Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Wire: Season 1

I can not put my admiration and love towards the first season of The Wire into words. It's a difficult task trying to write about why it's so good because I know no matter how much I write right now that I will still not be doing the series justice. I'm sure that you have already read and heard about how the show is supposed to be amazing and the best thing you can actually do is just sit down and watch it. After one episode you will begin to see why its held in such high regard. After 4 you will be hooked. After 8 your mind will be blown time and time again. When the 13 episodes are done you will just be in awe and wont even think twice before calling it a masterpiece.

The first season of The Wire follows a drugs and murders investigation in Baltimore told through the perspectives of the both the police and the targets that they are trying to arrest. Every character in this richly layered world gets their story told and soon enough you begin to see that The Wire is not a simple "good guys vs bad guys" cop show. The series multi perspective storytelling serves to create a world where you are almost always in a moral grey zone and switching your opinions towards its many characters time and time again.

David Simon who created The Wire worked as a crime reporter for The Baltimore Sun and it's really because of his years of first hand experience with the crime world as well as years of being a reporter and getting "the full story" that The Wire reaches a level of storytelling that is unlike anything I have ever seen on television. The world he creates is a complicated one with a massive and epic scope to it all. Every detail and every character (and there are lots) is important and Simon is not afraid to challenge its audience and their patience as he continues to develop storylines that begin to connect to eachother which in turns creates one giant 13 hour epic story. He himself describes the series as being a "visual novel" and that is really the perfect way to put it.

I hope to maybe have one giant write up for the full series when I am done watching it all but I am kidding myself if i think that I will be able to fully justify the series greatness when it's all over. I had enough of a hard time even doing the first season some justice. I don't know what else to write other than "go watch this right now." It seems like a phrase that gets used a little bit too often but you really have to see it to believe it. It will live up to its fame and much more.


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