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DID YOU READ

Oh, Indeed

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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.