Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.
Last week we talked about the towering achievement that was Angels in America, and reading everyone’s pieces about the Mike Nichols/Tony Kushner miniseries for last week’s Hit Me With Your Best Shot was a treat. Angels was the clearest example yet of HBO’s commitment complex, fully fleshed-out (mostly male, yes) LGBT characters. It wasn’t, of course, as we have seen these past few months, out of character. Indeed, by looking at three testosterone-driven TV series we’ll see how by the mid-2000s HBO had all but become a one-stop shop for fully-realized LGBT characters.
Continuing what we did when we revisited Six Feet Under, I figured we’d focus on one episode per series, both as a way to focus the discussion but also as a way of making it accessible to fellow newbies. That said, I’m eager to hear from die-hard fans of any of these shows.
The Wire - “Old Cases” (June 23, 2002)
It was through compiling this very very long list of 100 Queer Characters of Color in TV and Film, that I came to learn of Omar Little and detective Shakima Greggs. Yes, I know, I know, The Wire is supposed to be brilliant but I’ve yet to sit down through its 60 episode run. Much in the same vein as Oz, The Sopranos and other early HBO dramas, The Wire takes it upon itself to not only present engaging narratives to hook viewers, but it does so while also speaking of the larger socio-economic ills that afflict contemporary America. Centered on the drug scene in Baltimore through the eyes of law enforcement and drug dealers, the show constantly asks us to question the larger systemic issues that riddle Baltimore’s projects.
more on all three shows after the jump...