Did that hurt your feelings as much as it hurt mines?
December 10th I had surgery and the time before that I spent a nice chunk of my weeks before then adding shows and films to my lists and watchlists. Well, I didn’t really get a chance to dive into those other shows because The Wire came and invaded my life like a soap that I had no recollection of buying. My family recommended for me to watch it months ago, when I used to turn to Facebook to whine about finishing something on Netflix.
I won’t lie here, I rejected the idea of watching the show because well, I grew up in a city just like Baltimore, riddled with cops, crooked cops, thugs, drug addicts dragging across the streets, and dealers who were all to ready to give them their pick of poison. I didn’t really want to get tangled up in a show that would make me disappointed in my culture or annoy me with the crooked cop run of the mill bullshit.
And boy was I full of shit.
I won’t give you an overview of the show since I’m sure I’m the last human ever to watch it (but if you haven’t seen it, just stop because this is full of spoilers), but it was completely the opposite of everything I’d thought it would be. I was prepared to have a look at my own people and wish for them to do better but there’s a level of understanding on all ends of the spectrum that didn’t make this show just about the streets, but more … emotional.
I’m sadly a person who watches a show and gets attached to the cinnamon roll too precious for this world, and sometimes murderers. Don’t judge me, I can’t help who my heart loves. But anyways, I’ve loved a many of men in this show who were ripped from me too soon or before their redemption came. And that’s just it. It was a show about the actual truth of .. life. Sometimes you don’t always get redemption, you don’t always get to fulfill your dreams, and sometimes you get it all or die ring. Stringer (played by the sexy tall tree of a man who I’d love to climb that is Idris Elba) was one of those men I lost too soon. He wasn’t just some thug, sure that’s what he began as but he wanted more, he wanted better. And in the midst of it, because of who he was and what he dealt with, he was ripped from my tight grip of false hope. All the while, his partner Avon only wanted to be in the streets, to own the streets. It’s all he knew and what he was good at, damn good at it. And I respect it all.
This doesn’t exempt the police in this show either. I’ve always had a high level of respect for police, not because I was told to do so but because it was a job I never felt compelled enough to want to do. Within the show, I rooted for them because I wanted them to be granted their justice, to put away criminals who hurt people and murdered people just for ‘presumably’ snitching (Bodie, my precious fucking nugget!).
There’s always a lull in the seasons as time goes on but there was never a time that my heart didn’t relate to them not because I see myself in them but because I knew these people, know these people. I’ve seen these people and I was always quick to turn my nose up because I was the one that wanted better and never understand why people just chose to stay in their crappy situation. But it wasn’t always that easy. It’s never that easy to go from what you know, what you’re good at, and what you’re respected for to some false hope in college doing you well and a career shortly following after. Sometimes you just can’t conform to a world of not being your own boss. And let’s not act like race isn’t a factor in these decisions. Most of the times it is and honestly I can’t respect that frame of thinking. Sure I don’t agree and would love to let them know there is more and better but I digress.
The Wire introduced me to a world of characterization I expected and some I’ve never seen. It was HBO in its prime and I was glad to relive that time when their line-up wasn’t riddled with shit writers and shows that were great up until whatever season. Bodie, Omar, Stringer, McNulty, Bunk, Lester, all the kids from season four, and even Marlo – they were characters that I had heart with, that I understood them on every level. These were all characters that I loved and wanted to see either locked up or living a better life, where I wanted to see them succeed or be brought down by the ways of the streets. It was worth the journey and I’m glad that I stopped bullshitting and got to it.
So. Last night, I finished The Wire. I don’t know if I feel complete or empty yet. I don’t know if I want to know what really happened to everyone once it was all over. I’m at peace, I think. Of course they had to wait until the last episode to take someone else I loved but it would’ve been a waste if they didn’t.
Also, Dominic West has always been the best at playing a sleaze ball and I love him more for staying true to that role.