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September 14, 2006

The PreRevolution Will be Televised.

I'm with Kottke. A Wire prequel season would be much appreciated -- I'd love to see how Avon and Stringer built their business. Meanwhile, it's becoming clear that it's not really Jews who control the media, but the particular Jews who support the Wire. Today, Jacob Weisberg joining everyone from The New York Times editorial page to the LA Times editorial page to Entertainment Weekly in calling the show the greatest collection of pixels that ever has, or ever will, appear on a television screen. The media's full-court press in favor of the low-rated-but-awesome program has been something to behold. As Matt quipped to me, "soon, all the Law and Order fans will be rounded up and put into camps."

Update: Here's a nice round-up of some of the praise.

September 14, 2006 | Permalink

Comments

It's about time this show got the attention it deserves. I thought HBO was cancelling it after last season until I saw it in one of their 'these are all of our great shows' spots. I almost jumped out of my chair.

The Wire is the greatest show ever.

Posted by: skewter | Sep 14, 2006 12:57:50 PM

Will L&O fans be able to blog from those camps? I'd hate to lose James Wolcott like that.

Posted by: collin | Sep 14, 2006 1:28:43 PM

Amen. After watching the first season, I really wanted to see the rise of Stringer and Avon (and don't forget Brianna, who's in the game too). What's more, since Daniels is rumored to have corruption in his past, it could give us a glimpse into the Worse Old Days in the Western District with the police force.

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 14, 2006 1:36:38 PM

Go ahead, you f***ers! I dare you! I and all the Brothers of the Loyal Order of Saint Lenny Briscoe are ready and willing for the fight!

Posted by: nitpicker | Sep 14, 2006 2:08:49 PM

Fans will be encouraged that there will also be a season five to follow, though it will probably be the last.

Posted by: Aaron Adams | Sep 14, 2006 2:25:13 PM

Hear hear, nitpicker. I love the original Law and Order - frankly, all the knock-offs can disappear. It's a great show so incredibly plot-driven that it may well outlive me - it was famously renewed for FIVE YEARS, when even the best evening shows usually last maybe twice that.

The Wire sounds good, but the fact that it's character-driven means there's a flat limit to how long they can keep the characters spinning before it reaches Days of Our Lives levels of ridiculousness. Granted, it may mean a half-dozen years of excellent television in the meantime, but the limit is there.

Posted by: Kylroy | Sep 14, 2006 2:25:46 PM

Today, Jacob Weisberg joining everyone from The New York Times editorial page to the LA Times editorial page to Entertainment Weekly in calling the show the greatest collection of pixels that ever has, or ever will, appear on a television screen.

And you know what? They're all right. ;-) And rounding up all the Law and Order fans isn't a bad idea.

The Wire sounds good, but the fact that it's character-driven means there's a flat limit to how long they can keep the characters spinning before it reaches Days of Our Lives levels of ridiculousness. Granted, it may mean a half-dozen years of excellent television in the meantime, but the limit is there.

This is sort of moot, because I think Dave Simon envisions a fifth season as the last. In any case, it avoids the soap dead-end partly by shifting people in and out of focus from season to season. Characters who were peripheral in Season 1 become central in Season 2, and so on. (For example, Valcek, who was a major figure in Season 2, looks to be assuming a comparable provocateur role in Season 4, but barely appeared in Season 3.) The 'regulars' interact with a different set of other characters each season. It keeps it from getting inbred and claustrophobic.

Posted by: Tom Hilton | Sep 14, 2006 3:13:36 PM

I would offer a stirring defense of Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner, but futilely. It was not the sort of fine-tuned cultural-approval-earning machine that the HBO shows are, condemning as it does the values of community, society and duty.

Posted by: Anonymous | Sep 14, 2006 3:15:00 PM

Also, that MSNBC woman is an idiot. How can she be anything other than completely enthusiastic about The Wire? Moron.

Posted by: Tom Hilton | Sep 14, 2006 3:17:58 PM

The Wire sounds good, but the fact that it's character-driven means there's a flat limit to how long they can keep the characters spinning before it reaches Days of Our Lives levels of ridiculousness

I think the advantage of a prequel is that it allows you to get another season or two without having to spin the characters into DoOl levels of ridiculousness; you just flesh out the past. Now, sure, you can turn it into a reunion fest the way parts of the Star Wars prequels were, but you can also do it right. Witness The Godfather: Part II

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Sep 14, 2006 3:30:01 PM

Kylroy,


The Wire sounds good, but the fact that it's character-driven means there's a flat limit to how long they can keep the characters spinning before it reaches Days of Our Lives levels of ridiculousness. Granted, it may mean a half-dozen years of excellent television in the meantime, but the limit is there.

The Wire avoids that by having each season own its own particular story arc, with ongoing story arcs layered in. So its not Col. Potter replacing Col. Blake on MASH, its a character moving working an investigation on the docks to working an investigation on the west side and bringing into focus an entirely new set of characters.

I'll keep the MASH comparison and contrast going, and note that many of the stories in MASH in the early years were taken from interviews with people who were in MASH units in Korea, but that faded over the eleven year run. The Wire doesn't risk that, since it can harvest a whole new collection of stories when it shifts focus for a new year.

Posted by: BruceMcF | Sep 14, 2006 3:45:10 PM

I love Law and Order (like seen every episode three times "love" it), but I can unequivocally say that The Wire is the greatest show I have ever seen on TV.

Posted by: ersatz | Sep 14, 2006 6:40:21 PM

David Simon has been asked about the prequel (I think part of an online chat last year on the HBO site, but I'm not sure) and said, basically, that looking at Marlo gives you a good idea of early Barksdale and Bell.

Also, as for the character question--there are whole new lines of characters introduced each season--remember Ziggy and the Sobatkas?--and each year, it seems, the police in the detail (or major crimes unit now) are more on the periphery. works great that way. As much as I love McNulty, don't need to see him piss of the bosses every episode, you know?

Posted by: Goldberg | Sep 14, 2006 10:55:03 PM

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