You deductive motherfucker, you.

Here then, is a blog about bits and pieces and things, and not about writing, for the time being.

I think I’ve figured out what makes The Wire so good*. I mean sort of aside from the acting and the wit and the sexy theme tune. It’s the complete and utter lack of any needless exposition. At no point do you find any characters sitting around discussing the plot or what has happened in the previous episodes, in a handy summary so you can catch up or refresh your tired brain. In fact, The Wire moves at such a zippy speed, and the characters are so realistic in their chatter that it’s actually a real bloody effort to keep up with what’s going on (I’ve heard of people watching it with the subtitles on, and to be honest I don’t blame them). The Wire, in fact, doesn’t care if you can keep up with it or not, it just tells its story at a breakneck speed and gets on with it. Or perhaps it actually credits you with the intelligence to figure it out; even if you didn’t quite figure out the significance of that scene, or catch on to who’s who just yet, it knows you’ll get there in the end, and that it’ll be a more exciting ride for all the complexities.
And that’s why it feels so different too. So much of our drama is so clearly signposted with exposition and foreshadowing that I’m surprised they don’t give out instructional guides with each programme. Taking an example at random *ahem* Doctor Who suffers from apparently being written for very tiny children much of the time. Alright, yes, kid’s programme, and I know comparing Doctor Who to The Wire makes absolutely no sense at all, but so often NuWho (hate that phrase) is written with a big pink crayon, with no acknowledgment of the intelligence of the viewer. Yes, kids are clever. Particularly the ones who watch Doctor Who. Perhaps it would be nice if Who surprised us with a plot that was difficult to understand because it was complex, and not because it just makes no bloody sense (the recent special being a case in point).

Anyway. I did not mean this to be a rant about Doctor Who. What I meant to say is; The Wire is excellent because it treats you like you have a brain, and more of that please.

*I am aware, by the way, that I am late to the Wire party and it’s been out years and so on. I don’t have proper telly, alright? ;p

5 thoughts on “You deductive motherfucker, you.

  1. I should probably point out that what I’ve said about Doctor Who could also be said about loads of drama programmes- I caught an episode of Criminal Minds the other night, and had deducted the entire episode from the first five minutes. At least Who can use the trappings of Sci-fi to give us some surprises- “Look! These aliens have like fly-heads and shit! Wow!”

  2. Me and Darren were having trouble watching an episode once because the sound kept messing up, so we had the subtitles on. We enjoyed it that way so much, we kept them on for the next few episodes!

  3. I’m so chuffed that the BBC has finally gotten around to showing the Wire! It’s an awesome show and as you say it doesn’t panda to the audience. It tells its story and allows you to come along for the ride.

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