I never watched HBO's The Wire consistently, except a few times when Maestro Harrell played the part of a young ghetto kid, Randy Wagstaff. Several years ago, when he was ten, Maestro did a kid rap for me on a Kellogg's commercial and I became a fan. He now plays the clean cut Malik on Suburgatory. But this week, I decided to watch the well-regarded HBO series from top to bottom, even though it's going to be a brutal ride to say the least.
I'm only on Episode 4 of Season One, but already it's been worth all the drug deals, bad cops, brutal shootings, and general life's-a-bitch-and-then-you-die physical and emotional mayhem.
Why? Because I listened to the commentary for Episodes 1 and 2. That's where I learned that Edward Burns, not the actor/director, but the ex-Baltimore homicide cop who helped create The Wire with David Simon, wrote an entire scene between two detectives and the only dialog was the "F" word. [Also, did you know that one of the girls who plays a stripper is a graduate of Harvard University. In real life. And the actors who play D'Angelo and Bunk both went to Juilliard.]
Why, you wonder, did he write an entire scene using only the "F" word? Because the show received some criticism for using too much profanity. However, according to the commentary, anyone who spent time around the Baltimore police noticed that everything they said was laced with four letter words. Which caused Ed Burns, the former cop, to comment that he thought cops could have an entire conversation using only one word -- F**k. And the gauntlet was thrown.
That's why in Episode 4 of Season One, the following dialog takes place between two detectives who are in an empty apartment, looking for clues in a murder investigation.
In deference to my one or two more sensitive readers, I've substituted the work Fark for F**k.
TIME CODE START: 46:09
COP 1: Fark.
COP 2: Motherfark.
COP 1: Fark, fark, farkity fark, fark, fark, fark, fark, fark, fark.
COP 2: --the fark?
COP 1: Fark.
COP 2: Fark.
COP 1: Fark. Fark.
COP 2: Fark it. Oh, fark.
COP 1: Motherfark.
COPS 1 and 2: Aw, fark. Aw, fark.
Farkity fark, fark, fark, fark. Farker.
Fark. Fark. Fark. Fark. Fark. Fark. Fark.
COP 1: Motherfarker.
COP 2: Farkin' A.
COP 1: Fark.
COP 2: Motherfarker.
COP 1: Fark me.
I might have missed a few farks, but I'm sure you get the idea. Keep in mind, the whole time they were "farking" they were actually performing investigative duties relevant to the murder scene. So there was also acting involved.
I didn't catch on to what was happening for more than half the scene, even though I had been forewarned about the farking in the earlier commentary. First it just seemed like natural cop talk. Then I noticed how long it was going on. Then it got funny.
I think we should all try having an entire conversation with another person or two, while only using the "F" word. And all its iterations. Come on. You know you want to.