Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Good Bad Guys

One of my earliest memories is sitting on my best friend's back porch after dark, feeling the warm summer breeze, listening to dogs bark somewhere, and talking about how best to cross the thirty feet between his house and mine without being captured by vampires. That friend had a knack for telling you stories with the kind of dead eyes that made you wonder whether the world wasn't really like he said. He taught me that a great villain beats a great hero any day. Maybe he's why I'm fascinated by villains, and why I prefer my heroes (spoiler alert with that one) with a little bit of darkness to them. And maybe that's why I love The Wire.

That show is chock full of fascinating, deep, thrilling, terrifying villains who just might be good guys, and good guys who just might be bad guys. Well, we're pretty clear about two of my favorites: Chris Partlow ("Part---like what white people put in their hair. And low---like not high.") and his equal partner Snoop. Those two make Norman Bates, Mrs. Danvers, and Nowonmai (some of my personal favorites) look like children's bad dreams. On the episode I watched tonight, this kid tells Chris and Snoop he wants somebody out of his house. They make it happen by beating the guy to death (with bare hands) and leaving him on the street. All the commentary we get out of the other is "Damn, you didn't even get him in the house first." Then she shrugs and walks off.

Kinda reminds me of Anton Chigurh in a people-I-don't-want-to-make-mad kinda way.

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