Originally Posted by Reaper16
Oh, I think that I get your perspective now. If a show is more about the intellectual or political argument -- the strings -- than its plot and characters (which The Wire is, overall), then its a weakness in that show for you.
To me, that's like knocking a Bertolt Brecht play for being written in the Epic Theater style. His plays were overtly political to the point where the politics trumps the characters (in a more severe way than The Wire does). That doesn't stop Brecht, for me, from being one of the absolute greats.
No, the strings in Sorkin's work are his plot devices, the obscure name for something all the principle's know by reference and then get's revealed over the course of the episode, the same stock tempermental and personality squabbles he adpats to sports set, to the oval office, to the set of a 'comedy' show, the solipsizing over 'gems of our culture' etc. Oh, and let's not forget his increasingly strident exorcising of his own personal demons through plot and dialog.
For The Wire -vs- Deadwood, it's like saying whether a perfect filet mignon or a perfect creme brulee is the ultimate repast.
The Wire tied things together over the course of a season, and really rewarded a viewer for paying attention to all the little pieces, but it could slow down in spurts where either the gravity of the scene isn't yet revealed or it dwelled on one or more of the storylines that weren't as resonant with you.
OTOH, Deadwood had plot, scene, cinematography, shock value, and nearly Shakespearian scripting. I never spent a minute watching Deadwood other than bolt upright and engaged, a lofty standard The Wire fell 'just' short of.
I could be cynical of myself and muse that the situations of black folk didn't resonate as much as a bunch of old cowboys, but The Wire was, IMO it's most . . . what, slow? meandering? plodding? [relative terms all] when covering the Sobotka storyline, whereas I could eat up every minute Snoop or Omar were on screen.