Saturday, January 05, 2008

Final Season of The Wire

Man, I am jazzed about the start of the fifth and final season of The Wire on HBO this Sunday, but I'm also sad. Mrs. F and I have become huge fans of the series, which is far more than just a cops-and-drug-runners show. It's also a sociological look at the death of an American city, race relations, the impact of gentrification on middle-class labor, the efficacy of our school system. And, yes, it's about cops and drug runners, but with a far more nuanced view of character than any other similar show you've ever seen. It's also got some of the best dialogue, hands down, in any contemporary series (and I'm not forgetting The Sopranos in that comparison).

For the fifth season, it looks like the role of media is also being brought to the game -- here's the official HBO trailer for the season:

Amazon's Screening Room blog also ran this exclusive set of vignettes showing some of The Wire's characters in their formative years.

"Young Prop Joe": 1962, Baltimore, Maryland. Crossed by a classmate, a young student shows off the brazen business acumen that will soon earn him the moniker "Proposition Joe" on the Baltimore streets.

"Young Omar": 1985, Baltimore, Maryland. An adolescent Omar upstages two older boys, and exhibits a sense of priority beyond his years, during the robbery of a working man waiting for a bus ride home.

"Bunk and McNulty": 2000, Baltimore, Maryland. Bunk's initial coolness towards his new partner, a "six-year wonder" named Jimmy McNulty, is thawed after the two find common ground during the midnight shift.

Click the Playlist button to toggle between the three.