I wanted to do a monster post where I hit up a bunch of things to recommed to everyone. But the post is taking too long to write up all at once. Instead, here's segment one - The Wire.

This is the most depressing show on television...and I can't wait to watch it every week. After I watched the finale for Season 3, I sat in my room for half an hour with the lights off and felt like someone had punched me in the stomach 300 times...but I somehow felt satisfied on the inside. It's quite ironic that a show that builds its story lines around crack has become as addictive itself. No show on television is as intricate in its character development or story lines. No show puts this much effort into making sure that its viewers get something out of the narrative. 24 (another one of our favorites) is great for the surprises and for Jack's never flinching faith in doing the "right" thing. But The Wire is great for all the opposite reasons - there's no "right" in its universe, there's no neat surprise at the end of every hour, there's no hope. Sure, 24 attempts to find some gray area in Jack's moves..but let's be honest - we all want to see Jack merck some fool at the end of the day.

George Bush doesn't care about poor people

Where 24 builds its momentum off of very unrealistic scenarios, The Wire builds its momentum off of the minutae of everyday activity that most of us never see. The innerworkings of police departments, city hall, drug dealing, and the school system are laid bare every week. And just like 24 has recurring themes (Don't trust your superiors...There are moles everywhere...Jack will always be abandoned...Women are evil) - so does The Wire. But The Wire's theme of inescapable bleakness and inevitable betrayal by the institutions that we serve is a much more powerful theme than anything 24 can throw at us for one simple reason - it's real. The show manages to perfectly capture the slowly simmering frustration and rage bubbling under the surface of an America that many of us have never seen.

As good as it gets

Go rent seasons 1 and 3 of The Wire. They're masterpieces, especially Season 3. Season 4 is great too - I have a bad feeling that I'm going to want to cry like a baby at the end of the season (note: I would never actually cry like a baby...I'm not a punk). Haven't had a chance to check out Season 2 yet, but I'm sure it's sweet. For great analysis of the show, go here. For an indepth interview with the show's creator, go here.

We give Baltimore a hard time on this blog (sorry Steiny) - but without Baltimore, we wouldn't have The Wire. So...Baltimore is now our favorite city in America. Congratulations!

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