The Wire

A TV show has a rare advantage over the film medium. You get a lot of time to tell your story. But the ‘season’ format has become so formulaic, that every episode needs a hook at the end, leading up to a really grand finale where something insane and drastic happens, to make sure the viewer returns for the next season. Would you tell a story differently if you didn’t care much about hooking the viewer in? Would you tell a story differently, if your story, by itself, has the intensity to sustain? 

The Wire ran from 2002-2008 on HBO. The hero of the story is Baltimore. Everyone else just plays the part. No one else matters in the story. What matters are the corners of Baltimore streets, the citizens of Baltimore city. The show takes a look at different issues plaguing the city and places them in the larger context of drugs and their effect on the community (I feel some reporter somewhere is judging me for using the word community, again). 

The Wire was the conception of David Simon and Ed Burns. It’s self-referential, and might even seem dated to a superficial viewer. But I’m here to ask you to give it a chance beyond the first episode. If it seems a little rough around the edge at the first, or “boring”, remember all the magnificient things always seem mundane. But, my dear Reader, they sometimes hit you with an intensity that only the simple things can. The Wire is one such show. It attempts to show you the way of life, as it is, warts and all. Watch it. 

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