I’m a late adopter but can now see what all the accolades are about, having just finished Season 2… I started Season 1 but was sketched out by the dystopia of addiction so skipped ahead; the Port/Union plot immediately drew me in more. Having said that, I loved the final conversation between dealers String and Avon in which String kept going on about business but Avon saw through it, knowing the street code had been broken and there’d be major ramifications. I also loved the honor shown by Omar in calling Mouzone an ambulance once he realized he’d been set up to kill the wrong guy.
But regardless of which subset of people the plot was focusing on, the characters were all carved out with depth and their interactions were nuanced. I found I liked nearly everyone. Even Ziggy became less annoying once he realized he’d gone too far. I’d be interested to know how many other murderers could explain their actions simply by saying they were “tired. Tired of being the punchline in every joke,” or some other variation. Tired of being ignored. Being taken for granted. Being written off. And so finally they crack and react.
Ultimately, the season for me was a fascinating look at people going about their business in all kinds of ways: sometimes in a genuine effort to look after their own, sometimes because they were passionate about the job (and possibly addicted to it), and sometimes because they were just old-fashioned capitalists trying to protect their interests, and get richer. It was also a great lesson in the many shapes and forms of brotherhood.
Even better, I’ve got a few seasons left up my sleeve! It’s brilliant when you get a show like The Sopranos and, to a lesser extent, True Blood, which have gritty opening sequences set to a cool tune, and you get excited every time you hear those opening bars.