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10 Reasons Omar From The Wire Was the Ultimate Badass

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Michael K. Williams’ path to playing jazz musician Rock Banyon in The Spoils Before Dying is pretty atypical – he worked at a pharmaceutical company and was homeless for a while before being discovered by Tupac Shakur. Everything changed for him in 2002 when he got the role of one of the most iconic badasses in TV history – Omar Little on The Wire.

To get you ready for the July 8th premiere of The Spoils Before Dying, let’s recap the reasons why Omar was so awesome. (Spoilers ahead!)

10. He Stood Up to the Gangs

The essential nature of Omar’s character was as a sort of hood Robin Hood, no pun intended. Omar made a living not by preying on the innocent (or as innocent as they get on The Wire) but on the predators. This naturally made him not very popular with the Barksdale crew and the other gangs that filled their shoes.

Omar the Wire All in the Game


9. He Took His Grandma To Church

It takes a lot of guts to be a family man on the mean streets of Baltimore, and every Sunday morning Omar showed respect by going to church with his dear grandmother (who thought he had a honest job at the airport). When two of Barksdale’s boys go after him there in the third season, it causes all Hell to break loose. But Omar is always a cool customer.

HBO

HBO


8. He Lives By A Code

In a world where morals are hard to find, Omar is a rare bird: he abides by a strict moral code. Best illustrated by him telling Bunk he “ain’t never put my gun on nobody who wasn’t in the game,” the code keeps Omar level when a tsunami of crap comes his way.

Omar The Wire Code


7. He Always Gets Revenge

Stringer Bell’s cunning plan to pit Omar against Nation of Islam hired gun Brother Mouzone ended badly for the copy shop gangster when the two adversaries figured out they’d been played. Their takedown of Stringer is one of the show’s most satisfying moments.

HBO

HBO


6. He Was Only Supposed To Last Seven Episodes

David Simon originally envisioned Omar as just another passing face in the Baltimore crowd, with a character arc lasting just seven episodes and culminating with him dying on his quest for revenge against the Barksdale gang. After watching Michael K. Williams completely inhabit the role, Simon knew that Omar was destined to be a bigger part of the story.


5. He Brings His Own Music

All the great badasses have theme songs, and Omar’s eerie whistling of “The Farmer In The Dell” created an atmosphere of menace that reverberated through the streets of Baltimore. You knew Omar was coming from a mile away, and all the knowledge in the world couldn’t save you.


4. He Could Laugh At Himself

After The Wire wrapped, the closely-knit crew went their separate ways. But in 2012 many of the original cast came together for the hilarious Funny or Die clip “The Wire: The Musical,” which showed Omar, Bubbles at the rest at their singing, dancing best.


3. He Loved With All His Heart

Omar’s homosexuality was an incredibly daring choice for the series. Making such a powerful and feared figure gay – and showing him being emotionally intimate with his boyfriends – reminded us that Omar was human, not just a force of nature, and his reaction to Brandon being killed in the first season set many wheels in motion.


2. His Fashion Was On Point

Omar’s trademark duster and doo-rag combo was all well and good, but you got a totally different view of the man when he showed up in court to testify against Bird. To jazz up his black and red tracksuit, Mr. Little ties on a white silk tie for the couture statement of the century.

Omar The Wire style


1. Obama Said So

You may not agree with the POTUS on everything, but you can’t deny that Barack Obama has pretty great taste in TV shows. So when he says that Omar was the best character of all time on The Wire, we’re going to agree. Now all he needs to do is sign an executive order to make that legally binding.

Omar The Wire Indeed

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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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