Staying inside The Wire

Posted on May 12, 2010


It’s rare for me to become obsessed by a television show. Mostly because I work at night so I don’t watch a lot of television. I had a brief flirtation with Survivor (I know!) last season because I was fascinated by the machinations of Evil Russell, and I became hooked on the last MasterChef as well, drawn in by that impossible croquembouche and then unable to leave.


It usually takes a while to get me in. I’ve tried this season of MasterChef but there are simply too many names and faces to care about any of them. I’ll wait til they’re down to a manageable eight or so.


With Grey’s Anatomy, I managed a few episodes before Meredith’s whining drove me screaming from the room. Not even McDreamy was enough to keep me there. Ditto on Desperate Housewives after one season. They drove me nuts.


But all that’s over now. I have found TV nirvana. In fact, I just spent a considerable part of my evening online searching for series four on DVD. Series four. We haven’t even finished series three yet. Now is that commitment or what?

But HBO’s The Wire deserves commitment. I know I’m late to this, but…I was busy. Then I watched the first episode (on DVD) and was hooked, even though I could have done with subtitles for the street slang, and found all the low, rumbly male voices a bit hard to hear. My ear is now tuned. I’ve got the street talk down pat, the names straight and the storyline ensconced in my head. The Builder and I have ‘dates’ on the couch, rationing our allowance of episodes per week to two or three, just to make it last.


Part of me wants to send the kids to my parents for the weekend and watch all five series back to back in a marathon session. But then it will be over. They only made five series. I’m dreading getting to the end. So I’m happy to ration.

I seriously haven’t been this excited by television since I watched The Kids from 47A with my sisters in our house in Alice Springs in the 1970s. We only got the ABC, so there was nothing else to watch. But we loved it anyway, bouncing up and down in excitement when we heard the opening bars of the theme song.


These days, I only bounce on the inside, but I have that same sense of anticipation with The Wire. It’s smart, satisfying television, with amazing scripts and actors who look like actual people, not ‘actors’.


It will be a sad day in the Fibro when we get to the end. You feel me?


  1. Kakka

    I bought the first 3 seasons for my daughter for Christmas, now I think I will borrow them after your rave review. I’m loving Masterchef and the only other thing I watch is Criminal Minds. Of course there are other TV shows I have on DVD which are no longer on which constantly go back and watch – The West Wing for one.

  2. Ivan M

    I remember “The Kids from 47A”. Was that there where the kids were left looking after themselves?

    All my TV obsessions are sci fi or comedy.

  3. Nomie

    I will have to hunt down the DVDs. I haven’t watched any, but am feeling a little hooked just by reading this!
    I love TV on DVD. Cuts out the ads.
    Dexter was our last obsession er I mean show on DVD, am eagerly waiting for new series, and shall jump up and down like a child when it is made!

  4. Kelly

    Firstly, loving your new look! I haven’t seen The Wire. I pretty picky about what I watch but am drawn to great scripts.

  5. Kylie L

    Rebecca- you need to watch it with subtitles (burst ear drum or not, Deerbaby!)It’s the only way- it moves too quickly otherwise, the accents are too broad and it’s never been a show to spoon feed viewers. Aight?

    But oh, how I love The Wire. I sing hymns of praise to the The Wire. Mad Men is close, but The Wire is a law unto itself. It is so smart, so unpredicatble… it is TV that demands you connect, you engage, that needs all of your attention. We are only watching one ep a week so as to prolong the glory.

    Have heard that “Breaking Bad” is a good folow-up for when it’s all over… but am too sad to even contemplate such a day!

  6. Jodie at Mummy Mayhem

    Oh, yes, Hubby was in to The Wire BIG time a little while back. I started watching and quickly got hooked.

    But I’m still a Bros & Sister’s girl. It almost makes me want to have 5 kids. Almost. Not quite.

  7. Joanne McKinnon

    Hi Al
    Mark was up watching The Wire after midnight years back when Nine was screwing around with it. He’d keep telling people how good it was but no-one ever knew what time it would actually be screened!!! And the real surprise, apart from Mark being a trendsetter, is I’m still yet to watch an episode and we have all the series (bar Season 5, which is still too expensive) in the house!
    Enjoy it for me!

  8. Fleur McDonald

    New Tricks (ABC on a Saturday night – yes, yes, I know, I need to get a life…) did it for me! Eagerly awaiting the new series!

  9. Allison Rushby

    Lol, I heard about The Wire from the ‘stuff white people like’ guy. Apparently he has a friend (who isn’t white) who doesn’t trust white people who don’t like The Wire. So I watched it. And liked it! Am very white, though, according to ‘stuff white people like’ guy, so wasn’t surprised.

  10. Rebecca

    hmmm – you’ve convinced me to give it another go. I borrowed the DVD last year and watched the first 20 minutes and got annoyed because I couldn’t understand anything. But I’ve heard good things…

    I think I’ll retry it this weekend. It’s always fun to have a great show to look forward to!

  11. Vintage Bride

    Jack and I have been watching Season 1 of The Sopranos. It was always aired too late at night to watch when it originally ran, but we are hooked now! Have to check out The Wire. We bought a TIVO last Xmas and it has been fantastic!! I don’t watch any bland TV or commercials anymore.

  12. Margie Sheedy

    Hey, love the new site! Go girl. Will call you for some tips on making my online world look brighter.

  13. brismod

    I love TV series DVDs – no ads and you can have your desired fix of the show 24/7. We’ve done the entirety of West Wing and most of Dexter and we are not excessive TV watchers. I’m looking forward to The Wire after the good rap you gave it.xx

  14. deer baby

    When you and I exchanged tweets about The Wire the other week, I was thrilled beyond belief to get a tweet from Clay Davis saying ‘sheeeeeeet’. I really thought he was talking to me. Until my dear husband pointed out it was automatically generated.

    We’ve watched it all. There are no more to be had anywhere. We are bereft (watching The West Wing now). We have lent our DVDs to someone and my husband is fretting they won’t return them.

    We had date nights too and when my husband burst his ear drum (long story) we had to have the subtitles on. It was quite amusing.

    Mind you, McNulty (aka Dominic West) is one of us as is Idris Alba, and he has proved himself to be a bit of a twat in my opinion in the stuff he has subsequently done here. And he is posh. Done some terrible coffee adverts. And now I won’t destroy your illusions any more. Or tell you what happens in Series 5.

  15. Artist in Residence

    I feel you, loud and clear my sista. I’m onto series 5 and have slowed the whole thing down to really enjoy the experience.

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