Hooked on the Wire

Some of you have already discovered the brilliant television series The Wire – it’s always being borrowed by someone. Like me, for instance.Cover image of "Homicide : a year on the killing streets"

I didn’t watch the series when it was being screened (late at night) on TV. In fact, I didn’t even know it existed until an American friend and I were discussing our favourite programmes, and she shrieked “What?! You’ve never watched the Wire?! Oh man, YOU’VE GOTTA SEE IT!”

Now things that elicit this much enthusiasm in a person intrigue me, so I went to the  catalogue immediately. I was pleased to see the library had all five seasons of it. I was not so pleased to find out I would have to wait though,  for every copy was out on loan. Obviously my friend was not the only one who enjoyed the show.

When it finally turned up on the holds shelf under my name, I wasted no time introducing it to my DVD player.  It was love at first episode.  I am in the middle of season four now, and there’s a teeny tiny part of me that wishes my friend had never told me about the Wire. I have spent sunny days inside with the curtains closed to watch it. Once I’ve finished the fifth and final season, I’ll probably need to go to rehab. Yes, I’m that addicted.

Summing up the Wire in one sentence is difficult. The series takes you on a tour of the poorest parts of Baltimore city, introducing you to drug dealers, police officers and politicians who are, in many ways, more alike than what they want to admit. What makes it so good? The characters, the dialogue, the location, the plot. It’s gritty and shocking, but also funny and touching. The story unfolds like a rollercoaster ride, slow in parts and quick in others, twisting and turning, climbing and diving towards an end where everything is connected and no one really wins.

So if you are looking for a good TV series to get hooked on this winter, try The Wire. Just make sure you have a comfortable couch, warm blanket and lots of tasty snacks before you push play, because you won’t be going anywhere for a while. Trust me.

As for those of you who are already fans of the show, what are some of your favourite scenes? Who is your favourite character? And most importantly, what version of the theme song “Down in the Hole” did you like the best?

McNulty calls Jane Austen muscular

Sort of.  Dominic West who plays Jimmy McNulty in The Wire (The. Best. TV. Series. Ever) is undertaking a new project reading from classic books including Pride and Prejudice.

He loves the writing of Jane Austen, especially the scene in Pride and Prejudice where Fitzwilliam Darcy declares his most ardent love:

I thought it was such incredible writing. So muscular, so layered … the sophistication of the language … the psychological insights into the characters … Elizabeth Bennet is just so clever and brave and witty and funny and great.

Just when you think McNulty couldn’t be cooler (apparently he was at Glastonbury recently eating a giant cornish pastie and getting ‘big ups’ all over the show) … he takes it to the supercool wall!

And he’s not alone – actors Greg Wise and Dan Stevens also feature in Carte Noire Readers – “For a more seductive coffee break, watch The Carte Noire Readers read your favourite literary love scenes”. Why ever not!