Best show ever

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it on this blog, but The Wire is, hands-down, the best show on television. It’s certainly the best police drama to ever appear on TV, in part because it’s so much more than a police drama that it falls outside of genre. Better than The Sopranos. Better than Deadwood. Better than Six Feet Under. Better than the triad of jittery, anxiety-ridden comedy–Arrested Development, Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office. Better than The Simpsons in its heyday (and seasons three through five are hard to top, folks). Better, even, than Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In a long, wonderful ode to the show, Alan Sepinwall explains why the show’s so great:

Where most other dramas are content to include one or two minority cast members and puff out their chests about diversity, The Wire features literally dozens of interesting, significant roles for actors of color. Simon, ex-cop Ed Burns and their writing staff (which includes acclaimed crime novelists Richard Price, Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos) juggle what can seem like a hundred different subplots and pay them off in satisfying fashion at season’s end. They don’t tell you what to think of their characters, or even whom to agree with when characters debate morality, public policy and every problem plaguing urban America today. They just want you to think, period.

And…

Simon and Burns are both believers that the War on Drugs has now become more harmful than the drugs themselves, but their agenda transcends any one political ideology. What The Wire says, repeatedly, is that The System–government, business, law enforcement, everything that runs this country–is broken and that the guardians of The System are too committed to defending the status quo to even try fixing it. It’s not a case of corrupt or evil people choosing to ruin things for the rest of us; it’s people of all moral calibers making decisions within the established context of their own institutions (the police force, City Hall, drug corners) without regard to how they affect the world at large.

There’s more, much more. (And here’s a printer-friendly version.)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Athens, GA. His work has been published in RogerEbert.com, Bookslut, The Comics Journal, Salon, The Baseball Chronicle, Jackson Free Press, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter (@walter_biggins), and check out his bimonthly newsletter (https://tinyletter.com/Walter_Biggins).
This entry was posted in Television. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Best show ever

  1. Rob Anderson says:

    “The Wire” is an outstanding show, one of the best ever. But I think you’re comparing apples and oranges when you say it’s better than “The Simpsons” (though I agree that seasons *one* through five were brilliant). “The Simpsons” is a comedy, and “The Wire”, while occasionally witty, is NOT a comedy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s