‘The Wire’ is more than just a crime drama series especially because it reels in the issues faced by society as a whole.
‘The Wire’ was a pioneering series in the crime drama genre and is fondly remembered even today. Not many had the opportunity to be acquainted with the series when it released in 2002, but that’s what HBO is for! Created by former author and police reporter David Simon, the series premiered for six years through 2008. ‘The Wire’ spanned 60 episodes over five seasons but every season struggled to get commissioned. The idea for the series was based on the experiences of Simon’s writing partner Ed Burns, a former homicide detective.
- What was ‘The Wire’ about?
- Is ‘The Wire’ better than ‘Breaking Bad’?
- Will the series be renewed for a sixth season?
It starred Dominic West, Michael K. Williams, Idris Elba, Wendell Pierce, and Sonja Sohn among others. The series didn’t earn recognition at the Emmys or any other awards ceremony and was outshined by viewing figures of ‘The Sopranos’. Even then, the show’s glimpse into the city of Baltimore, from the police department to the drug dealers is unforgettable.
‘The Wire’ wasn’t renewed for a sixth season, but let’s take a look at what would’ve ensued if it had.
What was ‘The Wire’ about?
The crime drama series deals with the link between several things within a large American city, Baltimore in this case. Each season introduces a new institution and its relationship with law enforcement with the same characters and a progressing storyline.
‘The Wire’ explores subjects such as the illegal drug trade, the seaport system, Baltimore’s government, education and schools, and the print media. The series also offers commentary on race and how it dominates the drug business and its policing. Viewers often mistake the series for a cop drama, believing it follows the simple premise of good cop vs bad cop. It’s actually so much more. The issues dealt with go beyond the typical crime drama and portray the society and system at large. The series chronicles the plague of drugs in a society, couples realism, and unusual humour which is the reason why it’s still relevant.
Is it better than ‘Breaking Bad’?
Crime drama fans have often compared the two series together in a bid to discover the greater one, but comparing ‘The Wire’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ is as difficult as it can get. In the former, every character is multidimensional and rooted in reality. Where ‘Breaking Bad’ is concerned, with the exception of Walter White, the others seem a bit superficial.
‘The Wire’ plot is disguised as a puzzle which leaves every viewer satisfied after the last piece fits effortlessly. It is painfully realistic since these are real issues that are taking place in the real world.
It is a multi-layered world as opposed to ‘Breaking Bad’ which tells the story of one individual. It is the downward spiral of a man who has everything but time and loses control over his reality. It’s impossible to compare the two since they have so little in common, other than the corrosive impact of drugs on society as a whole. The approach the shows take is so distinct that it’s cruel to pick one and deem it the best.
Will the series be renewed for a sixth season?
Back in 2011, Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder commanded creator David Simon to work on season 6 or a sequel film. “The Telegraph” reported,
“I want to speak directly to [co-creator Ed] Burns and Mr. [David] Simon. Do another season of The Wire … that’s actually at a minimum … If you don’t do a season, do a movie. They’ve done HBO movies, this is a series that deserves a movie. I want another season or I want a movie. I have a lot of power Mr. Burns and Mr. Simon”.
Unfortunately, the Attorney General did not receive the kind of response he was probably expecting. According to “Mental Floss”, Simon replied:
“We are prepared to go to work on season six of The Wire if the Department of Justice is equally ready to reconsider and address its continuing prosecution of our misguided, destructive, and dehumanizing drug prohibition”
Obviously, it didn’t work out! Do you think ‘The Wire’ would be culturally relevant if renewed in 2021? Let us know your views in the comments below.