afford to have a PC as a prop.

As for it being slow, again that is part of the realism. The majority of murder and narcotic cases are not solved in an hour or a day or even a week. There are lots of other options out there if you are only interested in shootouts and car chases, they won't have any bearing on reality whatsoever though.
I don't watch drama series on TV to see what's real, I watch them for entertainment. wink

If I were that bothered about realism, I could go and sit in my local police station for 5 hours. I suspect more would happen there than on the show too!

sleep envy

61,765 posts

132 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
ask LoveFilm for a refund

hth

P-Jay

6,339 posts

74 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
In simple terms, No.

It moves at that pace for the whole 5 series, aside from the last ep of each series and especially the last show ever.

It is truely one of the very very best TV shows ever made IMHO, but like the best HBO shows (Sopranos, Deadwood, Walking Dead) it doesn't move at the pace of most tv shows where the whole story is told in 1hr minus the ads, with only a small proportion of time allowed for series-long stories.

If you think it's bad on DVD, can you imagine what it was like watching it a hour a week!!

B.J.W

4,256 posts

98 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
skoff said:
Everybody finds it hard to get into, but when you get hooked, you really get hooked.

There are some great characters, some great revelations, and the seedy backdrop of Baltimore just gets better and better.

I would recommend sticking with it...
Well said. It took me towards the end of season one to get into The Wire. Then something clicked, and from that point on I was completely hooked. Easily one of the best TV series ever. It does require some investment and it is not nearly as visercal as, say, The Shield, but stick with it.

R1gtr

2,034 posts

37 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
I echo what the other guys think, I have seen all the main boxsets and if I dont like something I will quite happily turn it ogg and give up, as people have mentioned, it is pretty slow and does not grip you immediately, you prob don't care about any of the characters but give it time.
For me it took to the end of season 1 to get into it but then I was hooked, season 2 was the weak one for me but after that it goes from strength to strength.
Stick with it, of course it is harder to get into than a film but remember at 5 hours into a 70-80 hour series its like watching the first 7 mins of a film and giving up!
Persevere persevere, you wont regret it.

freecar

4,203 posts

70 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
I don't know quite what you were expecting.

It is a TV show not a movie.

If you want it all wrapped up in two hours go rent a film.

Personally I watched The Wire less than a year ago and found it to be very compelling TV with a convaluted plot and believable characters.

If you don't appreciate well filmed and acted drama I would recommend you give it a miss, maybe try lost or 24 or something?

Smiler.

6,229 posts

113 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
Slightly OT but does anyone else think the Steve Earle's version of Way Down in the Hole was fantastic?

shirt

15,844 posts

84 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
which one is that [youtube link?]. one of the versions was amazing but i haven't watched them in a while.

for the OP - i was reminded of the wire on reading the criticisms of tinker tailor solider spy on that film's thread. you either like slow burning, thought provoking drama that makes you earn the payoff, or you like force fed obvious tv like CSI. which is it for you?

youngsyr

Original Poster:

7,675 posts

75 months

[news] 
Tuesday 27th September 2011 quote quote all
shirt said:
which one is that [youtube link?]. one of the versions was amazing but i haven't watched them in a while.

for the OP - i was reminded of the wire on reading the criticisms of tinker tailor solider spy on that film's thread. you either like slow burning, thought provoking drama that makes you earn the payoff, or you like force fed obvious tv like CSI. which is it for you?
I don't watch CSI, so couldn't really say. Two examples of shows that I've really enjoyed are Dexter and Spartacus, which both have stories that evolve, twist and turn and generally play out over a series. However, both of those have episodes which are in themselves discreet mini-stories, all of which contribute to the overall plot of the series, and you come away from watching each satisfied that the story has moved along and eager to find out what happens next.

With the Wire, it feels like you're watching a 10 year old, 12 hour episode, that just happens to be broken into hour long slots.

As I said in the opening post, it's not like all of the screen time is even taken up with developing the plot or the characters, a lot of it just seems to me to be filler - overly long panning of the environment, etc.


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