Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Wire

I started watching The Wire this season because of the parade of critics -- professional or otherwise -- who had declared the barely watched crime drama the "greatest show in the history of television." I figured, if nothing else, my viewership would help bridge the paradoxical gap between praise and audience.

After watching the season finale last night I'm not prepared to part with my greatest of all-time tag -- the twelve episode season sagged considerably in the middle, and my greatest of all-time wouldn't do a thing like that.

But I am certainly willing to anoint The Wire the best show I've seen in years.

I won't even attempt to explain what went on in season four. One of The Wire's endearing attributes, especially when compared with HBO's more popular crime drama, The Sopranos, is that lots of things happen. If you haven't seen the show and want to learn more about the details
check out its website.

The reason you do want to learn more about The Wire is that it's compelling story telling that never sentimentalizes and rarely moralizes -- despite being loaded with material that usually gets that treatment.

And, despite a completely unknown cast, the acting matches the writing. The acting is so good it calls into question how difficult acting really is. At the very least it proves there is a deep pool of undiscovered talent that can perform at the same level as the famous faces you usually see.

So you can mostly believe The Wire hype. If you haven't seen it, check it out on DVD and spread the word.

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