This is a picture of Russell "Stringer" Bell from the HBO drama The Wire.
This is a show about The Game, it's players, and the Baltimore PO-lice assigned to the fight. It's about characters acting realistically, not as how television producers would want them to act. That last point, is not an easy one to accept.
String is my favorite character of the show. He is a unique entity that is in no doubt a stone cold bad man, but he is a renaissance man of sorts. He became my favorite character when he would conduct meetings with his lower level drug dealers and runners according to Robert's Rules of Order.
But you do not root for Stringer Bell. You do not want to see him to succeed.
This is the where The Wire separates itself from The Sopranos.
People watch Tony Soprano and want to BE him. They want to be alongside him at the Bada Bing (but more likely want to be at his VIP parties). People watch that show and root against the police. There is no "rooting" in The Wire. It's not a high school football game.
Watch this show. Get yourself a ticket to the front lines of the War in Baltimore and just watch and absorb. One bit of advice - find a friend (if you can) who owns the DVDs... The worst aspect of the show is how HBO packaged its seasons... Watching it off Net Flix or some other rental property will be an absolute tease.
I understand most people out there are not as addicted to me when they find quality television. Watching a full season per weekend is asking too much of the general population... But that's how I roll.
I do not know when Season 5 of this show will start. More importantly, I don't know when Season 4 will be released on DVD. All I know is that I'm gonna hustle to watch Season 4 in any way I know how to be current when new episodes hit the air.
Loyal readers know that the last two posts have included mentions of my friend's recently published short story. It is this same friend who was nice enough to loan me Seasons One, Two and Three of The Wire. This post is dedicated to the friend who directed me to this great show.