Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Hey journalists: Shut the fuck up about The Wire's media storyline

Disclaimer: If you don't watch The Wire, we'll continue our regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.

Last week, I made a tongue in cheek reference to the journalistic reaction to season 5 of The Wire in the "stuff to look forward to in 08" post. Since then, more reviews have come in examining the media storyline for season five. In addition to the Atlantic and the Baltimore Sun, both Slate and Philebrity have joined the discourse concerning the portrayal of the media. The overall gist of their assessments can be summarized as follows:

"Did you know that we're journalists, and some our friends our journalists too?"

We don't care. You want to say that you worked in a newsroom, and the style of dress was accurate? Great, because after watching season 2, the first thing I wanted to do was call a longshoreman and determine whether Horseface was wearing the right colored trousers. Again, we don't care.

You worked with such-and-such editor who once worked with Simon, and such-and-such Wire character obviously resembles him, which affects your enjoyment of the show? Well, guess what: I never fucking worked with that guy, and neither did the millions or so other viewers who watch the show. Save your personal anecdotes for your fellow journalists...We don't care.

You're a tv critic. Your job is tell the reader whether the season is good on its own terms. You are not to tell us whether the dialogue in the newsroom is bad because it's heavy on cliched newspeak based on your personal experiences; you are tell us it bad because it is poorly written dialogue, period. For example, I hated the line, "at the Baltimore Sun, god still resides in the details" for the same reasons I hated "American's are stupid people in general, we'll believe anything were told" line at the beginning of the episode: They are blunt statements intending to be profound in a show that accomplishes most of its goals by being subtle.

You also don't help your case by not quoting any actual lines to demonstrate how the newsroom dialogue is heavy-handed. That's just pure dismissive arrogance on your part and demeaning to your readers. "The dialogue is generic news dialogue, because I once worked in a newsroom and know how journalists speak". Fuck you.

Hey guys! You know what? I knew Naeem, aka MC Spank Rock, in High School! We hung out a bunch of times and talked music. Did you know he liked Brand Nubian and the Native Tongues collective? When listening to his music, I can't help but feel he's purposely abandoning the bohemian style he liked as a teenager, and as such, I can't enjoy his stuff as much as I should.

Did you find that last opinion enlightening? No??

Now you know how we feel.

You're a TV critic evaluating the quality of the show. If you're going to use your experience as a journalist to evaluate Season 5, how about we get cops to retroactively review season 1? Maybe let's get every pregnant-by-a-one-night-stand couple to review Knocked up? Or, better yet, how about we get retards to review the next re-release of Dogma on DVD?

Stick to the quality of the show on its own terms. Did the newsroom storyline detract from the overall plot? Well, I believe one of you said it did, but I honestly can't remember, because it was probably drowned out in the previous eight paragraphs about how you once had a beer with editor Bill Marrimow. Did you know one of my friends met him once?

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I can't believe you didn't mention that there's a longshoreman right in the Tweener offices. :(