I was going back and forth with myself about whether I wanted to write anything in this space about the conclusion of what I feel to be the greatest show we have ever seen in the short history of American television. I mean this blog is about Worcester, the city I live in. Why should a show like the Wire interest anyone living in Worcester?
The Wire is set in Baltimore, Maryland. And this is the main reason I started watching it. I had heard of it a little bit as it was part of HBO's stellar line up of shows including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood, and Oz among others. I really knew nothing about the show and when I moved to Baltimore in the summer of 2005 I thought that it would be neat to watch a show completely shot on location in the city I lived in. Add to this the fact that a couple of my neighbors were in the crew of the show and it was just something I had to check out.
When you first start watching the show you are presented with a special investigative unit of the Baltimore Police Department and an organized West Baltimore drug distribution organization. What follows throughout the next five seasons of this show is a very in depth look at urban decay as set in Baltimore. It could be anywhere though. As the seasons go on we see exploration of such inner city issues as crime, drug use, employment, politics, education, media, and economy looked into and thoroughly disected through the very well written and acted characters on The Wire.
As I have read before, in time this show should serve as a document as to what it was like for a portion of our society to live the American urban experience in the early 21st century. I can only hope that this show wasn't a one of a kind thing and that more television with this type of commitment to quality and realism will follow. Until then we will always have the DVD's.