From the third episode on, I was really hooked. It took me a few episodes to be convinced that this wasn’t just another version of NYPD Blue or CSI, but something different. Something new! Something that felt real, and that would tell me about things I didn’t dare believe happened today in the rich and powerful USA: The nation that builds their image on freedom and reaching of dreams. The truth couldn’t be further from this.
The main fact that separates The Wire from other similar shows, are the manner of which the story is being told. The show has been compared to an epos, where we follow a big amount of people from all different parts of our society. The characters have depth; they are never stereotypic or shallow. Through five seasons we get to know all kind of persons; from drug dealers, drug addicts and street kids, to politicians, policemen, labour union members, teachers and journalists. We learn how compromises, lies and betrayal are solutions they all choose to make their way in the world.
The main story line in all five seasons consists of different police investigations, done by wiretap. But we meet the same characters over and over again, and through the whole show the creators nest the big picture together. In the end we understand that everybody is in the game. Everything is connected; from the bad guys in the streets to the Mayor’s office.
The show creator, David Simon, worked in the newspaper Baltimore Sun for 13 years. There he got a huge insight into the official institutions AND the streets, and saw the ineffective war on drugs, the bad reforms and the corruption on all levels. This was too big to grasp as a newspaper journalist, so he started to write the script for The Wire alongside Ed Burns, an ex-police who worked 20 years in the Baltimore police force.
This show wants to say something, to tell about the conditions in one of Americas biggest cities. The writers want the audience to react, which I certainly did. That’s why I’m taking my time writing this; trying to make other people see the show. I can guarantee that you will get hooked to! It’s not dead serious, but exciting and sometimes even funny. But most of all really interesting and well made. It’s a shame that it hasn’t received more attention from the media or been awarded in some way by the industry.
Maybe it’s just too damn realistic?
(Sources: HBO website and IKON magazine)