One of the best television reviewers in the country has called the The Wire "the best drama in TV history." And someone I actually know assured me on multiple occasions that I would love the show. But I hesitated.
I don't like cop shows. "Procedural dramas." Whodonits. I rarely care who did it. I don't like mysteries because I'm not interested in unraveling them and I don't like magic shows because I hate not knowing how the trick is done.
But The Wire is none of those things. It's set in a cops and robbers environment, but it's about so much more. So much. And the characters are as real as any I've seen depicted on TV. Or the movies for that matter. You really care about them. And it breaks your heart when, because it's The Wire, bad things happen to them.
Even the "bad" people show you a human side. And the "good" ones are often very, very bad themselves. Epic stories, tremendous writing, cinematic presentation, knockout acting. I just can't say enough about it.
It took a few episodes to get into it. In fact, after watching the first episode, I didn't even get to the second one for about a month. Then I burned through three seasons in a matter of weeks.
Thankfully I have two seasons left to go, so it's not over for me.
I wish I had watched the show before writing the book. There's tons of material here. About pacing and patience, not spoon-feeding your audience, show/don't tell. Ah, well. I guess that will help keep the articles and blog posts and speeches fresh and new.
After this, I probably ought to break down and start watching the Sopranos. I know, I know. I don't get the Home Box!