Sunday, January 06, 2008

I'm Wired

Excitement is running high in the Best household for the fifth (and final) season premiere of The Wire. As the saying goes, you're either a huge fan of The Wire or you haven't seen it. I've successfully made Wire-fiends out of several friends. Once you start watching you are hooked forever. Not just a cop show, it explores the drug wars, education, unions, politics and in this season, the news media.

Series creator David Simon is my hero. From Wikikpedia:

David Simon (born 1960) is an American author, journalist, and writer/producer of television series. He worked for the Baltimore Sun City Desk for twelve years. He wrote the books Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets and The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. The former was the basis for the NBC series Homicide: Life on the Street, on which Simon served as a writer and producer. Simon adapted the latter into the Emmy-award winning HBO mini-series The Corner. He is also the creator, show runner, executive producer and head writer of the critically acclaimed original HBO series The Wire.

Although Simon wasn't involved with Homicide: Life on the Street that much (Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana were the main guys), it got me interested in his work and I quickly read the book, which I found to be stunningly good. This was the show that got me interested in television again, after I had given up on it for several years. Featuring a great cast, including the amazing Andre Braugher, plus Yaphet Kotto, Ned Beatty and, of course, Richard Belzer. So, when I heard about a new series of his appearing on HBO, I was a quick convert.

Since The Wire is so complex and layered, I'm not sure how Season Five will play for a new viewer. It may be too complicated, but I have a feeling that the great writing and acting will pull you in regardless.

And for veteran fans of the show, HBO has posted some brief video vignettes with some character back stories here. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Check out the great blogging on The Wire (and every other TV show) at the Onion AV Club.

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