Saturday, November 8, 2008

Moving beyond The Wire

I have come to notice in all the TV watching that I do that characters from HBO’s The Wire are popping up in various network shows a lot this season. I’m happy that people realize the actors on that show were incredible. Here’s a rundown of stars that have moved beyond The Wire.

Lance Reddick (Lieutenant Daniels): Last season he had a few cameo spots in “Lost” as an undefined creepy character that appeared in a scene with Locke telling him to take a walk-about trip (Episode: Cabin Fever), he played a part in gathering the “scientific” crew that was sent to the island (Episode: Confirmed Dead) and finally visited Hurley in the mental institute asking if “they” were still alive (Episode: Beginning of the End). This season Reddick has a lead role as Agent Phillip Broyles in the new series “Fringe.” Looks like Reddick might be JJ Abrams new go-to guy. Too bad “Fringe” isn’t worthy of Reddick’s talent. I hope this won’t be the end of his TV roles.

Amy Ryan (Officer Beadie Russell): While I don’t watch much of “The Office” (and have gotten grief from many because of it), it looks like Ryan has picked up a recurring role on this hit NBC show. Maybe I’ll have to tune in and check Ryan out in action as she changes over from HBO drama to primetime comedy. Also of note, Ryan had big role in the 2007 movie Gone Baby Gone. If you haven’t seen this movie I highly recommend it (a shining example that Ben Affleck fares better behind the camera while baby brother Casey excels in the spotlight).

Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield): From drug dealer to “Heroes” villain. Hector is the newest in evil playing Benjamin “Knox” Washington – a man that can feed off people’s fears and turn them into his strength. As if that weren’t enough, Hector also has a role in the new Mark Wahlberg movie, Max Payne.

Andre Royo (Bubbles): Speaking of “Heroes,” Royo vortexed himself in – and right back out – of “Heroes” as another escaped villain.

Idris Elba (Stinger Bell): When Stringer was killed in Season 3 I was pretty sad. Elba was a dynamic character on “The Wire” and even though he was a bad gangster, you still felt yourself routing for him to come out on top. Since leaving “The Wire” in 2005 I haven’t seen much of Elba, but it looks like he’s got a number of projects in the works including a new HBO series called “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency,” I’m intrigued. Elba also played a role in the film 28 Weeks Later, which a colleague leant me and I watched with some friends Halloween weekend. Kudos for Elba landing a role in his native Brittan, but this movie was a bit much for me.

Wendell Pierce (Det. “Bunk” Moreland): The loveable detective that liked to drink with Det. McNulty now has a semi-reoccurring role on the CBS show “Numb3rs” as an FBI psychologist. Imangine that.

Tristan Wilds (Michael): Poor Wilds went from one of the most interesting characters on “The Wire” to watch develop over the seasons to a member of the new “90210.” While I have not watched this show, the reviews I have read say it all – horrible. Wilds had such depth on “The Wire” as a loving brother, someone who stood up for his friends and the one who turned into a soldier in order to protect his family. It’s a shame that talent is being wasted on the teenybopper “90210.”

Deirdre Lovejoy (Atty. Rhonda Pearlman): Lovejoy took on another role as a lawyer in the new ABC show “Eli Stone.” Even while filming “The Wire,” Lovejoy had parts in quite a few shows ranging from “The Closer,” “The West Wing,” and “Nip/Tuck.” In 2006 she was cast in the move Step Up, not as a lawyer, but as one of the main character’s mother.

Dominick Lombardozzi (Det. “Herc”): Lombardozzi landed a spot on another HBO series “Entourage” as Vincent Chase’s old hometown buddy, Dom.

Clarke Peters (Det. Lester Freamon): Peters was cast in the new show “Life on Mars” as a police captain.

Michael K. Williams (Omar): While Omar hasn’t been seen in primetime, it is worth mentioning that he is has roles in 7 movies that are in post production and 2 movies that have 2008 release dates, including The Incredible Hulk that recently came out.

Pablo Schreiber (Nick Sabotka): Even though Schreiber was only in one season of “The Wire,” he has had parts here and there on shows like “Dirt,” “Army Wives,” and “Life on Mars.” Most recently though, he had a main part in the season premier of “Law & Order” as the brother of a man who was killed during a street fight.

I could go on and on with these characters and the great roles they have been cast in since appearing on “The Wire,” but that would be quite a long list and I don’t want to just regurgitate I did find it quite interesting though that the majority of these people have been on at least one of the “Law & Order” series shows at some point in their careers. Which begs the question of whether this blog should have been named: “Law & Order” the career starter.

This was my first research blog and I enjoyed learning about where the characters from “The Wire” went after the show. If you have any ideas for another research blog, please let me know. I’d also love to get some feedback, so leave me a comment if you get a chance.

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