The Wire (June 2, 2002 – March 9, 2008)

It’s the end of an era. It’s sad to see the series come to an end, but at least it didn’t wait ’til it became a caricature of itself, like Six Feet Under or The Sopranos, or get whacked before it’s time like Dead Like Me. Last night was the final episode of The Wire. Over five seasons, David Simon used this provocative and smart series to chronicle the Baltimore drug trade from all levels. Without being apologetic or patronizing, you saw the drug trade and it high and mighty cousin, the drug war, from street corners, squad rooms, board rooms, and newsrooms. You got to see the economic costs and prices at all levels of a city’s power structure, as viewed by their unflinching gaze. It was named the best show on television by me, Time Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and a whole list of newspapers. This show was about so much more than just some corner boys, police and corrupt politicians. To quote Wiki:

Simon has said that despite its presentation as a crime drama, the show is “really about the American city, and about how we live together. It’s about how institutions have an effect on individuals, and howÂ…whether you’re a cop, a longshoreman, a drug dealer, a politician, a judge [or] lawyer, you are ultimately compromised and must contend with whatever institution you’ve committed to.”

If it sounds like I am eulogizing the show, it’s because I am. Over five seasons I have come to know these characters and their flaws. I was genuinely happy to see Bubbles get off heroin and was crushed to see Omar go out the way he did, but it was that unpredictability that made the show great. Nobody was safe. Nobody was bigger than the game. And now, much like the pawns in the drug game, the show has met its end before it got to grow old.

R.I.P., The Wire. You will be missed.

Today I’ve decided to post the theme song to The Wire. It is a Tom Waits original, but every season they used a different group’s/artist’s interpretation of the song. Enjoy.

Season 1: Blind Boys of Alabama – Way Down in a Hole
Season 2: Tom Waits – Way Down in a Hole
Season 3: The Neville Brothers – Way Down in a Hole
Season 4: DoMaJe – Way Down in a Hole
Season 5: Steve Earle – Way Down in a Hole

What’s next for HBO? With The Wire ending, Showtime, IMO, gets the crown for Best Original Television with Bullshit, Californication, The Tudors and Dexter, with FX taking second place with Damages and The Riches. HBO used to be the place for TV. Now, they’ve got nothing but Flight of the Conchords. Everyone tells me Entourage is great, but I am way too far behind to pick it up now…and they canceled Inside the NFL. As of right now, there is no reason for me to even keep the channel.

7 thoughts on “The Wire (June 2, 2002 – March 9, 2008)”

  1. switch to Showtime for Dexter, Brotherhood and Weed.

    HBO still has boxing which is the only reason i keep it.

  2. Never before have I witnessed a story whether on tv, movies, or even in a book that made me want to somehow find a way to have every citizen in the US be required to see. Thanks for posting.

  3. I loved this show. I lived in Baltimore for 4 years and the show really captures the local feel of the place. People need to know that all of Baltimore isn’t as shady and dark as the series portrays it, but there are some areas that will scare the shit out of you. I remember leaving one of city’s hundreds of bars one night and watching a guy being chased down an empty side street by a group of five pipe wielding hoods. I worked at WBAL and it was painfully clear how corrupt the city was and every 11:00 newscast lead with a homicide. Aside from the crime and corruption the Charm City is a very cool town. You just have to have your wits about you.

  4. I’ve been in Baltimore for a couple years now and kurt’s right. It has it’s scary parts but other than that it’s a great city. I still don’t know why they don’t just go with Charm City as the official logo.

  5. thanks so much for posting these.. so disappointed I missed them!!

    Any chance they’ll go up again??!

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