Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Wire's Back! Sneak Preview Review of Season 5, Episode 1 (no real spoilers)

Whoah! What a New Year's treat. I just saw the first episode of the new, final Season 5 of The Wire on HBO's On Demand!

And I loved it!

Here are some of the reasons why ...

It's great to hear Steve Earle's rendition of "Down in the Hole". Clear and smooth as a whistle. You can hear it here, if you don't believe me ... And here are more of my thoughts about the now-five versions of this great title song...

And the storyline this season looks fine, too. This television season - 2007-2008 - may be remembered as one of the great years for newspapers on television. Journeyman featured a time traveler working out of a newspaper in San Francisco (and I sure hope it continues), and The Wire's finale season will look at the workings of a newspaper in Baltimore.

Meldrick from Homicide: Life on the Street - aka Clark Johnson - looks to be playing the main newspaper part, and that's good news. Johnson's a fine actor. And I'm in favor of all possible, deepening connections between Homicide and The Wire, two now-classic Baltimore cop and crime shows. (My favorite, until now, was Callie Thorne (Laura Ballard on Homicide -> Elena McNulty on The Wire). Hey, McNulty, you were crazy to let that fall apart, and I still hope the two of you get together somehow at the end of this season...

And speaking of McNulty - Dominic West is better than ever in that role, and gives The Wire something else in common with Journeyman: both have Brits playing Americans. West is incredible in his American accent - you can't hear a trace of his UK. (Kevin McKidd as Dan Vassar on Journeyman is almost as good...)

Lots of other good stuff in the season premier. Michael (Tristan Wilds) has really grown into his role. He's on his way to becoming a leader - with all the good and bad that that entails - including looking out for Dukie (Jermain Crawford). Herc (Domenick Lombardozzi) is working for the drug-lawyer Levy (Michael Kostroff). And Marlo's power - starting with the ice-cool Marlo (Jamie Hector) himself, and his deadly-duo muscle Snoop (Felicia Pearson) and Chris (Gbenga Akinnagbe) - is looking more chilling than ever...

But, hey, I promised not to give too much away ...

So, suffice to say, don't miss this premier next week. Or, if you have HBO On-Demand, don't miss it right now ...

"When you walk through the garden...."

4-minute podcast of this Wire review

See also Looking Back At The Wire and Episode 3: McNulty and Marlo ... 4. One Down ... 5. Media Chasing Their Own Tales and Tails ... 6. Superman Omar and Tall Stories ... 7. King of Diamonds ... 8. Two Down ... 9. Cold, Killer Sweetheart ... 10. The Wire Bows out Gracefully

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