Tag Archive: the wire


A few of you have caught on I’m going through my annual viewing of my all time favorite TV show.

Every version of the theme is really good, but the Neville Brothers version makes me feel like…




Fukunaga is the auteur and Idris is the name you recognize on the poster, but ‘Beasts of No Nation’ belongs to Abraham Attah.

‘The Wire’ and ‘City of God’ both excel in showing you how children with no hope can become stone cold killers. ‘Beasts’ asks an even more somber question: ‘What if it’s complete within reason things didn’t have to go this way?’

No matter how good the story is, or how great the auteur may be, it’s a HUGE leap of faith to pin your story’s fate on a child actor.  So I keep coming back to it; Attah’s performance is not overly ‘showy’ in my opinion, but he hits his character’s arc fully. Playful childhood innocence to programmed child soldier to the ‘what now’ on the other side (if there is an other side).

Streaming on Netflix.  Watch it.


(updating Career Bucket List…)

‘Producer on a feature film before I hit 40?’ – Check.

Pull off the rare ‘one for us and one for them’ at the same time? – Check.

Work with a cast member from my all time favorite show The Wire ? – Check.

Work on my favorite current documentary series, 30 for 30? – Check.

Tie together my legacy as a Starkie and a Trojan in a way I could never possibly plan? – Check.

Fight On!


In case any of my fellow fanboys or fangirls missed this, it’s well worth fifteen minutes of your time.

And yes, this was me during the whole exchange:





So here’s the disclaimer, since I haven’t said this publicly in a couple years: whatever DC and/or Warner Brothers do now, I’m OK with it.  The genius Christopher Nolan has already told my story better than I could have possibly imagined.  Now, if I see something that I consider a Schumachery of my franchise, I’ll still call out the necessary parties.  But all Bat related stories now, no expectations.  Just enjoying them for what they are.

Which brings us to the series premiere of ‘Gotham’.  Not much to be spoiled for guys like me (we’ll get to that), but the general conceit here for those that don’t know is telling the origin story from the point of view of Jim Gordon (played by Ben Mckenzie of Southland fame, one of several good casting choices).

So naturally, the story begins where it has to, with the murders of Thomas and Martha Aziz Wayne.  I was given a heads up there were a ton of easter eggs and twists the TV show would take with the core mythology.  Again, I accept this.  But still, from a storytelling point of view, I’m expecting this has at least a 13 episode arc, and they threw a LOT of ‘wink winks’ at the hardcore fans for one episode, pilot or not.  Some of them were really cool (hey, there’s fine ass Renee Montoya; oh, they’re setting THAT up too? Nice!). Some of them felt like ‘I know there’s going to be a ‘villain of the week’, but that could have been anybody and not the father of a future well known Bat Villain. I was really 50/50 on all the nods early on, to the point of distraction: Alfred sounding like he stepped out of a Guy Ritchie film? Meh. The nameless stand up comedian with no self confidence? You know that very well might become…  And on and on.  I’m half surprised we didn’t somehow get roped into a trip to Wayne Enterprises to meet a young Lucius Fox working in that lab.

Wait, no! I take that back!  That part is important down the line, you have to get that casting right.  Has to be a brother old enough to be believable as a friend of Thomas Wayne, but ALSO intellectual and with the gravitas to ALSO be believable as a young Morgan Freeman.  Who could play that?


(coughing back a smile as I find my notes…)  Where was I?  Oh yes…

Once the pilot settled down in the second half hour and stopped ‘over-introducing’ everybody, THEN it got going.  The relationship between Gordon and Harvey Bullock (Donald Logue here) is always great in the comics, and it looks like it’s going to provide the tension every week here.  And my affection for alumni of the Wire aside, John Doman is already the PERFECT television version of Carmine Falcone.  My sucking up aside, the casting is already off to a great start.

So what’s the official Prince of Gotham opinion?  For the pilot on its own?  I’ll give it a B minus.  Could have been better but not a Schumachery.

Does the Prince of Gotham believe you should give Gotham a chance to see what it grows into?


Updated: My 5 Favorite TV Dramas



Alright, I’ve watched the finale twice.  Just my personal opinion (like everybody else), but here’s my list for the best TV dramas in this ‘Golden Age.’

1. The Wire

I’m not Whitlock, but I do agree this one still stands alone.  I know even among Wire nerds I liked season 2 (the working class) more than most people.  And season 5 stumbled into the finish line as it was tying up the different character arcs.  BUT THE MAIN CHARACTER OF THE STORY WAS THE CITY OF BALTIMORE!!!  By pure coincidence I happen to be reading ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ right now, but I mean, come on!!!  That’s an impossible pitch, “I’m going to tell the story of the modern American city and why it’s set up to fail,’ and almost seamlessly pull it off.

2. Breaking Bad

Yeah, I’ll put it here.  This show’s ambition, to tell the story of a beaten down man and how a little success swiftly opened the doors for him to pay back all the ‘wrongs’ that life put upon him.  And in that sentence, I just explained to those of you who haven’t watched the show why it became popular on such a massive level.  But don’t get me wrong; it’s number 2 (ahead of these others) because from pilot to finale, it’s extremely entertaining (not to mention perfecting the art of suspenseful endings that number 3 invented for the modern age…)

3. The Sopranos

‘The pioneer’.  4 out of 5 shows on this list are pretty directly related to this one.  It’s in my queue, but I haven’t rewatched this series since Gandolfini passed.  To borrow from another iconic gangster piece, ‘You know why I have The Sopranos at number 3?  It was out of respect.’

4. Mad Men

It’s in a cooling period at the moment, but I have a deep affection for this one.  A handsome young man from the Heartland with severe mother issues and a well known weakness for brunettes reinvents himself with a new name in the Big City as a smooth talking, stylish man about town, but beneath the surface he’s still trying to figure out what really makes him happy.

(Very awkward silence…)

You know what, let’s just move on…

5. Friday Night Lights

I’m giving this last slot to a broadcast show.  More restrictions on what they can and can not get away with; but consistently one of the better stories told in recent years.  Centered around still (I think) the best fictionalized marriage in recent television memory.

So that’s my list.  Let’s enjoy this television run for as long as it lasts.



My favorite version (season 3) of the theme song of my favorite TV show of all time, prefaced in this case but one of my all time favorite metaphors for America/capitalism/life.  The King stay the King…