Ask any television nut what their favorite show of all time is, and one name will almost certainly appear: The Wire. David Simon’s five season epic about crime in Baltimore is a sprawling drama that has been described as Shakespearean in nature, and the closest thing to television nirvana. And I have never seen it.
But that is about to change. Starting this week, I plan on embarking through sixty episodes, none of which I have seen or know much about. I find this interesting to write about, because a lot of people who have now written about the show have done it retrospectively, knowing what events are to come. Somehow, despite our spoiler-filled culture, have managed to avoid any of the plot points, and could not tell you a single thing. So as a write about each episode, it will be taking each one at face value, with only the knowledge of what happened before.
The purpose? Many. One is to explore the differences between television and film, and what makes The Wire great television as opposed to a single episode. Another is to explore what the auteur of the television series is, and especially how a series that had 15 directors over its time bring unique visual approaches or try and follow a certain through line as set by Mr. Simon. And of course, the big question will be to ask what makes The Wire special, and considered the Citizen Kane of the small screen.
So look for episode by episode analysis coming soon. I’m not going to stick to any particular schedule, but it will most likely be a few episodes a week. So here goes nothing.