The Triumphant Conclusion of "The Wire"

I'm a relatively recent convert to The Wire, an HBO TV series that is consistently described as "the best show on television," despite its small viewership compared to other series. After pretty much all of my friends vouched for The Wire, I finally gave it a shot -- despite HBO describing it as a "police drama," which is categorically uninteresting to me. After watching the first few seasons, I discovered that The Wire is actually a sociopolitical study of an American city (Baltimore) dressed up as a cop drama. The series covers a surprising range of political issues -- drugs, police violence, union politics, international shipping, education, elections, and next season: the media -- by focusing on how they apply to Baltimore, creating a detailed, nuanced study of modern inner city life. The "wire" referenced in the title (a wiretap executed in the first and second seasons) is just one aspect of the series, which slowly and deliberating expands its scope with each episode, entering broad new territories with each season.

The fourth season DVD set was released last week (rent it via Netflix). The fourth season focuses on Baltimore's politics and education system, showing the political rise of a mayor-elect, and a former cop trying to be an inner city math teacher. If you've never seen the show before, you should start with Season One and stick with it -- watch at least three episodes so you'll see the scope of the show. If you've been away from the show for awhile, let me encourage you to pick up the Season Four DVDs, make some popcorn, close the blinds, and turn off your cell phone.

The fifth (and final) season of The Wire starts on Sunday, January 6, 2008. If you're an HBO subscriber with Comcast, the show will premiere new episodes one week early via "On Demand," making you the envy of your neighbors! That means you can host a New Year's Eve party for the first episode if you so desire. While you wait, check out a series of recent interviews with the show runners (warning -- some have strong language, as does the show!):

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Shout! Factory
Original GLOW Wrestling Series Hits Twitch
Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory

When it premiered in June 2017, GLOW was a bit of a sleeper offering for Netflix. With the amount of original programming ordered by the streaming service, a show based on an obscure women’s pro wrestling league from the 1980s seemed destined to get lost in the shuffle.

Instead, the series was a critical and commercial success. Ahead of its second season, which drops on June 29, you'll have a chance to see the mat work of the original women who inspired it.

Shout! Factory has announced they will be live-streaming clips from the first four seasons of GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), which first premiered in 1986, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on June 28. The stream, which will be available on shoutfactorytv.com and Twitch, will feature original footage framed by new interviews with personalities including Godiva, host Johnny C, and Hollywood. The show will air live from the Santino Brothers Wrestling Academy in Los Angeles.

Godiva, who was portrayed by Dawn Maestas, inspired the character Rhonda (a.k.a. Brittanica) on the Netflix series; Hollywood was the alter ego of Jeanne Basone, who inspired the character Cherry in the fictionalized version of the league. Basone later posed for Playboy and takes bookings for one-on-one wrestling matches with fans.

Shout! Factory's site also features a full-length compilation of footage, Brawlin’ Beauties: GLOW, hosted by onetime WWE interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund.

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Universal Studios
Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in July
Universal Studios
Universal Studios

Here’s some news you won’t be cheering about: Bring It On is leaving Netflix on July 1st—as are the four of its sequels that are currently part of the company’s streaming library (FYI: there are a total of six Bring It On films altogether—yes, six). The Lethal Weapon franchise will bid farewell, too, as will a handful of classic films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. To make way for July’s slate of new titles, here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in July.

JULY 1

Alive

Along Came Polly

An Honest Liar

Beerfest

Before Midnight

Bring It On

Bring It On Again

Bring It On: All or Nothing

Bring It On: Fight to the Finish

Bring It On: In It to Win It

Cocktail

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon 2

Lethal Weapon 3

Lethal Weapon 4

Little Women

Michael Clayton

Midnight in Paris

Mixed Signals

More Than a Game

Pandemic

Piglet’s Big Movie

Rugrats Go Wild

Scary Movie

Scream 3

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

The Art of War

Tropic Thunder

V for Vendetta

JULY 2

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

JULY 8

Alpha & Omega: Journey to Bear Kingdom

Real Husbands of Hollywood: Seasons 1-5

JULY 9

Ratchet and Clank

Serena

JULY 11

Alice Through the Looking Glass

JULY 14

Wild Hogs

JULY 15

Convergence

Lockup: State Prisons: Collection 1

Small Is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary

JULY 16

Changeling

Wanted

JULY 29

The Den

JULY 30

A Cinderella Story

Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot

Swing State 

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