The Wire Is Dead

After five great seasons, David Simon’s The Wire has finally ended. There was much earlier concern that the show wouldn’t be renewed for a fifth season. Luckily, the HBO suits remembered that the pay-for-cable network was about quality programming.

I’ve tried to wrap my head around why a show like The Wire never reached the sizable audience that more inferior shows got. Snobbery aside, it’s finally come to me that The Wire is an acquired taste, and much like its subject matter, only a select few could really understand it or care about it.

It’s fascinating to see tens of millions of people tune into C.S.I. or Law & Order because they dig the procedural cop programs. Sure, not many people get HBO, but The Wire is the best show I have ever seen, period.

I had reservations about the final season emphasizing the role of media. My greatest fear came to life when one story arc would be about made-up facts, but the show ended it on a note I didn’t think it would. Is it real? Maybe. Is it believable? Absolutely.

One great thing about the show is that it tries to not forget its characters, even the secondary ones. We find out about what happens to Poot, Prez and his former students not named Duquan or Michael, Avon Barksdale et al. It’s a nice touch that many shows fail to recognize the importance of developing and remembering the non-title characters.

It should be noted that the final season’s original episode number was cut from 13 to 10. I hate to say it but it is obvious that the series finale did feel rushed. While it was longer than most episodes at 1.5 hours, the end felt very fast paced. I’m sure Simon wanted to slow it more, but the powers that be trimmed it. Odd too, considering there was a writer’s strike looming during the decision. Hopefully the DVD has a longer cut.

There’s so much more to talk about, but I fear I won’t be able to get it all or make it as complete as I want to.

I do intend to revisit this, especially Mr. Omar Little.

So long. I can’t wait to buy you on DVD.

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