The Wire Review
As powerful as it is engaging the show is unforgettable
1In the annals of TV, few shows command as much respect as that of tonight’s feature. Hailed not only as a spectacular drama, but also as a game changer in terms of dramatic representation. A near warts and all story telling of the seedy underbelly of drugs told not only by the dealers, but by the police trying to bring them to justice. There is not one point of view, there are multiple – meaning the landscape becomes one big grey blur of misdirection and understanding. David Simon created a monster, a monster that is unrelenting in its pursuit of truth and merciless in its depiction of grime and unpleasantness. With authenticity being the driving factor, the creative team took their lead from the real world and when viewed microscopically, as we do through the TV lens, there is nothing but ugliness therein.
To the uninitiated it is The Sopranos that made HBO’s fortunes in the ‘original series’ stakes. And whist that incredible series certainly put them on the map, it is The Wire that grabbed the audience’s attention and refused to let go fundamentally changing the TV landscape forever – if only there were more shows like it. The characters are real, their plights tangible, their actions inevitable – the audience is dragged kicking and screaming into a world they wish they could escape, but like the addicts the show highlights there simply is no escape.
Starting so innocently with a suspect escaping justice due to corruption, a case is opened up that no one wanted and everyone becomes embroiled in; including the audience. The single story, told over five seasons of the show, tells the story of drugs in Baltimore and the tactics used by the police to catch the perpetrators as well as the story behind the drug dealers and their methods used to continue supply. By taking a raw look at such dealings through the eyes of both sides the show transcends to become something like a drug itself. Much like Breaking Bad would in 2008 the show becomes essential viewing, once seen, never forgotten, and if you have never taken the plunge then I envy you so much; to see this show for the first time is like nothing else; whilst Game of Thrones is the current champion, it lives in fantasy, The Wire is real, it lives just outside your door forever gnawing to get back in. As powerful as it is engaging the show is unforgettable. In a world where TV shows are redefining entertainment, The Wire, still stands alone as the godfather of them all. I wonder if we will ever see its like again.
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