- The series finale of the Wire was on a couple of nights ago. Wow. My buddy Kyle passed along these articles on the finale, which you shouldn't read if you haven't seen the 5th season yet. The first is an absolutely absurd critique, ironically, from someone at the Baltimore Sun (season 5's focus is the Sun). The second, is an incredibly thorough (and long) review of the finale, which is well worth the time to read. My thoughts: this season has taken the greatest departure from its strength: the ambiguity, unpredictability, and what I presume is a realistic take on the drug culture in Baltimore, by introducing a few one dimensional characters (everyone involved in winning the Pulitzer at the Sun), and one psychotic turn from Jimmy McNulty. However, I felt that the finale managed to return to what made the Wire great and provided a satisfactorily unsatisfactory ending. The best part for me was seeing the transformation of the kids from season 4, Michael turning into Omar, Dookie to Bubbles, Namond to Bunny Colvin or, cringe, Carcetti?, but also other characters changing roles (Carver to Daniels, Sidnor to McNulty) within a system that is nearly impossible to fix. The one thing that was missing, I thought, was some type of resolution with Randy Wagstaff. The last time we see Randy he is pushing kids out of the way in his group home when Bunk goes to question him. With Randy's entrepreneurial streak, and the hardening in the group home, its not a stretch to see him turning into the next Avon Barksdale, Marlo Stanfield, or, more likely Stringer Bell, but who knows... a sad farewell to a terrific TV show.
- I also managed to catch a movie called Up the Yangtze on Sunday afternoon as a part of the London Canadian Film Fest. It was a oddly compelling documentary film following a family being displaced because of flooding after the third phase of the Three Gorges Dam hydro project along the Yangtze river in China. A nice review from the Toronto Star on the movie and Canadian filmmaker Yung Chang. If you're in the mood for a nice PBS type piece, its a great one to check out.
- On a much, much, lighter note Liz and I have been going back through season one of How I Met Your Mother, which has been surprisingly hilarious for me the second time around. Doogie Howser aka. Neil Patrick Harris, has always been a standout character on the show, but I've found the other characters significantly less annoying than I remember them. The show is set to return on March 17 according to wikipedia.
- And on the lightest of all possibly notes, I bought Liz Rock Band on Friday, which meant that we basically spent all of Saturday at home watching HIMYM and playing the aforementioned Rock Band. Its been just about as fun as everyone has said it would be except I'm terrible. At any rate, a few songs that I think should've made the game, but probably aren't popular enough...
[mp3] Cuff The Duke - Ballad of a Lonely Construction Worker from Life Stories for the Minimum Wage
[mp3] Wilco - I Am Trying to Break Your Heart from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
[mp3] Tokyo Police Club - In A Cave from the upcoming (4/22/08) Elephant Shell