Monday, March 12, 2012

Over-thinking the Wire, last post

While I was busy standing in line for butter beer, Grantland continued its Wire bracket.  Instead of folks choosing who should win based on who was the best character (greatest, most interesting, most impact on the series), I guess they voted on who would win, so they voted for the top seads almost in ever case.  I got some of my bracket wrong when I just went by my previous posts (so Lester vs. Stinger before Bodie). 

Anyhow, let me review who won and why the voters at Grantland are foolish:
  • Omar all the way to the finals--not a surprise and not wrong.
  • Snoop vs D and they picked Snoop?  D was a far more important character, both in pushing along the plot and in helping to shape not only his character but that of Stringer, of Wallace, of Bodie.  Heaps more value over replacement than Snoop.  Unfortunately, this game only had two women--omitting some of the stronger and more important female characters.
  • Michael all the way until he runs into Omar is fine.
  • Bunk is fine, and losing to McNulty is ok, but McNulty should have lost to Bubbles.  Simply a far more interesting character, played a major role in heaps of stories, moved us far more.  The cop who thinks he is too smart, cheats on his wife and drinks?  Not that new or special.
  • Avon going all the way to the semi-finals?  Please.  He should have lost every round as his character was somewhat cool, but hardly complex or all that interesting.  Indeed, other than Serge, Avon is the least interesting, least great character in his region.  Each and everyone one else is a far more dynamic, evolving, engaging character.  Avon?  Please. 
  • Prop Joe over Bunny?  I guess Grantland folks like hoods over conflicted cops, but Bunny innovated with Hamsterdam and stood up for his gamble.  Prop Joe also got played bigtime more than he played others.  
  • Stinger vs. Lester is an understandable draw.  Both were great characters with multiple shades, and the series would be much different without either one of them.
  • I was wrong: Rawls was a more valuable character than Bodie.
  • Kima vs Marlo? Marlo was pretty generic but Kima was a great character.
I have little doubt that Omar will beat Stringer in the final.  That's ok.  Both were great characters, and this game shows how great the show was to have so many great characters.  I did start listening to the Grantland podcast ran last week with Chuck Klosterman, and I disagreed with his prediction before checking out the results.  Chuck predicted people would focus on which characters had the greatest meaning beyond the series.  Avon?  Obviously not.  My decisions were focused on the original question asked by Bill Simmons to President Obama--who is the greatest character?  These results here seem to be about some other question.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you're underrating Avon as a character. He showed a surprising amount of vunerability for being a badass gangster in the first season and then self-awareness in the third. Each character speaks to different viewers differently. Although I don't think Avon was the "best" character, he was one of my favorites.