I made it all the way through The Wire and I wouldn't say that it was something that I ever "enjoyed." It's just not that kind of show to me. I appreciated it for what it was and the message it was trying to share, but it never made me feel particularly joyous. There were moments here and there, I guess; overall, though, I just watched because the social commentary compelled me to continue onward.
I think you three hit the nail on the head for me. I am personally a huge, huge fan of the show. I think it aims to achieve something that no show has ever done, and it succeeds tremendously. It is a documentary-esque cataloging of municipal society. If the question has ever crossed your mind why the neighborhood down the way is fucked up, or why people in your city are always getting the short end of the stick, the answer is very complicated and long winded. The Wire succeeds in putting society's ills under the microscope. It masquerades as a cop show, but really, (sorry) it's a show about people.
And it's smart, and assumes you are, too. It doesn't beat you over the head with plot points; it expects that you pay attention. I found that to be very refreshing.
Ultimately, it's not an enjoyable show in the traditional sense. There are no perfectly good characters to root for. You will probably hate every character you love at some point during the 5 seasons.
It's a hard show to recommend at times, because while it works okay on a season to season basis (hard to believe the hype after one, or even two seasons), viewed as a whole, it transcends anything else I've seen. Truly monumental. It brings a lot of clarity and understanding to American cities.
There are definitely some clear-cut gems, but Wall-E stands head and shoulders above almost any other movie for me. The way the story is told, and the fact that it's didactic in the most kick ass way make it one of my favorite movies ever.
I always associate Neil Blompkamp with Duncan Jones, because both made big sci-fi debuts in 2009. District 9 for Neil, Moon for Duncan Jones. Duncan Jones went on to create Source Code, a rather good movie. Neil went on to create Elysium, eh. I don't know why I compare them, but goddamn do I prefer Duncan Jones.
Awesome read! A lot of what you touched on, I can relate to.
I have missed nearly every Nintendo release since the N64 days, only able to play bits and pieces of Super Mario Galaxy, and more recently, Super Mario 3D World and Tropical Freeze at a friend's house. I play a lot of games, and those Nintendo flagship games continually blow me away with just how goddamn well made they are. Super Mario 3D world was revelatory! I haven't had that pure sense of fun in a game since I was a kid.
In other words, I'm really looking forward to picking up a Wii U this holiday season!