Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What's next for 'The Wire'?

Does anybody reading here watch HBO's The Wire? I'm convinced that's the best-written TV crime drama ever, indeed, perhaps the best show ever produced for television.

Honestly, I thought the first three seasons - concluding with the mutual betrayals of Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell, the ascendance of newcomer drug kinpin Marlowe, the dissolution of the Baltimore PD major crimes unit, the arrest of the longshoreman's union chief, and the outing and shutting down of "Hamsterdam" (an unofficial free zone where dope dealing was allowed to keep it out of other neighborhoods) - could easily have been the end of the show. They'd wrapped up all the loose ends pretty completely; it was like a nice little three-season novella. If the producers stopped there I wouldn't have blamed them. Artistically speaking, it was nearly perfect.

But the public loved the show so now we're back for more. So far this year, department brass has shut down the focus on major kingpins, beginning "rip and run" raids on low-level drug slingers to show an increase in arrests before the election. Meanwhile, the new local kingpin racks up a growing body count of critics and competitors, ignored and thus empowered by Baltimore PD's misplaced enforcement priorities. Sounds mighty realistic to me.

As an added bonus, I think this is my favorite version so far of the show's bluesy theme song, which changes artists and arrangements every season.

So tell me what you think of the The Wire, your likes, dislikes, and favorite charcters, plus where you think the plot is headed with season 4.


Anonymous said...

I've been hooked since day one. I can't agree with you more that this is the best show on TV. It will be intersting to see how Carcetti addresses the drug problem. I'd think it would be a very interesting phenomenon if he were to start talking legalization or another scenario such as "Hamsterdam", much to the dismay of his constituents. This would be such a great tie in with last year and also do a great service towards speaking to the issues of addressing a feasible drug policy.

I can see Marlowe going down, but don't have a clue as to how it's going to happen. He kind of came up quick doesn't have a lot of soldiers so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

I have to say that my favorite character is Omar. He is a thug that doesn't play by the thugs rules and somehow that makes him larger than all of it.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I like Omar, too. He's sort of a philospher-warrior-poet of the streets figure. Marlowe's just framed him, though, for the convenience store murder. I'm afraid after the last episode they might take Omar out!

Gordain's Keeper said...

I don't subscribe to HBO, but on the basis of your review, I checked Season l out of the local library and am now thoroughly hooked.

Anonymous said...

I wrote a piece on my blog today about Carcetti and , like you, I think that The Wire is the best written show on TV and that it is by far the best drama on TV; but it is too grimy for a widespread audience.