Hamsterdam and the gooey kablooie

You have to admire Stringer Bell’s attempts to de-thuggify the Baltimore drug trade. His endeavours to get his business away from the drive-by shootings and everyday violence is one thing; his sweet, endearing (not words easily used when it comes to The Wire, except for everyone’s favourite addict Bubbles) meeting rules are something else altogether. It wouldn’t feel more strange to have these dealers and “soldiers” in the drug war speaking in Jane Austenese.

Season 3 of The Wire once more is among the best TV there is. It’s smart, impeccably crafted and unexpectedly funny. (A shout-out has to go to “My dawg…”.) I’m also finding it less affecting than the second season, though. Is it that the stevedores represented by Frank Sobotka had more pathos? Frank’s final episode nearly had me in tears. Or is it that I, in spite of my impeccable bleeding heart credentials, can relate better to pudgy, corrupt white guys with receding hairlines than to black hoppers slinging red tops and getting hot and bothered about semi-automatics.

There’s more than enough here to get to the viewer, though: Cutty’s attempts to get back into the game after 17 years in prison, or Bunny Colvin’s subversive social experiment born out of a frustration with the shambles and hypocrisy of the war on drugs and a wish to do something, however radical, that might actually break the stalemate and help.

And on that happy note I’d like to thank Amazon for its special offers. (No, I don’t get paid for this. I should, though!) Thanks to them, seasons 4 and 5 of The Wire are on the way and I don’t even feel too guilty about spending the money. I’m slowly running out of interesting HBO series, though… so in one, two years’ time I’ll either be reduced to Sex and the City – or it’s back to Six Feet Under. In which case I might as well rename this blog “Fisher & Sons”.

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