The Wire and Dexter
I really love these shows- but I feel like I need an annotated version of The Wire sometimes. I suspect I will need to rent the DVD and watch it straight through to really understand all the subtleties of the series.
The Wire captures the chaos of inner city life – the pathos, the desperation, the dog-eat-dog mentality – but also the utter sense that this way of life all makes under the circumstances. These are the most human characters I have ever seen on television.
Dexter is another winner- one of my first scripts was about a serial killer so I’m interested in the genre – but they have really turned it on its head. When I wrote my script, you could do something unique and interesting. Now most serial killer movies are pathetic and predictable cliches.
HBO’s series seem to have an underlying thread that flows through all of them – while the characters’ choices may be utterly corrupt there is a strong sense of human need and longing that makes them understandable and forces us to feel a certain pathos and even compassion for them. Even the most seemingly sociophathic among them seem like someone you “know” – and might even trust. I’m not sure this is intentional – but a reflection on the people who choose the shows. Utter sociopaths are boring. People who defy their sociopathy by being compassionate or caring in some situations (while utterly devoid of conscience in others) are much more interesting.