Only Zola

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About Only Zola

  • Birthday 02/06/1993

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    The West Wing, Ash Vs Evil Dead, Boardwalk Empire, Peaky Blinders, Homicide: Life on the Streets, House of Cards, The Universe, Cosmos, Time Team

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  1. All 5 seasons are beyond exceptional, which is a rare thing with TV drama these days. Have only just completed the show for a 2nd time, and will no doubt complete a 3rd before the year is out. It is hugely infectious, and given the subject matter for each season, coupled with the vast array of characters in each in each, it is incredibly difficult to give a judgement on which season is best. However, for the moment at least, I would put season 1 first, primarily because it sets the foundations for the entire Wire Empire: the characters, the environment, the city itself, the despair, the senseless deaths and violence et al. This is a season that gives fair warning to its viewings that this show is not like your happy-clappy formulaic network crime shows. Next up for me, was season 3, and the politics, the money, the power, the influence and all that corruption! Season 1 focused mostly on the drugs; season 3 focused on the money, and I loved every episode! Next would be season 2. Not everyone's favourite, and was always going to be difficult to continue from the excellence of S1. I guess a lot of viewers were expecting a direct continuation of S1, and truth it does; but the emphasis is shifted to ordinary working class people, while the gangster story arc was put on the back burner, even though it was still interlinked. Season 4, is next on my list. The school kids and teacher storyline was awesome, but for whatever reason I wasn't bowled over with some of the writing. The much maligned S5 - I found it difficult to have any empathy with the journalists. As McNulty once said in S1 "You're just a bunch of empty suits!" And that's more or less how I felt about the reporters in 5. And neither did I like McNulty seemingly going off the rails with some crazy serial killer case. On its own S5 is brilliant; but compare it to the other seasons, it just falls short of true greatness. I suspect my choices will change the next time I do a Wire marathon :)
  2. The Wire, has so many interesting characters that you don't always get time to fully appreciate them all. Omar Little, is the guy that fascinates me most; but on repeat viewings I can get to appreciate the other lead characters, not least of course, Stringer Bell. Clearly a man who wants to be something other than a gangster/king pin; he tries to pass himself off as a legitimate businessman, and tries to educate himself in microeconomics, and a book library full of literally heavyweights including Adam Smith. He also tries to pull Avon away from the world of corners, packages and bullets, but at the end of the day he is nothing more than a gangster - a slightly more enlightened gangster but a gangster nonetheless. And yes, our very own Idris Elba did a fantastic job bringing that character to life and adding so many layers to it; more so given that Elba is a Londoner - something I would never have of guessed on first viewing.
  3. "The Wire" is without doubt one of the finest TV shows out there - regardless of genre; it has so many fascinating and eclectic characters that is difficult to digest and try to understand each and every one in just one sitting. But as fascinating as they all are, it is Omar that stands head and shoulders over all of them! It is one of those strange paradoxes how one could be so attracted/supportive/endeared to such a gangster/killer, but Omar does it perfectly - or rather Michael K. Williams does! He reminds me of a mixed up, latter-day Robin Hood - steals from the bad, but doesn't exactly help the poor/innocent! But at the same time he strikes fear in the streets of Baltimore, as if he was some mythical god that not even the likes Marlo, Stringer or Avon ever could. He wasn't immortal, and he wasn't always successful with his shoot-outs, but he had such a remarkable magnetism that you didn't care about his limitations. But hey, it's all in the game!
  4. If you were hosting a dinner party at your home, and you could invite 4 characters from the West Wing, who would they be and why? (it would have to be 2 main characters - CJ, Bartlet, Sam, Josh, Leo, Charlie, Donna, Toby... and perhaps Will - and 2 supports. So not 4 senior staff, for example) In my case, I would invite:- Leo - primarily because he is an easy conversationalist with a broad subject-matter, a few tales to tell, a cautious sense of humour, and he knows how to weave a good story (his confession to Jordon Kendall of his alcoholism, is just so vivid!) CJ - because she has a great sense of humour, probably has lots of press-gaggle stories/gossip to tell; has a very reassuring presence, is a little outspoken on certain issues, but seems fairly unhinged - just don't mention the Census! Ainsley Hayes - She's a spunky, demure, quick-witted, dry, a little naive but endearing with it. Her dinner party conversation might be a bit awkward given her bitty iambic pentameter. But am sure she will get on fine with my other guests. Sheila Brooks - Close friend and political adviser to Arnie Vinick. Very shrewd, quiet Conservative. Admits when she knows she's a liability and subsequently makes way; easy on the eye, a good talker, and is not brash, loud or annoying.
  5. Quick update - seems there's a consensus for Toby being the leaker (8 votes currently); and yet 4 people voted for "Someone Else" - would be great to know who those "someone elses" are?
  6. CJ's "woot cannoww" scene from "Celestial Navigation" was a highlight amongst many others. But then I also liked Danny balling out CJ over the Mandy Memo. I loved CJ as Press Secretary, but not so much as CoS, and as such she didn't have that many memorable scenes in the latter - at least not for me.
  7. Thanks for the clarification. In hindsight I should have raised the question prior to posting.
  8. Guys- I have removed the spoiler tags from my initial post, but kept a warning up. I did think long and hard about whether to include tags or not when making this post, despite the show being off air for over 10 years. I recall posting on another TV site not so long ago, and despite giving a "There are spoilers below" message upfront, I still got hammered by the mods who said I should have also included spoiler tags, despite the warning! Moreover, just because a show has been off-air shouldn't mean that there should be an open-door policy when it comes to spoilers. For example "The Sopranos" That great show aired between 1999-2007. I was far too young to be allowed to watch that at the time, but while at university a few friends mentioned it and pointed me to an online forum. Despite the show being off-air for 4 years (in 2011) posters never gave spoiler warnings, which kinda killed my anticipation/enjoyment for watching the show for the first time shortly after. But you're right - this particular thread is not season-specific; it's just a bit of a grey area for me as to what should and should not be revealed.
  9. I think Ron Silver died in 2009 aged about 63 I think - no age really. Have seen him in a number of films, usually as some kind of manic bad guy; but he was perfect as Bruno. And yes, i did read someplace that Ron turned his back on the Democrats post 9/11. And as you say, the writers reflected this change of allegiance for Bruno's return in the latter half of S6, and rather mischiefly, the writers added a couple of lines that hinted this about-face. It was from "In God We Trust" and Vinick's first meeting with Bruno and the latter's plan to win all 50 states.... It's a great scene between two great actors.
  10. CONTAINS SPOILERS FROM SEASONS 6 & 7 The revelation of a military Space Shuttle could have made for an extremely good storyline had it been handled the right way. As it was the writers really dropped the ball when they decided to point the finger at Toby as the person who leaked to the media. There was universal criticism with this decision; even Richard "Toby" Schiff, admitted complete bewilderment/disappointment that Toby would do such a thing! But being the professional actor he went along with it and played the role exceptionally well, all things considered. There has been a lot of doubt if Toby was the actual leaker - that perhaps someone else had leaked but somehow was able to point the finger at him. Some have suggested it was CJ that leaked; a few have dared suggest the president himself! Very few people at the White House had sufficient clearance to know about the Shuttle - Kate, the president and Leo certainly knew about it. But CJ didn't (at least not initially). And Toby may have known about it unofficially via his brother. So if you can remove your scepticism for one moment, who do you think was the leaker?
  11. Season 3 and "H-Con 172" Sam is getting paranoid over a book a former staffer/photographer is about to have published. He's got all the senior staff in a meeting to discuss a strategy to "..turn this guy into a punch line" Sam hands out extracts of the book to the staffers to look for anything inflammatory or hostile to the president and the White House. The following really cracks me up... of course that episode also has Josh's rather lame and pathetic excuses to try and "date" Amy but without actually calling it a date. So here we have Josh asking Toby of all people for ideas.... ... so "tough-guy", Josh, is like a nice little boy taking a fancy to a nice little girl but hides behind his best friend because he's too shy to say it like it is, lol
  12. @Melancholy. Yes, that would make sense I guess. But then again Josh offered Santos a 9 point plan when he arrived on his doorstep, which Santos wasn't overly convinced by. Moreover, it wasn't until Santos met Josh in his office and said something like "I'd like to add a ten to your nine-point plan. You! I'm in if you're in with me." I think that's the part that made me wonder why Josh would go all the way down to Houston just to tell a guy to run, but without actually giving him his full support (ie to become his campaign manager). It was only until this scene whereby Santos asked Josh to become part of the "ten" point plan that Josh came on board. I think the point I am trying (but probably failing) to make, is why bother going to Houston, tell a guy to run, and then more or less go back to his office and continue as Deputy CoS and let someone else manage Santos on the campaign? Didn't Josh even consider Santos might want him to come on board? Josh looked very surprised when he asked him to. <honestly, don't worry too much about it. It's just me being too anally retentive on certain things - like an itch that you can't quite reach out and scratch, lol>
  13. I would imagine my partner will do an "Amy" on me - ie she will give me the "Don't talk to me!" treatment; and if things really do fall apart, she will drop my phone in any pot of stew I might be cooking or tying me up in tape! Don't think there's much call for muumuus here in chilly old England, Am currently watching "Opposition Research" with headphones on, and already she has said to me "You're watching that show again, aren't you!?" And then left the room (Pity she didn't say than an hour ago while I was watching "In The Room", because she would have been in the room too, before leaving the room, ha!) ho hum.
  14. Can I just ask what some may perceive to be a rather silly question? Season 6, Impact Winter. It's Christmas and Josh decides to fly down to Houston, Texas from Washington, in order to have an impromptu chat to Matt Santos. What kind of person would do that? Just turning up on a guy's doorstep and hope that the Santos family are actually in! Why not use the phone? Anyway, I am being rather picky.
  15. As much as I liked Danny, I could never quite understand how he had so much unfettered access to CJ! One minute he is seated in the press room listening to her latest briefing, the next he is barging his way to the front of the room, through the door I thought only permitted staff could use, and then does a walk-and-talk with CJ all the way into her office, whilst walking through other open-plan offices as if they weren't there! I rarely saw other press members having the same kind of liberal access; although there were times certain members were invited into her office, but never actually did what Danny did - just barging his way from the press room and into her face, demanding answers to his questions despite the briefing being well and truly over! It's a small point I know, but it still bugs me sometimes.