Well, hell. I don’t know what happened. Day before yesterday, the computer was running so fast it was practically blowing my hair back. Then yesterday — nothing. I mean, I couldn’t get the network up with all the Viagra in the world. Today I went back downstairs, unplugged everything, dusted everything (don’t know why; it seemed like a proper offering to the gods), replugged everything in, and it worked at lightning speed again.
And yes, I did all this yesterday, and it didn’t work.
But it works now! Rejoice! Leave comments!
Reader Maureen asked if I can bring back the daily picture. Maybe. I’ll work on it. Right now, I’d be satisfied with the daily something-to-say. I’m aware I’m sucking of late, but oh well.
I wanted to write something about “The Wire.” I notice it premiered Sunday, on Emmy night, and I wonder if it was intentional — the show’s been shut all the way out, not even a nomination, every year it’s been eligible. (It did win a Peabody, no small consolation prize.) I also noticed too many people spent Sunday night watching said Emmys, and even though this is the age of TiVo, and HBO is the network of second chances to see what you missed Sunday, it makes me a little sad. No true “Wire” fan would miss the premiere.
If you haven’t seen the show before, don’t do what I did the first year: Shrug your shoulders and say, “Oh, another police procedural. No thanks.” It’s worth the time and effort, because it does what the best cop shows have always done — use the station house to tell a bigger story. In this case, we’re talking class and race and crime and punishment and luck and misfortune and …ambition! Yes, ambition is going to be a big, big theme this season. You can smell it. (Also, they tell you.)
About every piece of publicity this show gets mentions that its creator, David Simon, was a journalist, and surely, one of the very cool things about the show is how sharply observed it is, how it gets the details just right. The little corner boy with the asthma inhaler, the drug lord with the hankering to be a real businessman, the black couple in the fancy restaurant who look around and see two different things.
It’s a challenge to watch, no doubt about it, but put your little hand in mine, and we’ll climb the mountain together. The basic outline: The Barksdale gang sells drugs in the projects and on the corners of Baltimore; the police in the Major Case Squad are trying to bring them down. It all gets a little Russian-novelly at times, but HBO has visual aids, and anything you want to know, just ask.
A lot happens in this show; I notice the synopsis of the first episode on the HBO website is about four times longer than the ones for “Six Feet Under” and “Deadwood.” If you like challenging TV, you’ll certainly be challenged.
Make a date. Set the TiVo. And screw the Emmys.