Friday, September 15, 2006

Back in the game

Being sans t.v. for about five months now, I don't particularly miss it much. Summer is still mostly rerun season and, having foregone while I was in law school, it's nothing new. The lone exception at this point, however, is The Wire, HBO's crime drama set in Baltimore. Even more than creator David Simon's previous Mobtown series (The Corner and Homicide: Life on the Street, which were damn fine in their own right), The Wire perfectly captures the despair, futility, and insanity of the drug war. And the war's effect on all its players, from the top of City Hall to the boarded-up rowhouses down on W. Franklin Street.

The fourth season has just begun, with new episodes premiering Sunday nights at 10p. In addition to the continuing story of the special police unit's efforts to dismantle the city's main heroin distribution ring, the show will also train its sharp eye on Baltimore's dysfunctional education system and the pull of "the game" on its students. I'll have to wait for the DVDs but if you are wired for HBO and have never watched, I highly encourage doing so. The series has already been picked up for a fifth -- and as Simon has planned it, final -- season, so get while the getting's good. I don't know if The Wire is the "best TV show ever broadcast in America" but it certainly is the best thing on right now.


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