Wednesday, 5 March 2008
The last ever episode of The Wire is on TV in America this weekend. It brings to an end five seasons of some of the boldest, most exciting and thoughtful television I have ever seen. Many people think it's the greatest TV show of all time, I would find that difficult to argue with. When it's finished I honestly believe that The Wire should be the first TV series to win a Nobel Prize.
It's far more than merely a crime drama. It's the most compelling portrait of modern American society in any medium. And while it highlights all of the social problems Baltimore faces, it does so with such a sympathetic ear you can't help but love these people, from both sides of the legal divide. You get a sense of the community of this city and it's people that would make Ken Loach feel like an amateur. Of all the places in America I've yet to visit, Baltimore is top of the list.
One of the most memorable characters is drug addict Bubbles, played by Andre Royo. It's simply one of the greatest screen performances of all time. Bubs' chaotic, self destructive life is about as glamorous as Amy Winehouse on a bad day. But you just can't help being on his side. I'm trying to be spoiler free, but he has a scene near the end of Season 4 that just broke my heart. I'm emotional just thinking about it.
Bubs is just one of dozens of unforgettable characters though. I could easily go on all day about Lester, Prez, Kima, Stringer Bell, Omar, Snoop, Prop Joe, or many others. I also hope I haven't made the show sound grim and depressing, because it's not. It's inspiring, and thought provoking, and laugh out loud hilarious too.
Farewell to The Wire. Thank you to everyone involved, from the bottom of my heart. We can only hope to see something as good again one day. But I kind of doubt it.
All in The Game...