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Old 11-24-2012, 04:02 AM   #1
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Default The Wire vs The Sopranos

For those who don't know these are two of the most acclaimed shows ever on television and they were both on HBO. I personally have seen the entirety of both series and enjoyed them both very much. I believe the first two seasons of the Sopranos were close to perfection, I do like the rest of the series, but I don't believe it was ever as good as the first two seasons. I felt the wire was consistently fantastic throughout its run and never really let me down. For people who have seen these series which do you think was the better show and which had the bigger impact?



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Old 11-24-2012, 05:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

I've seen a bunch of the Sopranos and while I think it's a good show, I never really understood why many people see it as the greatest show ever.

The Sopranos had some pretty serious issues with their characters. First of all, guys like Paulie Wallnuts and Dante seem like they were meant as parody or something. You take a couple of terrible actors and tell them to come up with the most stereotypical mobster they could think of and this is what you would get. Their acting was terrible, they were not believable as real people or as mobsters to begin with and that really didn't fit with the overall seriousness the show aspired to have.

A second thing I missed was character development. You have 60 hours worth of story and none of the characters have an arc. It's a character driven drama, I want to see the characters grow and their personalities develop.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJJ
I've seen a bunch of the Sopranos and while I think it's a good show, I never really understood why many people see it as the greatest show ever.

The Sopranos had some pretty serious issues with their characters. First of all, guys like Paulie Wallnuts and Dante seem like they were meant as parody or something. You take a couple of terrible actors and tell them to come up with the most stereotypical mobster they could think of and this is what you would get. Their acting was terrible, they were not believable as real people or as mobsters to begin with and that really didn't fit with the overall seriousness the show aspired to have.

A second thing I missed was character development. You have 60 hours worth of story and none of the characters have an arc. It's a character driven drama, I want to see the characters grow and their personalities develop.

That's funny cause when they asked the cast who from the show is most like the character they portray everyone said Tony Sirico (Paulie Gualtieri). Paulie and Sil were awesome, Sil was a awesome side kick to Tony and really played the part very well. I don't know what you're talking about.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

I only finished The Wire for the first time the other day and I want to watch it again in a few weeks or months.

The Sopranos dug more into the characters minds and lives, and it took a more artistic and philosophical direction than The Wire. I thought The Wire was a solid show, but I really only enjoyed the 1st and 4th seasons, seasons 3 and 5 were good, and 2 was mostly forgettable. But like I said, I want to watch it again before I make my mind up (I've watched The Sopranos in its entirety 4 times since 2010 when I first saw it).

I really think Tony was far more fleshed out and interesting than any character on The Wire too. That isn't to say The Wire didn't have interesting characters, just that none of them were on Tony's level - which is to be expected since The Sopranos is basically Tony's story, while The Wire had a larger scope.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

Bigger impact I think The Sopranos

Better show The Wire
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

For me,

1A. Sopranos
1B. The Wire
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

Wire > Sopranos.


Marlo is a weak dude. He didn't have do Prop Joe like that. He taught him the game.

Killing Christopher was unecessary. He was the most loyal dude in the crew.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

Quote:
Originally Posted by longhornfan1234
Wire > Sopranos.


Marlo is a weak dude. He didn't have do Prop Joe like that. He taught him the game.

Killing Christopher was unecessary. He was the most loyal dude in the crew.

Killing Christopher was completely neccesary for Tony. Christopher was the only person left at that point who had any dirt on him that could be used against him. (Murders etc.)

Tony was getting rid of a potential threat.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

Quote:
Originally Posted by miller-time
I only finished The Wire for the first time the other day and I want to watch it again in a few weeks or months.

The Sopranos dug more into the characters minds and lives, and it took a more artistic and philosophical direction than The Wire. I thought The Wire was a solid show, but I really only enjoyed the 1st and 4th seasons, seasons 3 and 5 were good, and 2 was mostly forgettable. But like I said, I want to watch it again before I make my mind up (I've watched The Sopranos in its entirety 4 times since 2010 when I first saw it).

I really think Tony was far more fleshed out and interesting than any character on The Wire too. That isn't to say The Wire didn't have interesting characters, just that none of them were on Tony's level - which is to be expected since The Sopranos is basically Tony's story, while The Wire had a larger scope.

My thoughts exactly. The 2nd season of the Wire was eh, and I hated the last season. Season 4 was as good as TV gets IMO. The Sopranos had its weak points (Season 6A, after the first 3 great episodes devolved into an annoying focus on side character Vito and his gay storyline). But you pointed out why its strange to compare their shows because even though on the surface they're similar- gangsters, cops, etc- they are pretty drastically different products. The Sopranos was more character driven and had a more artistic/experimental bent, the Wire was more of a broad study of a city as a whole that never really delved into any one particular character.

Quote:
The Sopranos had some pretty serious issues with their characters. First of all, guys like Paulie Wallnuts and Dante seem like they were meant as parody or something. You take a couple of terrible actors and tell them to come up with the most stereotypical mobster they could think of and this is what you would get. Their acting was terrible, they were not believable as real people or as mobsters to begin with and that really didn't fit with the overall seriousness the show aspired to have.

And this is the point that a lot of people missed about the show- a lot of it was absurdist, dark comedy. Paulie Walnuts' main function on the show was to be comic relief (and the actor who played him, Tony Sirico, was an associate of the Colombo Family so he probably knows a thing or two about real life mobsters). If any show aspired towards 'seriousness', it was most definitely the wire.

As to the OP's question about which had the bigger impact- The Sopranos by a mile. The Wire was definitely a niche show and it was largely overlooked by the general public and the awards circuit (which is a tragedy IMO). The Sopranos on the other hand was a cultural phenomenon, a regular at the award shows. In addition it more or less began a revolution in cable television with channels like A&E, FX, and others creating shows in the same vein (with shows like 'Mad Men' and 'Boardwalk Empire' hiring show runners, writers, directors, etc who worked on the Sopranos).

Last edited by DonDadda59 : 11-24-2012 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDadda59
And this is the point that a lot of people missed about the show- a lot of it was absurdist, dark comedy. Paulie Walnuts' main function on the show was to be comic relief (and the actor who played him, Tony Sirico, was an associate of the Colombo Family so he probably knows a thing or two about real life mobsters). If any show aspired towards 'seriousness', it was most definitely the wire.

That's what I'm saying though.

You have a show that strikes a very serious drama tone when they have a realistic rape scene (or whatever, just an example), and then the next scene you have a guy like Pauly Walnuts or Dante who are clearly a (bad) parody characters. I couldn't really get into the seriousness of the story because of that.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

Quote:
Originally Posted by LJJ
That's what I'm saying though.

You have a show that strikes a very serious drama tone when they have a realistic rape scene (or whatever, just an example), and then the next scene you have a guy like Pauly Walnuts or Dante who are clearly a (bad) parody characters. I couldn't really get into the seriousness of the story because of that.

And what I'm saying is that is what separates The Sopranos from the vast majority of shows on TV- its ability to balance heavy drama with farce/dark comedy. At the heart of the show was the philosophy of the absurd. Some shows try way too hard to be 'serious' and it makes for one dimensional, boring, forgettable characters. Paulie was there for comic relief, but he was also a murderous psychopath who it's made clear has clipped a ton of people during his lifetime (again, done with great comic storytelling during the seance bit in 'From Where To Eternity' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDxhBR2Tmes ). This was in the midst of Christopher dying in a hospital after being ambushed by his lackeys.

I don't see why any of the dramatic bits are in any way diminished in their 'seriousness' by the more comedic bits. I thought the writers did an excellent job of balancing the two, and other shows that strive to be like the Sopranos should take notes (Boardwalk Empire does this from time to time just nowhere near as effectively. see: Rosetti, Gyp)
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

Never really watched either except for a few episodes for each series.

How would y'all compare another HBO series which I kept up with, "Oz" to the two mentioned?
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

No comparison. The Sopranos comes off like a cartoon after having watched The Wire.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDadda59
And what I'm saying is that is what separates The Sopranos from the vast majority of shows on TV- its ability to balance heavy drama with farce/dark comedy. At the heart of the show was the philosophy of the absurd. Some shows try way too hard to be 'serious' and it makes for one dimensional, boring, forgettable characters. Paulie was there for comic relief, but he was also a murderous psychopath who it's made clear has clipped a ton of people during his lifetime (again, done with great comic storytelling during the seance bit in 'From Where To Eternity' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDxhBR2Tmes ). This was in the midst of Christopher dying in a hospital after being ambushed by his lackeys.

I don't see why any of the dramatic bits are in any way diminished in their 'seriousness' by the more comedic bits. I thought the writers did an excellent job of balancing the two, and other shows that strive to be like the Sopranos should take notes (Boardwalk Empire does this from time to time just nowhere near as effectively. see: Rosetti, Gyp)

Exactly. That is the problem. The one part of his character made the other part totally silly and unbelievable as drama.
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Old 11-24-2012, 03:48 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Wire vs The Sopranos

Quote:
Originally Posted by L.Kizzle
Never really watched either except for a few episodes for each series.

How would y'all compare another HBO series which I kept up with, "Oz" to the two mentioned?


I watched all 3 series mentioned, including ''Oz''. While ''Oz'' is still very good and way above average show it's just not on the same level as Sopranos and especially not The Wire.

The Wire
The Sopranos

Oz
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