Wednesday, December 14, 2011

#167: The Wire

Reason to Be Happy #167:
HBO's drama series THE WIRE
Perhaps my favorite series ever. Which is saying a lot, given my fierce loyalty and my selective but addictive personality when it comes to television viewing. If you've watched The Wire, you already know what I mean. If you haven't, do yourself a favor and settle in for a perfect winter project. Entertainment Weekly called The Wire, "The smartest, deepest, and most resonant drama on TV." Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that The Wire "has tackled the drug war in this country as it simultaneously explores race, poverty and 'the death of the American working class,' the failure of political systems to help the people they serve, and the tyranny of lost hope. Few series in the history of television have explored the plight of inner-city African Americans and none—not one—has done it as well."

In spite of its critical claim, the show consistently fought low ratings. A show that asked a lot of its audience's attention span? A show "too complex" to appeal to the general television viewing public? A show that unfolded like a Greek tragedy? I was in heaven.

David Simon, the show's creator, said, "The Wire is about the America we pay for and tolerate. Perhaps it is possible to pay for and demand something more."

Every single episode made me want to be a better writer.

David Simon's final thank you letter to The Wire fans keeps me showing up at my desk every morning.

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