The Wire, finally

“You come at the king, you best not miss.” – Omar

I’m finally watching The Wire. I don’t know why it’s taken me this long considering that 1) I have lived in Baltimore, and 2) I’m a TV snob. Once you get through the first few episodes, you get really hooked. I can definitely see why a lot of people consider it the best TV show ever.

Of the other TV shows I’ve watched, it actually reminds me the most of Game of Thrones. Schemes, politics, cunning, stupidity, corruption, honor, death… it’s all there. I guess all of this is just human nature. But I guess the comparison is the hyper-realism, despite Game of Thrones being in a fantasy setting. Good and evil aren’t embodied in clear-cut archetypes, and this isn’t a simple morality play. (Not that simple morality plays are bad; I love fables.) What also impresses me about The Wire is how a lot of the conflict comes from the different goals and personalities of the characters; nothing feels manufactured just to drive the plot along. It’s also dense… that is, there’s a lot there. You constantly have to see what’s being unsaid to figure out what’s going on. There’s lots of foreshadowing. And you constantly are reminded of parallels between the two worlds. I haven’t even got to the way it explores various themes.

I’m only partway through the first season, and while I normally don’t care about spoilers, I’d actually appreciate being able to see the full story as intended. I like trying to puzzle my way through and figure things out as I go along. Thanks.

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