February 27, 2008

Do you like Bubbles?

Dear Mike,

Before I get to your questions, I feel like I should address a couple of the points that you made in your last post. First, Studio 60 was only a good show for about four episodes. After the first month the, dialogue was tired and forced, and all of Aaron Sorkin's issues were so obviously directed at what he viewed as society's ills (conservatism/republicans) that the show became more of a personal vendetta. Wait, did we just stumble on a parallel between these two shows? This is something I would definitely like to hear your opinion on. Two revered makers of television shows, Aaron Sorkin for The West Wing and Sports Night, and David Simon for The Wire. Both men now way off the reservation when it comes to driving home a point and they seem to come off as juvenile stabs at the people they have simple ideological differences with. The fact that you put this show up with The Sopranos and Seinfeld is a little bit of a stretch. However, since you have shown such knowledge at every other juncture of this project I will let it slide.

I also wanted to discuss your point about Omar as Robin Hood. This is hard for me because after looking back (in my mind anyway) on Omar's history, I think that Simon only wanted us to relate to him. We were supposed to view him as Robin Hood, but is that true? I don't think it was. To look at him as a hero ignores the damage that did to his city and the dozens of human beings that he killed. We would never dismiss this in real life, and just because he embodied a classic Western character, we probably shouldn't have done as long as we did. That being said, you know I love front runners (Tiger, the Yankees, etc.), and about 25 percent of me really wanted him to go Wyatt Earp on Marlo's crew and retire into the sunset with the male equivalent of Dana Delany.

Okay, on to your questions. I thought the FBI scene was great, but I knew that it was coming. Not only because it made sense in the story arc, but if the FBI does a profile on the person doing the "killing" it stands to reason that they would be pretty accurate in their assessment. The best part of the scene was when he told Kima on their way out that he felt the FBI was "in the ballpark." This was of course before he confessed to her later in the episode.

As to your question of whether or not the traditional "good guys" are in fact as bad as the "bad guys," I would say that we are inclined to feel that way more because of some level of guilt due to our shared socioeconomic status that how we would really objectively feel. Jimmy got closer and closer to being an actual "bad guy" when he kidnapped the mentally deficient homeless guy, but for some reason Lester stays above the fray a bit. Did I just contradict myself?

Okay, I do love Gus. However, just because he is the best that a shitty plot line has to offer, doesn't make him a great character. He certainly isn't on the level of Omar, Clay Davis or Avon. Come on, he said the "If it bleeds it leads" quote as if I didn't hear that old line from my red-faced drunken Journalism 101 professor at Bloomsburg University 14 years ago.

Here, Mike, are a couple of questions for you. First though, I should acknowledge that the idea for this email string comes directly from Jeffrey Goldberg's and David Plotz's email exchanges on the same subject at Slate.com. They have dissected The Wire far better than we ever could, so I don't feel bad emulating their format.

First, the scene when Marlo informs Chris and Snoop that Omar is dead captivated me. There is definitely something going on there. Do you think that Marlo really invited Chris to AC? Or do you think that in this case AC is the equivalent of Tommy's being made in Goodfellas? This has to be a trap.

Second, what do you think of the Bubbs' story this year? I think I can guess that you are a fan of his, but I wonder if you didn't like the drug addict, hat trick Bubbles more.


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