Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ty Picks The Best Two TV Characters Of All Time

Wassup, Y'all!

Sorry about being MIA, y'all. This part-time Super-Target gig that Mama Malone got me workin' is KILLIN' a brother. That yang's got me all discombobulated. Anyway, I've been meanin' to drop this post for a few and since we just saw some bogosity unfold at the Golden Globes with the Hollywood Foreign Press thinkin' they know TV characters, it's a good time for ol Ty to drop his two coins in the fountain....

I'll start with the first runner up - Robert Knepper - better known to Prison Break fans (yeah - I know - that's show went two seasons too long) as Theodore 'T-Bag' Bagwell. I came to Prison Break late, y'all so I did the iTunes marathon catch-up thing and cracked the hell up when I first saw T-Bag walkin' across the prison yard with a young prisoner holdin' on to his out-turned pocket. He strolled up to the main character, Michael Scowfieldturned out his other pocket and told 'Pretty' he had another pocket to spare. T-Bag is a country 'Bama type who got turned into a sadistic pedophile at the hands of an abusive, backwoods father. 

Ol boy's what I call a 'cockroach' - one of those characters that no matter what occurs still ends up scurryin' back out once the lights get turned out. This a guy who had his hand chopped off after escapin then coerced a veterinarian to sew it back on - before killing him. Eventually that appendage had to go so he ended up killin' a vietnam vet to get his prosthetic hand. Given all this, why would I think he's a good character? Because despite all that heinousness, his ingenuity and knack for survival is always on display with a non-stop string of comical one-liners uttered with a country corn-pone accent. The fact that he can even come off likable - the ultimate tragic figure - is a testament to his acting. In a large ensemble cast - he *always* stands out.

The same can be said for ol Ty's all-time favorite character, 'Omar Little' from the recently ended HBO series 'The Wire'. I got to give it up to my girl Lady E for turnin' me on to that show (which I'm also catching up on thanks to iTunes - I'm on Season 4 of 5). Accordin' to Lady E. Michael K. Williams did what few other actors can do. Come on to a show to play a small, temporary part and be so good at it that the character becomes a mainstay of the show four seasons later. Jaleel White pulled that off with Steve Urkel back in the day but to do so on a show that already has a strong ensemble cast is pretty impressive.

For the uninitiated, Omar's self professed occupation is 'rippin' and runnin'' - rippin' off drug dealers and runnin' with their drugs and cash. He's got a scrupulous set of street ethics - he only deals with criminals 'in the game' and never bothers regular 'citizens'. His weapon of choice is a shotgun, which he hides under his black duster and you can hear him comin' (but never see him until it's too late) because he's strolling along in the dark whistlin' 'The Farmer in the Dell'. What's not to like? 

Ol dude is straight comic relief in a very gritty series but he can get down and dirty with the best of them. For instance, in one show he found himself in a dark alley at the business end of a gun wielded by some New York muscle - a Nation of Islam, bow-tie wearing gangster named Brother Muzone. Omar had shot Brother M. some weeks earlier thinkin' he killed a partner of his (yes - y'all Omar is also a gay rip and runner), but when he found he got some bad information, he called an ambulance and Brother M. pulled through. Now Brother M. has come back on him in the alley where the following conversation ensues:

BM: I see you favor a .45
Omar: Tonight I do. And I keeps one in the chamber in case you're ponderin'
BM: I suppose we could stand here forever
Omar: I suppose we could or end this once and forever
BM: I want to ask you something, brother
Omar (after a pause): Omar listenin'

You gotta like a brother who refers to himself in the third person, y'all! If you've never watched either show and you're lookin' for some iPod 'idle time' entertainment, I'd recommend all of The Wire and at least Season One of Prison Break. Even if you don't care for the shows, you'll be diggin' these two as soon as they hit the screen. Trust me.



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