History Analysis / TheWire

9th Apr '16 2:42:58 PM Morgenthaler
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The establishment versus the individual is ''TheWire''’s main source of conflict. Be it the schools, the police, or the gangs, any kind of an organization is [[InherentInTheSystem ultimately self-serving]]. The main moral of ''TheWire'' is this: each and every one of us is guilty in running the institutional machine which eventually destroys those involved with it. We’re all complicit in the system, but we’re also all cheated by it. As Bodie Broadus laments:

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The establishment versus the individual is ''TheWire''’s ''The Wire''’s main source of conflict. Be it the schools, the police, or the gangs, any kind of an organization is [[InherentInTheSystem ultimately self-serving]]. The main moral of ''TheWire'' ''The Wire'' is this: each and every one of us is guilty in running the institutional machine which eventually destroys those involved with it. We’re all complicit in the system, but we’re also all cheated by it. As Bodie Broadus laments:



However, for all its cynicism and bleakness, ''TheWire'' is a series that believes in [[RedemptionQuest redemption]] and reinvention and offers its characters the chance to turn their lives around. Be it Bubbles, who comes clean and stays clean, or Daniels, who puts his dirty past behind and becomes a paragon of authority, or Cutty, who opens a gym after failing to reintegrate into a life of crime, or Carver, who grows from a thieving, snitching DumbMuscle into an excellent cop – the opportunity for [[CharacterDevelopment character growth]] is always there.

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However, for all its cynicism and bleakness, ''TheWire'' ''The Wire'' is a series that believes in [[RedemptionQuest redemption]] and reinvention and offers its characters the chance to turn their lives around. Be it Bubbles, who comes clean and stays clean, or Daniels, who puts his dirty past behind and becomes a paragon of authority, or Cutty, who opens a gym after failing to reintegrate into a life of crime, or Carver, who grows from a thieving, snitching DumbMuscle into an excellent cop – the opportunity for [[CharacterDevelopment character growth]] is always there.



This comment, made by Bunk Moreland, epitomizes the longing for a mythical time when people mattered as individuals. In the world of ''TheWire'', the underclass is practically anonymous, just a faceless statistic: when Nick Sobotka, once a well-liked stevedore, reappears for a short scene in season 5 after falling on hard times, he’s dismissed by Mayor Carcetti’s staff as “a nobody’. The scene is brief, and it takes an astute viewer to recognize the character: since he’s fallen from the focus of the series, he’s of little interest to the audience. We are thus reminded that we’re the ones shaping society’s indifference toward the downtrodden.

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This comment, made by Bunk Moreland, epitomizes the longing for a mythical time when people mattered as individuals. In the world of ''TheWire'', ''The Wire'', the underclass is practically anonymous, just a faceless statistic: when Nick Sobotka, once a well-liked stevedore, reappears for a short scene in season 5 after falling on hard times, he’s dismissed by Mayor Carcetti’s staff as “a nobody’. The scene is brief, and it takes an astute viewer to recognize the character: since he’s fallen from the focus of the series, he’s of little interest to the audience. We are thus reminded that we’re the ones shaping society’s indifference toward the downtrodden.



''TheWire'' has often been compared to a “visual novel” in terms of structure and subject matter. The grand scope of things, the big cast of characters and the long plot arcs allow for such a comparison to be made.

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''TheWire'' ''The Wire'' has often been compared to a “visual novel” in terms of structure and subject matter. The grand scope of things, the big cast of characters and the long plot arcs allow for such a comparison to be made.



''TheWire'' makes good (if on occasion overly blatant) use of metaphor: sometimes the characters consciously reflect upon their lives (the chess pieces as an analogy of the gang organization), sometimes the viewers are left to discern the allegories for themselves (“The Wire” is titled that way because the wiretaps provide the cops in a look into a secret world).

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''TheWire'' ''The Wire'' makes good (if on occasion overly blatant) use of metaphor: sometimes the characters consciously reflect upon their lives (the chess pieces as an analogy of the gang organization), sometimes the viewers are left to discern the allegories for themselves (“The Wire” is titled that way because the wiretaps provide the cops in a look into a secret world).
9th Apr '16 2:07:15 PM Morgenthaler
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The concept of “the Game” is a major recurring motif in ''TheWire'', tying in with the above theme of institutional failure. From the epigraphs at the start of the episodes (“You cannot lose if you do not play”) to D’Angelo explaining [[ChessMotifs the rules of chess via drug trade analogies]], we are reminded over and over again of one simple truth: we are not autonomous in our decisions.

DavidSimon called The Wire "a Greek tragedy in which the postmodern institutions are the Olympian forces." The system has assumed a [[PowersThatBe status similar to that of the gods in antiquity]]: our lives do not happen in a vacuum, but are influenced by things beyond our control. Life’s not about people making difficult choices, but rather about difficult choices being thrust on people. Neither the powerful nor the powerless are free: a politician is as much of a pawn in the game as an orphaned boy from the low-rises; both are part of a greater vicious cycle that dooms them to breed violence and corruption.

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The concept of “the Game” is a major recurring motif in ''TheWire'', ''The Wire'', tying in with the above theme of institutional failure. From the epigraphs at the start of the episodes (“You cannot lose if you do not play”) to D’Angelo explaining [[ChessMotifs the rules of chess via drug trade analogies]], we are reminded over and over again of one simple truth: we are not autonomous in our decisions.

DavidSimon Creator/DavidSimon called The Wire "a Greek tragedy in which the postmodern institutions are the Olympian forces." The system has assumed a [[PowersThatBe status similar to that of the gods in antiquity]]: our lives do not happen in a vacuum, but are influenced by things beyond our control. Life’s not about people making difficult choices, but rather about difficult choices being thrust on people. Neither the powerful nor the powerless are free: a politician is as much of a pawn in the game as an orphaned boy from the low-rises; both are part of a greater vicious cycle that dooms them to breed violence and corruption.



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28th Sep '14 3:43:10 PM StormC
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The show lacks many attributes typical to television: there’s no [[VoiceOver voice-overs]], no [[{{Flashback}} flashbacks]], no [[CliffHanger cliffhangers]] at the end of the episodes or the seasons. The exposition is subtle and piecemeal, with the viewers having to deduce the larger truth from the bits and pieces scattered throughout the show.

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The show lacks many attributes typical to television: there’s no [[VoiceOver voice-overs]], no [[{{Flashback}} flashbacks]], (usually) no [[CliffHanger cliffhangers]] at the end of the episodes or the seasons. The exposition is subtle and piecemeal, with the viewers having to deduce the larger truth from the bits and pieces scattered throughout the show.
28th Sep '14 3:42:32 PM StormC
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Despite the fact that it’s practically impossible to start watching the show in the middle with no of prior events, each season of The Wire can function as a reasonably independent installment, with its own plot and a focus on a particular segment of urban life. The seasons consist of 10-13 episodes, which cannot be viewed as standalones and instead form several multi-layered narratives.

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Despite the fact that it’s practically impossible to start watching the show in the middle with no knowledge of prior events, each season of The Wire can function as a reasonably independent installment, with its own plot and a focus on a particular segment of urban life. The seasons consist of 10-13 episodes, which cannot be viewed as standalones and instead form several multi-layered narratives.
19th Sep '14 1:34:07 PM TrollBrutal
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"We all got a role to play," says Bunk, and most other characters share the same point of view. Because of this the thefts, the snitching, the brutality are viewed as part of a natural order of things.

In short, life is a game, and like "The game is rigged, man. We like them bitches on the chessboard."

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"We “We all got a role to play," play”, says Bunk, and most other characters share the same point of view. Because of this the thefts, the snitching, the brutality are viewed as part of a natural order of things.

In short, life is a game, and like "The in all games your actual skill and compliancy with the rules do not really guarantee you a victory. To quote Bodie: “The game is rigged, man. We like them bitches on the chessboard."
chessboard”
19th Mar '13 1:33:24 PM JIKTV
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“We all got a role to play”, says Bunk, and most other characters share the same point of view. Because of this the thefts, the snitching, the brutality are viewed as part of a natural order of things.

In short, life is a game, and like in all games your actual skill and compliancy with the rules do not really guarantee you a victory. To quote Bodie: “The game is rigged, man. We like them bitches on the chessboard”.

to:

“We "We all got a role to play”, play," says Bunk, and most other characters share the same point of view. Because of this the thefts, the snitching, the brutality are viewed as part of a natural order of things.

In short, life is a game, and like in all games your actual skill and compliancy with the rules do not really guarantee you a victory. To quote Bodie: “The "The game is rigged, man. We like them bitches on the chessboard”.
chessboard."



"[Creator/FScottFitzgerald]'s saying that the past is always with us", asserts D'Angelo during the prison library club's discussion of ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby''. "You can change up, you can say you somebody new, you can give yourself a whole new story - but what came first is who you really are." D obviously identifies himself with the book's protagonist, and as he grapples with his conscience and tries to live a better life, he still finds himself unable to [[BeAllMySinsRemembered liberate himself from the evils he’s done]].

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"[Creator/FScottFitzgerald]'s saying that the past is always with us", asserts D'Angelo during the prison library club's discussion of ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby''. "You can change up, you can say you somebody new, you can give yourself a whole new story - but what came first is who you really are." D obviously identifies himself with the book's protagonist, and as he grapples with his conscience and tries to live a better life, he still finds himself unable to [[BeAllMySinsRemembered liberate himself from the evils he’s he's done]].
19th Mar '13 1:32:39 PM JIKTV
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“[FScottFitzgerald]’s saying that the past is always with us”, asserts D’Angelo during the prison library club’s discussion of ''TheGreatGatsby''. “You can change up, you can say you somebody new, you can give yourself a whole new story - but what came first is who you really are”. D obviously identifies himself with the book’s protagonist, and as he grapples with his conscience and tries to live a better life, he still finds himself unable to [[BeAllMySinsRemembered liberate himself from the evils he’s done]].

to:

“[FScottFitzgerald]’s "[Creator/FScottFitzgerald]'s saying that the past is always with us”, us", asserts D’Angelo D'Angelo during the prison library club’s club's discussion of ''TheGreatGatsby''. “You ''Literature/TheGreatGatsby''. "You can change up, you can say you somebody new, you can give yourself a whole new story - but what came first is who you really are”. are." D obviously identifies himself with the book’s book's protagonist, and as he grapples with his conscience and tries to live a better life, he still finds himself unable to [[BeAllMySinsRemembered liberate himself from the evils he’s done]].
25th Oct '12 6:27:02 AM matlock
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Of course, there are characters (high up on the power ladder) who reap the benefits of the flawed system, often at the expense of their integrity. The one shining exception is Ronnie Pearlman, who doesn't lose sight of her ambitions yet never comes across as amoral, and on occasion goes out of her way to help the police investigations. However, apart from the lucky few, the system is ultimately dismissive of (and detrimental to) the individual’s well-being.

to:

Of course, there are characters (high up on the power ladder) ladder, since "seniority sucks...if you ain't senior") who reap the benefits of the flawed system, often at the expense of their integrity. The one shining exception is Ronnie Pearlman, who doesn't lose sight of her ambitions yet never comes across as amoral, and on occasion goes out of her way to help the police investigations. However, apart from the lucky few, the system is ultimately dismissive of (and detrimental to) the individual’s well-being.
22nd Oct '12 11:53:15 PM matlock
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[[{{Epigraph}} Epigraphs]] are another device employed in the series: each episode is prefaced with a quote taken from the dialogue in the same episode, with the aim of adding extra weigh on the utterance. Visible in the statements are the show's themes: the decay of the postindustrial society (“They used to make steel here, no?”), the rules of survival in “the game” (“…when it’s not your turn”), the helplessness of the downtrodden (“What they need is a union”), etc.

to:

[[{{Epigraph}} Epigraphs]] are another device employed in the series: each episode is prefaced with a quote taken from the dialogue in the same episode, with the aim of adding extra weigh on the utterance. Visible in the statements are the show's themes: the decay of the postindustrial society (“They used to make steel here, no?”), the rules of survival in “the game” (“…when it’s not your turn”), the helplessness of the downtrodden (“What they need is a union”), the futility of breaking away from "the game" ("How come they don't fly away?"), etc.
22nd Oct '12 10:37:00 PM matlock
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Meanwhile, there’s one character who at first glance seems to be truly liberated: Omar Little, who forges his path through life untainted by affiliation with any kind of institution. “I am the American Dream”, reads his T-shirt, and it’s hard to disagree: here’s a man who embodies the values of self-sufficiency and individualism. He has his code and that, for him, is enough of a compass in life. Still, even he falls victim to the system; in the end, he’s just another statistic in miserable, decaying city. The system, in short, is unbeatable; “the game” stays the game, and there’s really no way to win it.

to:

Meanwhile, there’s one character who at first glance seems to be truly liberated: Omar Little, who forges his path through life untainted by affiliation with any kind of institution. “I am the American Dream”, reads his T-shirt, and it’s hard to disagree: here’s a man who embodies the values of self-sufficiency and individualism. He has his code and that, for him, is enough of a compass in life. Still, even he falls victim to the system; in the end, he’s just another statistic in a miserable, decaying city. The system, in short, is unbeatable; “the game” stays the game, and there’s really no way to win it.
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