Caught Up on “The Wire!”

Thanks Jason Whitlock!  No I really mean it. 

I was minding my own business till you insisted on the radio over and over again that “The Wire,” a show that used to be on HBO was by far the best drama series in the history of television – network of pay.

I had seen bits and pieces of David Simon’s production.  I had heard about the stories and some of the characters as well.  I never got hold of the series because I didn’t have HBO during any of it’s 5 seasons.  I caught an episode years ago while stay in a hotel that carried the network, but since I was not familiar with the show or it’s characters, I was not able to follow what was going on.  The Wire is one of those programs that picks up it’s plots from the previous week and so on.  So my interest for trying to pursue it any further dissolved quickly.

But, while catching up on the podcast archives of the Jim Rome show where Whitlock frequently substitutes for the host, he spent well over an hour detailing once again why the show was the best.  He had done this before in a previous show.  But this time he even went as far as interviewing Simon the mastermind of the program.  David Simon has a story of his own that is very well worth reading – so I won’t insult him by giving some brief synopsis not worthy of his research and work.  I will say instead that Whitlock’s passion for the show finally got to me and I decided to start from the beginning via Netflix.  I watched the first three episodes of season 1 over this past weekend. 

Right from the jump I was  introduced to the Baltimore police department, political and judicial figures, some crackheads and a drug cartel who’s main characters have as much depth as any real life characters ever seen on television.  “Ahhhh so this is what you were talking about when you described the contrast between crime boss Avon Barksdale and his lower level nephew D’Angelo.  This is how it really is when a police department is cash strapped and care more about their image than doing good police work.  Wow!”  I make it sound simple.  But the depth and detail of the character development I’m trying to describe is beyond anything I’ve seen before. 

What is really authentic about “The Wire” is that much of the story that Simon told during 5 season was based on his own personal research of the Baltimore Police Department, the drug trade, the politics, the reporting via the major local newspaper, and how it all effected the lives of the citizens of inner city Baltimore in particular.

The storylines are genuine, and the acting surreal.  After a mere three episodes I find myself fully invested into the characters and I look forward to seeing all 5 seasons in successon as soon as I possibly can.

Congratulations Mr. Whitlock!  You hooked me!

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