What intrigued me about The Corner was the devotion in each episode to one character. We have talked about intersecting arcs in particular episodes of Homicide. Within each episode we would learn a little more about Detective Bolander’s love life or how Detective Bayliss is dealing with the Adena Watson case, but no episode was strictly devoted to one character. The first episode, “Gary’s Blues,” was devoted to Gary, and he was rarely off the screen. There were a few scenes focused solely on DeAndre and his drug dealing, but DeAndre is his son and important to Gary. Throughout the first episode we learned all about Gary; he buys cigarettes individually so he doesn’t have to share and that he is a rather moral person as he has second thought in stealing someone else’s fridge. Also, Gary respects his mother’s request for him to go to the store to pick up potatoes and Hamburger Helper even though he is desperate for his fix of coke & dope. We experience his far from perfect relationship and are encouraged when he breaks it off, but end up discouraged that he runs away with his girlfriend at the end, instead of playing basketball with DeAndre. The Corner offers us the complete opposite perspective that Homicide does as we are following around the criminal. This comes when just a week ago we were rooting for the cops to catch the bad guy, now, we find ourselves rooting for the bad guy to avoid the cops. It’s pretty cool.
The documentary to fly on the wall style of The Corner did not bother me because Charles S. Dutton was only present in the very beginning and end of the episodes. Throughout the show the characters were not aware of the camera so it did not affect how the viewer experiences the show.