Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Game is the Game.

Finally wrapped up illustrating the Edgar Allan Poe short story "William Wilson." It was a somewhat grueling deadline I imposed on myself, but oh so sweet when I actually met it. There were a few instances where I actually racked up two complete pages in a day, which is about where I max out in my "artistic bench press."

What got me through this two weeks of 19th century madness was one of my favorite shows of all time: The Wire. I managed to watch all 5 seasons during this project. And when the last credits rolled, my only regret was that there wasn't another season. There are some rules to watching this show, as it is not for everybody. Rule number one, you cannot expect it to be a cop drama. This is not Law and Order, there are no synthesizers or Jeff Goldblums to save you.

Rule number two, you have to be okay with the fact that there is no clear good guy. Every character on the show gets dirty at some point. I made an argument that there is one character who stays clean the entire time (Lester Freamon, for those familiar), but even HIS character gets a little dirt on it after the final season.

Rule number three: you have to have patience. This is true of almost any HBO show. A good litmus test for The Wire is Mad Men (I know, not an HBO show but created by a Sopranos writer). If you can watch that show and enjoy yourself, you at least have the requisite patience.

Rule number four: Don't think you're going to get the usual emotional payoff that most of these "real life dramas" shoot for. This show is not a tearjerker, it doesn't go for the heartstrings. Most everyone on the show is too seasoned in "the game" as they call it to ever really show their soft underbelly. Which makes those rare moments of raw feeling even more potent. Plus, the show is created and written by a veteran reporter and a veteran cop, so it has a very journalistic feel to it.

Rule number five: Get ready to have your ass kicked by brilliant storytelling that isn't afraid to take its time.

If you think this might suit you, do yourself a favor and dive in. This show kept me fully entertained and engaged for two weeks. Hell, come over sometime. I wouldn't mind watching it again.

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