Addictive as the drugs they’re dealing

D’Angelo explains:” Now look, check it, it’s simple, it’s simple. See this? This the kingpin, a’ight? And he the man. You get the other dude’s king, you got the game. But he trying to get your king too, so you gotta protect it. Now, the king, he move one space any direction he damn choose, ’cause he’s the king. Like this, this, this, all right? But he ain’t got no hustle. But the rest of these motherfuckers on the team, they got his back. And they run so deep, he really ain’t gotta do shit.”
“Like your uncle.” Bodie says.
“Yeah, like my uncle.” D’Angelo agrees ” You see this? This the queen. She smart, she fast. She move any way she want, as far as she want. And she is the go-get-shit-done piece.”
“Remind me of Stringer.” Wallace says.  D’Angelo continues”And this over here is the castle. It’s like the stash. It can move like this, and like this.”
Wallace laughs “Dog, stash don’t move, man.”
D’Angelo nods “C’mon, yo, think. How many time we move the stash house this week? Right? And any time we move the stash, we gotta move a little muscle with it, right? To protect it.”
” True, true, you right, “Bodie admits.


D’Angelo explains how everything works in Baltimore City, a scene in wich a parallel is drawn between chess and the real situacion in Baltimore.

TV-series come and go, yet the Wire is no ordinary TV-series. In Season one James McNulty tries to set up a wire, hence the name, to infiltrate in the Barksdale’s drug dealing organization by cloning pagers and wiretaps. Leaded by Cedric Daniels, the homicide department and narcotics have to work together to succeed, meanwhile, the series doesn’t only tell the police, but also the one of the drug dealers in the low-rises, known as “The Pit”, as the ‘kingpin’ of it all; Avon Barksdale.

The ‘ingredients’ of a normal TV-series, such as Numb3rs, NCIS, Castle, aren’t used. Normally in every single episode a new homicide has to be solved, while the stories of the characters are slowly developing. These episodes don’t have a certain connection and therefore can be watched separately, but not with the Wire. It’s almost impossible to watch the episodes  of The Wire in the wrong order, for the storylines of the characters are allready  very complicated and it would only be confusing. Though that can be seen as a downside, it is one of the best parts of The Wire and it’s also one of the (numerous) reasons the viewers of The Wire are so strongly attached to it, it’s quite hard not to wonder what will happen in the next episode.

The Wire doesn’t stick to the conventions concerning TV-Series , it’s been made to ‘tell’ the truth and so it does. Consequently it’s criticized as too negative, but let’s face it, it’s not all fun and games in Baltimore city. It’s not only the story that David Simon wants to show us, it’s also the tremendously strong acting in the show. Without it , it wouldn’t be half so good as it is now.  The actors  don’t have ‘familiar’ faces and that makes it so much easier to believe that the actors aren’t actors, but the characters.

The characters of the Wire aren’t stereotypes and the lack of a strict line between the bad guys (‘the drug dealers’) and the good guys (‘the police’) gives the TV-Series an other dimension. The drug dealers aren’t afraid to use violence and to kill someone, but neither are the police. The excessive violence that they often use during the TV-Series surprises. The way the police are portrayed is so different compared to other TV-series. David Simon’s way to portray people and not depict them as stereotypes is unique, you find yourself sympathizing with the cops ánd the dealers.

The Wire differs in many more ways from the average TV-series, it doesn’t have fast car chases, therefore it’s said to be too slow,  and it gives no explanations as who is who, what makes it  ‘hard’ to watch and follow. That and the failing pilot makes it hard to start watching, but in the end you will be rewarded for your patience. Of course you can also see it as a challenge, so to speak.

Another point of criticism on The Wire is that is has no ‘intelligent’ conversations and dull dialogues, the words most often used are ‘fuck’ and ‘shit’.  A good example is Bunk and McNulty investigating a crime scene.

It’s true, but the question here is: is it necessary  for a TV-Series which a topic such as The Wire to have intelligent conversations? Why give the characters a different language that the one they actually  speak?
It would unrealistic not to let them swear and if you look good, you’ll find, somewhere between the swearing, some very good dialogues. For example the scene in which D’Angelo explains how it all works in his uncle’s organization.

The Wire is just like McNulty, one of the main characters. He cheated on his wife, he’s arrogant, he drinks (a lot), he isn’t a good father, even though he tries, has money problems etc. etc. He’s a downright asswhole. At first, he doesn’t seem to be a very nice guy, yet you will like him and understand the choices he makes and the things he does.
As Jim Shelley of The Guardian wrote:

“He is irresistibly charming, a classic anti-hero; a modern-day Rockford.”

It works the same with The Wire. At first it does seem to have it’s downsides, but as it turns out, The Wire is irresistible and addictive.  The Wire is a TV-series worth watching, so, don’t hesitate and start right now, if you haven’t begun yet.

“All right, what about them little baldheaded bitches right there?” Bodie asks.
“These right here, these are the pawns.”  D’Angelo explains, “they like the soldiers. They move like this, one space forward only. Except when they fight, then it’s like.. like this. And they like the front lines, they be out in the field. ”
“So how do you get to be the king?”  Wallace aks.
D’Angelo answers “It ain’t like that. See, the king stay the king, a’ight? Everything stay who he is. Except for the pawns. Now, if the pawn make it all the way down to the other dude’s side, he get to be queen. And like I said, the queen ain’t no bitch. She got all the moves.”
All right, so if I make it to the other end, I win.” Bodie says,
“If you catch the other dude’s king and trap it, then you win.” explains D’Angelo,
” All right, but if I make it to the end, I’m top dog.” Bodie continues,
Nah, yo, it ain’t like that. Look, the pawns, man, in the game, they get capped quick. They be out the game early.” D’Angelo ends,
Unless they some smart-ass pawns,” Bodie says.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Addictive as the drugs they’re dealing

  1. Great post, well done! Mark 9

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