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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Better Late than Never

I'm a little late to the party in discovering The Wire. Its the best TV I've seen since the first season of Six Feet Under. Andrea and I watched 2.5 episodes from season 1 this weekend, stopping only to watch 24, which is lame by comparison.

I found a 2002 Salon interview with series co-creator David Simon. (He also did Homicide.) Here are some excerpts, that touch on the range of the show-- and speaks to the creative force that is HBO.
I'm just trying to come to the campfire with a good story that feels very real.
I think some people may have problems with ["The Wire"] because the expectation is of a cop show and of delivering either arrests or denouements at the end of every episode and basically exploring good and evil. Good and evil at this point bores the shit out of me.
The pilot of ["The Wire"] is very much the anti-pilot. The one thing it doesn't have is that sense of, "Are you gonna watch this show now? Are ya? Huh? Huh? Huh? If you don't come back we might kill this guy." That's what you have to do on network, 'cause if they don't come back, you're cancelled. On HBO it's like, "We're in it for the long haul. Tell the story in a smart way and we will bring people into the tent or we will die trying."

Do you hope, in some way, that your shows might help to reform the institutions they explore?

I'll tell you what, this would be enough for me: The next time the drug czar or Ashcroft or any of these guys stands up and declares, "With a little fine-tuning, with a few more prison cells, and a few more lawyers, a few more cops, a little better armament, and another omnibus crime bill that adds 15 more death-penalty statutes, we can win the war on drugs" -- if a slightly larger percentage of the American population looks at him and goes, "You are so full of shit" ... that would be gratifying.

I checked out the HBO Wire website, and accidently saw a photo of a key event in episode 37. As I am only on episode 6, that wasn't too cool. Right now, I'm hoping that Bubbles stays alive and tripping off of Omar.


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