Archive for The Wire

The Joads Meet the Griswolds

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 3, 2009 by Craig Zeichner

The Joads


The Griswolds

I was doing my best imitation of a slug the other night and sitting in front of the television channel surfing. I’ve become pretty good at darting from one film to another while following the story lines of both, a habit I developed watching crummy films while flying. The other night I was watching The Grapes of Wrath and National Lampoon’s Vacation and was wondering what it would be like if their worlds intersected. What if the Joads from Grapes met the Griswolds from Vacation in some Pirandello-like bending of plot and character?


Both families are heading to destinations that hold promise for them. For the Joads it’s California, for the Griswolds it’s the Walley World  amusement park. Both families suffer losses on the road: the Joads’ grandpa and grandma pass away, for the Griswolds it’s Aunt Edna. If they met, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) might help Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) with the Joad family truck’s  axle-bending load. Maybe Rusty and Audrey Griswold could have amused themselves with the Joad children, Winfield and Connie? Perhaps Reverend Casy would have been spared if he rode along with the Griswolds? Things to ponder.

The Barksdales run Dunder Mifflin

Stringer Bell

Stringer Bell


The meeting of the Joads and Griswolds set me to thinking about the fabulous Idris Elba’s thankless series of guest spots on television’s The Office. Elba will forever be remembered as Stringer Bell, the murderous Machiavellian crime lord of the Barksdale crew from HBO’s The Wire. What would it be like if the Barksdale crew were running Dunder Mifflin and Stringer Bell was actually Michael Scott’s boss?

Criminal drug dealers from Baltimore colliding with quirky paper salespeople in Scranton. The Office is a different show when Michael and Dwight carry on with their nonsense and Stringer Bell has them both shot dead in the parking lot. No more mugging to the camera for Jim when Wee-Bey is lurking around the corner with his gun at the ready.


Michael and Dwight