Still wired

There isn’t enough space to write about how good “The Wire” is, but I’ll do my best. This show is unlike anything else I have ever experienced in any medium. People often look down upon tv for being too passive; less of a spectacle than a movie and less rewarding than a book. “The Wire” proves all these assumptions wrong by exploring character, plot, and themes on an exhaustive scale never before seen on tv. On a basic level it focuses on one single case, but the success of the show is down to how all the characters affect this case, be they street level dealers or major players. This is mirrored on the law enforcement side as we see all the action from raids on the streets up to the quiet conversations in the chambers of the courthouse.
The facts that have led to a luke warm reception and criticism are the very things that make “The Wire” a truly unique show. There is little action in the first two or three episodes and the number of characters is almost endless. If you expect a conventional heroes and villains plot with cliffhangers at the end of each episode then this won’t be for you. If you appreciate moral ambiguity, unresolved storylines and dialogue that sometimes needs subtitles for a native English speaker, then you might enjoy “The Wire”. As I mentioned, there is a focus on more than a few characters which gives you the feeling of reading a long novel. The realistic approach to sets and dialogue give an almost voyeuristic feel, it’s as if you are standing at the end of an inner city street when the action is going on and you are compelled to watch.
On a purely personal level I have never really been a fan of Cop Shows and I always avoid the Crime section in bookshops. I think the biggest reward for me has been my enhanced understanding of the politics of crime and crimefighting. It’s left me feeling pretty negative about law and order and slightly confused about the people who I previously thought of as being baddies. One last word of advice: try to watch the whole thing in an intensive period of time, it makes it easier to follow the plot(s) and get involved in the characters.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s