Help me watch The Wire.
January 18, 2010 9:05 AM Subscribe
Where can I find spoiler-free information on The Wire
? Also (and related), should I watch the prequels ahead of time?
So after about eighteen thousand recommendations, I picked up the boxed set of The Wire. So many friends whose opinions I respect speak so highly of it that I have bought the entire series without ever seeing even a single episode. And because I knew I wanted to watch it through in its entirety, I have more or less miraculously avoided learning anything about the plot.
However, as with any long-form drama, I expect there will be things that will sail past me: character names which are mentioned once and then not mentioned again until four episodes later and I will occasionally find myself in the weeds as far as following the finer points of the story. Is there a site which will give me refreshers on the characters as needed without exposing me to spoilers?
I ask because not long ago I watched the entire run of The Sopranos in a few weeks (I had previously watched it as far as the third or fourth season some years earlier). As there are literally hundreds of characters -- I think Wikipedia has entries for 332 different named characters from the series -- and probably 75% of them are played by Italian-American men aged between 30 and 55, I would occasionally see a character or hear him mentioned and realize that while I had seen him before, I couldn't place him. I did use a couple of online sources but I found that these were all written from the point of view from the end of the series... I would spot someone in the fourth season whom I vaguely recalled having turned up once in the second season, go to check him out, and learn that he gets stuffed into a car trunk with a slit throat in the sixth season. It diminished my enjoyment. Is there a way I can avoid this with The Wire?
The other question is that I notice there are three prequels in the boxed set. Should I look at these ahead of time, or will they just diminsh my experience by giving too much away (or alternately, do they work narratively by assuming the audience to know what has come afterwards)?