The Wire

I just completed watching all five seasons of The Wire, the American urban crime drama from HBO.  You have likely heard of it, or seen it - it is a favourite among writers and poets, I've noticed.  I won't rave here for long, except to say, I believe it to be the finest piece of television drama ever made, except for Brideshead Revisited (which was, after all, briefer and based on a classic novel).  The complexity of the characterisation and multiple plots over many seasons, and the commitment to exploring socio-political issues is remarkable - but the ability to balance high-brow intelligence with street level accuracies, genre-busting ironies, pitch-perfect acting, and never-subsiding suspense, is unique.  The Wire is a permanent masterwork, the Citizen Kane of the small screen.  Utterly moving, enthralling, hilarious, upsetting, bleak, and yet curiously inspiring (there is always a bit of light in the darkness) I envy those who still have these many hours ahead of them.  It is Good TV.

Comments

Mark Granier said…
Completely agree Todd. The Wire is amazing, though it took me awhile to get into (and I still have season 4 to get through). Then there is the often-overlooked Deadwood, not to mention Generation Kill, Mad Men and the newish comic-(very)tragic Breaking Bad. I also have a soft spot for the absurd Dexter (wonderful opening creds and soundtrack) and that wildly OTT drama with a transfusion of operatic soap, True Blood (with even better opening creds): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5r77tta6HPw
Too many to get through really.
chuck.godwin said…
HI Todd,
You are so right about "The Wire". I remember when it first came out, folks were skeptical of another "ghetto, drugs and violence" piece on American television. That attitude quickly changed after a few episodes. And I will echo Mark about "Generation Kill". Though different in storyline and characterizations, and lacking some of the sustained dramatic intensity of "The Wire", it is worth a watch.

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