Post for fans of The Wire:
Ah, the power of blogging. I asked and I received. I finished watching season 4 of The Wire. Amazing is all I can say. I watched and re-watched the first 2 seasons. I also watched all the commentaries, so I knew those 2 seasons backwards and forwards. With season 3, I watched that just once and didn't watch a single commentary. Plus this was about a year ago, so by the time I got season 4, my re-collection of the third season was very hazy. I debated re-watching the 3rd season before starting on the 4th season, but I too excited to start on the new episodes.
The story has developed a lot since the days when Avon Barksdale ran the drug trade in west Baltimore. Now a few years on, Avon is locked up for a long time, but a new kingpin, Marlo Stanfield, has emerged and taken his place. Life goes on whatever else happens.
The characters have progressed and grown in many ways (well, not everyone: Bunk still drinks himself sick). Each season highlights a different aspect of life in Baltimore. The first established the characters and laid a good understanding of Baltimore's drug trade; the second showed life on the docks; the third shows city politics; and the fourth on the school system. In the fourth season, you get an understanding of how such young children end up working in drugs. Although set in Baltimore, much of what occurs (if not all) takes place in other cities all over the world.
Non-Wire fans will wonder why I'm always raving about this show. You have to watch to understand. Anyway, I'm watching the commentaries of season 4 now. After that I'll re-watch season 3.
Here's a link to a sit-down with some of the cast members that my friend Funke sent me: http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguide/features/story/0,,2246952,00.html.