- Really and truly, the best TV show ever!
Starring – A lot of great actors that didn’t win one damn Emmy for this spectacular series and two of those great Emmy-less actors are Sonja Sohn and Michael Kenneth Williams
Created by David Simon
“Omar’s coming!” -Everyone who is smart on The Wire says this when Omar is coming to let everyone know to get the hell out of the way, because trust me, you don’t want to be around when Omar has a master plan to test out.
Twice now I have said on MOTR that I have now seen the best show ever on TV ever. First it was The Sopranos, which I was years late to that bandwagon, but still, I eventually arrived for a ride. And then I saw a show take genius just one step further on Please Like Me, and so I decided then that I had seen, really this time, the best thing ever to be on TV ever. And I was right both times. Both shows are pure genius, and really, one isn’t better than the other, just different and yet the same with their brilliance. But then late last year, I decided to finally sit down and watch a show that I kept hearing nothing but brilliant things about, but since it didn’t ever get much fanfare, I kind of let it slip by for a long, long time, until time caught up with me and asked, “Why in the hell aren’t you watching The Wire again, exactly?” Smart voice I have in my head sometimes. 😉
So, I turned on The Wire late last year and consumed it as fast as one can consume 5 seasons of the best TV series ever. I went through the show in record time because time and space and the planet Earth all disappeared for a few weeks when I jumped into the world of The Wire and walked around in it and what I saw was horrific, frightening, sad, deplorable, raw, violent, tragic, and most of all real. So real. This is what real life looks like. It’s shit and piss and sometimes laughs and good times, but mostly shit and piss. And so we swim upstream through the shit and piss to get to the laughs and good times. Are you in for a show with lots of laughs and romance? Then go the fuck somewhere else. This is not the show for that.
There are no fairy tales in The Wire.
This is a show about real life.
Real life is messy.
Real life just ends suddenly. Tragically.
Real life takes wrong turns all the time.
Real life has you going, “How in the hell did I end up here?! This was so not the plan.”
The Wire is about the cops, lawyers, politicians, newspaper reporters, drug dealers, drug users and the people that love them in Baltimore and how one city in America has turned into a war zone of drugs and guns and the good cops and bad cops and good politicians and bad politicians that keep Baltimore one giant fucking mess.
The Wire is full of every kind of character imaginable. Every shape and size. Every corruption and angelic qualities one can have, all right there in The Wire. Good guys and bad guys are all one. No one is all good or all bad on The Wire. Storylines don’t go anywhere at all where you think that they are going. Sometimes they even go nowhere, just like life. When do we ever know what is going to happen in life? When does life ever have a concluding storyline?
And in all of these many, many, many characters of young and old and good and bad and all manner of in-between, there are two of the best characters ever on TV ever and one of them is gay and one of them is a lesbian. You want to see what fully, well-rounded LGBT characters look like in real life, The Wire is the place to see this amazing fete of reality. Never have I felt so connected to both a gay and lesbian character. NEVER! Here, finally, were my people in real life flesh or at least on my TV. Fictional characters that were just as real as real people. There have been a few movies that got gay and lesbian characters so right, but these characters were based on real people – Reaching For The Moon, The Imitation Game, Wilde. But never have I seen fictional gay and lesbian characters that were so real that I wanted to reach into my TV and give them both a big thank you kiss and then be best friends with them forever. So, Omar and Kima, wanna be best friends forever? Pretty please? 🙂
Omar is played by the brilliant Michael Kenneth Williams and where the hell were his multiple Emmy awards for this part?! Oh Hollywood, you and your awards just get more and more ridiculous when one reads that this show won nothing and was barely even nominated. Omar is a good/bad guy. He steals from the drug dealers and then turns around and sells the drugs himself or sometimes he tosses them or sometimes he gives them away. After a while, they just start tossing him the drugs, because who wants to mess with Omar? Not me!
Omar does whatever the fuck Omar wants to do. Omar walks around in a bullet proof vest and a big fucking gun, so now you see why when people see Omar, they start yelling, “Omar’s coming!” because you know something is going down when Omar is out and about. Well, sometimes Omar just wants some Honey Nut Cheerios, so has to go to the store around the corner in his blue silk pajamas and without the big gun, because big guns don’t fit in blue silk pajamas, silly, don’t you know that? But still, don’t mess with Omar even if he is out in his blue silk pajamas without his big gun and only looking for some Honey Nut Cheerios. I’m a big fan of the blue silk pajamas myself. Probably because they are blue. I have an affinity to blue. Maybe because my wife can see the color of people’s auras and she says that my aura is blue. Maybe Omar’s aura is blue too? I imagine that even Omar’s aura is any damn color that Omar wants his aura to fucking be.
And so this character that everyone fears and runs from, even when he is in blue silk pajamas just trying to get some Honey Nut Cheerios, is a big ole faggot. Yep, Omar is gay, gay, gay, gay, GAY! Did the blue silk pajamas not tip you off? And this is a gay man who is out and proud about his homosexuality. Omar is not the type of person at all that you would guess was gay in a million years. Omar could have kept that shit on the down low, but nope, not Omar, because that is what is so fucking brilliant and great about Omar, what you see is what you get. So if Omar is gay, then Omar is going to be God damned gay, motherfucker.
Omar has a couple of boyfriends on the show and both are absolutely stunningly beautiful and both are willing to do whatever Omar wants to get the master plan done. Omar openly loves on these men in public and God, I fucking loved these scenes that were too few and far between, because this is not a show about romance, but still when these scenes happened, it felt like heaven to see a strong, confident black man be openly, proudly gay and quite intimate with his partners. And I don’t mean sex when I say intimate, I mean L-O-V-E, love when I use intimate, because that is something else about Omar that was so beautiful to see, that when they showed us with his lovers, Michael Kenneth Williams always played to these lovers with a level of intimacy that was quite beautiful and touching. Omar loved the men in his life. No matter how tough Omar was, he was also a man about love.
And then there is Kima. She is a cop who is just trying to do her job. She is a lesbian and is out to everyone, even the guy who didn’t know she was gay, who when he finds out she is gay, everyone else is like, how did you not know? How refreshing was that to see, and knowing that it was shot in 2002. Pretty cool, because in 2002, it still wasn’t okay to be an out cop, for the most part. But Kima is out. Kima has a girlfriend, but Kima has girlfriend problems. And that was the cool twist to Kima, her character dealt with love the way you would have assumed Omar would have dealt with love. Kima is more like a guy when it comes to the main woman in her life. Kima is not faithful physically and not totally committed emotionally to her relationship either. She always comes home late, if at all, and is not down to having a kid, but once the kid is there, it’s too late about not being down with that. She even breaks the promise to her girlfriend that she wouldn’t go back into the line of duty. Basically, Kima is just not a good girlfriend. I guess great cops make for lousy girlfriends. But I still loved Kima because Kima was real. And Kima was a strong woman who worked in a profession of nothing but men, and these men loved to look at really, really dirty magazines in the office. All the time! Do men really look at dirty magazines like this? I always wondered who was looking at those weirdly gross magazines that have some rather…let’s just say, odd positions that women have to get into for men to be turned on. Men have strange senses of beauty. Anyway, Kima is a lesbian working with these dirty magazine loving men and holding her own with them, even if she isn’t a dirty magazine purveyor herself. Okay, Playboy, I get. It actually does have great articles and the women are in somewhat normal poses. The fake boobs just got to me after a while because I find fake boobs boring, so I stopped being a purveyor of that magazine. I can see Kima as a purveyor of Playboy too, but probably like me, getting tired of all those fake boobs too. See, Kima, we can totally be best friends. Okay, in my delusional brain, but Omar will be best friends in my delusional brain with us, so it will not be boring. Maybe we can even all wear blue silk pajamas together while munching on some Honey Nut Cheerios? 🙂
We keep talking about how we need more diversity in our entertainment. And I totally get that because it’s true. But we walk around acting like there has never been diversity in anything ever in entertainment before. But back in 2002, The Wire was right there on our TV and I think most of us ignored it, hence the small amount of fanfare it received despite all the critics that lauded it with well-deserved praises, so we didn’t know that diversity of all shapes and sizes was right there on our TV from 2002-2008. So if you took a pass on The Wire, like I did for all those years, then it’s time to make up for lost time because you have missed out on what truly, really is the best show ever on TV in all of TV’s history. And if you disagree, I believe that Omar would like a word with you. So you might want to agree. You don’t want to hear “Omar’s coming!” and it’s for you.
A P.S. Tip for Watching The Wire: Closed captions are your best friend. The dialogue is a lot of lingo and it’s hard to understand what the hell they are all talking about, so I turned on the closed captions and all was right in my The Wire watching world again.
Instead of a video of a trailer that I would normally attach here, I decided seeing Omar try to get himself some Honey Nut Cheerios was way better. And if you finish up the box, remember to holler on it, yo. 🙂