The Wire’s coming back soon: please watch it

The Wire

I know I drone on about The Wire being probably the best TV show ever made rather a lot, but it’s coming back for a fourth season on HBO soon – the 10th September at 10pm to be exact – so I thought I’d commit some more droning into electronic type.

It’s brilliant. Watch it.

Not entirely persuasive, huh?

Okay, here’s someone else explaining why it’s brilliant. A choice quote:

Having devoured all 13 hours even before sitting down with Simon, I can say I have no need of a refund. If anything, I feel like I should be paying more than my HBO subscription rate for this show. It is the best drama in HBO history — all due respect to “The Sopranos” and “Deadwood.” “The Wire” is deeper, tighter and more ambitious — and one of the finest works ever produced for American television.

And here’s Charlie Brooker on last night’s Screen Wipe US special explaining why it’s the best TV show of the last 20 years. Y’all respect his opinion, don’t you?

Over here in the lovely UK, you’ll have to wait for FX to air the fourth season, but it should be arriving by year end. There’s one reason for a Sky subscription, anyway, since FX isn’t on FreeView.

Unfortunately, it’s not repeating any episodes at the moment, which is completely atypical of it. If you want to catch up, Amazon (average customer review: 5 stars) or a similar service is the way to go: you should be able to get a box set of each season for about £25 a whack, or I’m sure a DVD rental service will be able to oblige. It’s really, really worth watching. Promise.

There’s a trailer for the fourth season on HBO’s The Wire site, just in case you don’t believe me.


Review: Aquaman


In the US:
Available on iTunes. One episode and one episode only.

In the UK: Fake a US address and get it from iTunes. Or something.

As discussed earlier this week, Aquaman is a dead pilot. It has ceased to be. Or to WB, which was its original destination. Then The WB network decided to merge with UPN to create The CW (it’s all a bit Reggie Perrin, isn’t it?) and Aquaman got squeezed out.

The question is: was Aquaman unfairly denied airtime? Should it be up in the Brilliant But Cancelled Hall of Fame?

No. It shouldn’t. It’s pants. Or should that be trunks?

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Third-episode verdict: Brotherhood

BrotherhoodBrotherhood (which I now belatedly realise is probably a bad play on words: brotherhood, brother hood. It’s about gangsters. Get it?) has improved a bit since its first episode, which was a bit of mish-mash.

The trouble is it’s now “Eat your greens” television: not desperately enjoyable, but very worthy, requiring a good deal of concentration, and talking about Really, Really Important Subjects. It wants to be The Wire crossed with the dirty local politics version of The West Wing, but doesn’t quite have the writing to make it on either count.

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More Ultraviolet

I’ve had a request. The sheer excellence of Idris Elba, one of the stars of the UK version and the unaired US version of Ultraviolet, has brought people flocking in and now they’d like to see a scene of him in the aforementioned Best Vampire Show ever.

Region 2 UK DVD releaseIf you’ve never seen Idris in anything, get hold of a copy of Ultraviolet if you can (Amazon links: Region 1 US DVD release; this is for the Region 2 UK DVD release) or just as good, any of the three seasons of The Wire, which is probably the best, most realistic cop show you’ll ever see. Idris, despite being a Hackney native, does a great Baltimore accent. You can also catch The Wire on FX in the UK.

Anyway, here’s the clip. It’s from Terra Incognita again and is actually the scene preceding the last clip. It’s my favourite scene from the whole show and would have been my first choice to demonstrate Ultraviolet‘s fine qualities if it hadn’t been a bit of a spoiler. Plus it runs at six minutes.

If you have any questions, leave a comment!

Touching Evil (US)

ITV3 has just started (as of 45 minutes ago) showing the US version of Touching Evil. If you can, watch it because it’s a remarkable thing: a remake of a UK show that’s better than original. The UK version, starring Robson Green, was awful, a collection of clichés and predictability that made you wonder what could have possessed the likes of Paul Abbot and Russell T Davies when they wrote it. It so badly wanted to be a US show, but could only imitate and badly at that.

The US version, which was exec-produced by Bruce Willis of all people, took those clichés and ran with them. The throwaway “characterisation” of having the hero, David Creegan, shot in the head – something that never seemed to affect him in any way in the UK version – was a vital point in the US version.

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