Culture Shock: Everything You Need To Know About ‘The Wire’

‘The Wire,’ David Simon’s sprawling Baltimore crime drama, is one of the greatest TV shows of all time, but if you’ve never seen it before, wading into its five seasons of intense, complicated storylines can be a bit daunting. For the complete beginner, here are all the basic facts you need to know about ‘The Wire.’

The Wire tells the story of a fictional substance called “drugs”: The entire plot of The Wire revolves around something called “drugs,” a strange substance sold in bags that makes people feel good when they “smoke” (light fire to and inhale) it. The show’s writers have never revealed what their inspiration for drugs was, but odds are it was based on some sort of delicious snack or possibly masturbation.

Showrunner David Simon based the show on his three-decade experience as a sign-twirler outside a Baltimore cell-phone store: Having spent 30 years on a sidewalk in one of America’s roughest cities, Simon was able to imbue the show with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of what goes down in the Wendy’s parking lot across from the T-Mobile store he twirled a sign out front of.

The Wire features a diverse cast, which completely makes up for Seinfeld’s lack of diversity: Up until The Wire’s premiere in 2002, Seinfeld was universally panned for its lack of non-white actors. But when viewers found out just how diverse The Wire’s cast was, they ended up completely forgiving Seinfeld, since the two casts averaged together were more than diverse enough.

Barack Obama has said that his favorite character on the show is Fred Flintstone: The former president has made it no secret that The Wire is his favorite show, and when asked about it in interviews, he consistently tells people that the animated caveman Fred Flintstone is his favorite character on it. Obama says that he loves that his two favorite parts of The Wire are its unflinching depiction of the American criminal justice system and the way Fred Flintstone eats big dinosaur ribs that make his caveman car tip over.

Every episode of The Wire contains a character who points at the sun and says, “It’s here yet again and bigger than ever”: The Wire had so many unforgettable characters that it could often be hard to keep track of them all. Such is the case with the character that points at the sun every episode and says, “It’s here yet again and bigger than ever.” The character was played by a different actor each time and was often in the background of scenes. The cost of making the sun get larger in every episode of The Wire allegedly almost left HBO bankrupt, but the end result of getting to see a different person point to the sun and complain about it in every episode definitely paid off in the end.

anonymous asked:

I have a question--as a brand new DM, I introduced my players into a city that I have planned as having a very corrupt political center, while the rest of the city appears largely normal. I'm hoping for them to over time start to putting together the puzzle as they go on other adventures, which is going well so far. My main problem though is that I have guards everywhere in the city, and patrolling outside the city, and I don't know how to use them to instill fear without tipping my hand? /1

/2 My players keep interacting with the guards as if they have the power in the interaction, which, narratively, they don’t, or just passing them by completely in the open. I’m at a loss how to enforce the idea that these guards are scary and fully in the pocket of a corrupt king when they don’t even know the king is corrupt yet and the guards have no reason to attack or imprison them for existing. Help??

Oh boy do I have some ideas for you! Just think of how corrupt cops/guards might act!

  • Have the players have to solve a crime (missing daughter, theft, etc.) and the guards are super unhelpful or get aggressive during questioning and they might get a hint there’s something being hidden. That’s a possible encounter waiting to happen.
  • Have the local news or rumor mill start openly talking about possible guard corruption. Players can overhear it in the bar if they don’t get the hint. Some taverns might be strictly guard while others are free of guards.
  • Maybe there’s some sort of shady drug/weapon “bust” where the guards take everything from the players or NPCs but don’t actually report it and just keep all the loot for themselves.
  • Basic bully behavior where they also are in a position of authority should give the players a good hint that they’re not friendly in any way.
  • What kind of corruption are we talking about here since my bf just finished the sopranos and I feel like you could look to the mob for ideas too?
  • Bf/DM also suggested watching The Wire (HBO) for corrupt cop ideas. Staging crimes, taking money for bribes, having their own drug problems, and way more I can’t think of right now. Either the players could see some weird bribe going on, or possible weapons trading, or whatever this city is really corrupt about, and BOOM, another possible encounter. 
  • The guards straight up ask the players to do something shady or corrupt. They ask the PCs to take out some people or steal some loot and the people who they are supposed to victimize are really cool. 
  • Are they racist against elves or some other group? The players could witness their brutality firsthand or watch the carnage from afar.
  • Read up on some real life corruption from the past or even watch the news, sadly, for more ideas. 

I think maybe you’re worried about timing, where in that you don’t want the players figuring out the boss immediately, but there’s the also the point you want them to figure it out. Some of the above could turn into a full out battle too soon I guess for you, but do you really want them to wander somewhere else and miss this total corrupt town (although, the next town could be equally corrupt). Sometimes you can explain the entire plot to the party and they still won’t necessarily get it. Are the players new too? Welcome to DMing it sounds like you’re off to a great start!! I’m sure some of my followers can add way more to this - feel free to add/reblog! 

On Tuesday evening Jay Z hosted a poolside screening of The Godfather at his and Beyoncé’s $100,000-per-month rented mansion in the Holmby Hills. 

It is one of his favorite films, but he does believe that The Godfather 2 is a better overall production. He has also listed True Romance as one of his favorite pieces of work, and his love for it is shown through the video for “‘03 Bonnie & Clyde.” His favorite television shows include The Wire and anything on HBO or ESPN. Back in the day he was known for never missing an episode of The Simpsons.