Sunday, January 31, 2010

Omar's coming!

I have just finished watching The Wire on DVD. 60 episodes; 23 discs. I strongly recommend it to everyone. Just make sure that you start at the beginning - Season 1, Disc 1.

“Each season of The Wire focused on a different facet of the city of Baltimore. They were, in order: the illegal drug trade, the port system, the city government and bureaucracy, the school system, and the print news media. The large cast consisted mainly of character actors who were little known for their other roles. Simon has said that despite its presentation as a crime drama, the show was "really about the American city, and about how we live together. It's about how institutions have an effect on individuals, and how whether you're a cop, a longshoreman, a drug dealer, a politician, a judge or a lawyer, you are ultimately compromised and must contend with whatever institution you've committed to."

Despite never seeing large commercial success or winning any major television awards. The Wire has frequently been described by critics as the greatest television series of all time. The show is recognized for its realistic portrayal of urban life, literary ambitions, and uncommonly deep exploration of sociopolitical themes.” [1]

The Wire could be compared to a tapestry in how it's story-lines were woven together. Some characters made brief appearances or had walk-ons in one season, only to show up and have a huge impact two seasons later. Of all the richly drawn and captivating characters in the show's sprawling cast over five seasons, the character of Omar Little was surely the most complex.


“Omar is a bit of a contradiction. On the one hand, he is a deadly stick-up artist who is so brash, he robs drug dealers while whistling “The Farmer in the Dell.” On the other hand, he is a sensitive person who will do anything for those he cares about. In a world where homosexuality is considered a weakness, Omar is openly gay and is still one of the most feared men on the streets of Baltimore.” [2]


Omar lives by a strict code and never deviates from his rules, foremost of which is that he never rob or menace people who are not involved in 'the game'.

“They originally said seven episodes and you're out of here," says Michael K Williams, the man who plays him, "but after the first few weeks filming, David Simon and Ed Burns [the shows creators] came up to me on set and said they loved the passion I was bringing to it. They said they wanted to expand the role and told me to go and watch The Wild Bunch. They'd based a lot of the character on those old westerns."


So, with his duster, battle armor and shotgun, along with his attitude, he had a lot of what you would call “bad-ass” scenes – very violent confrontations as he “ripped and ran”. But two of the most powerful scenes, in my opinion, are when Bunk confronts Omar with words and Omar's testimony against Bird.

Watch and enjoy...

No comments: