Friday, May 01, 2009

"The Wire": The Men Behind The Scenes

Some argue it is the best TV series ever written- and I would be one of them. "The Wire" was an amazing HBO series dealing with the inner-workings of the Baltimore city. And for me, its writing and directing were in a class of its own. So, I got interested in learning about the leading men behind the scenes, David Simon and Ed Burns, and I loved what they had to say. Below are links to a good summary article as well as two interviews I quickly came across. There is surely plenty more.

The Angriest Man In Television

and then, the interviews...

*Update: PBS interview with David Simon (hat tip to comments)

Interview With David Simon

Slate: One thing that struck me about the show, from the get-go—and this may sound like base flattery: It reminded me of Shakespearean drama for the way that even the villains are humanized. No one is just a bad guy. Even Avon, whom I loathed at the opening of Season 1, I came to like.

Simon: It's funny you should say that, because the portrayals in Deadwood are in the Shakespearean model. On The Sopranos, there's an awful lot of Hamlet and Macbeth in Tony. But the guys we were stealing from in The Wire are the Greeks. In our heads we're writing a Greek tragedy, but instead of the gods being petulant and jealous Olympians hurling lightning bolts down at our protagonists, it's the Postmodern institutions that are the gods. And they are gods. And no one is bigger.

Interview With Ed Burns

So is there a message that you think people can take away from this year's arc?

I think the idea we're trying to bring across is that kids are going to get educated. And that we're going to see where. It's not about kids making bad mistakes and becoming caught in the Criminal Justice system. They don't have an option of choice. We in society have the choices. So you might see a kid who clearly doesn't have a prayer and it will be very apparent why he doesn't have a prayer. It's not about blaming kids. They will survive. They will learn. It's just a question of where.


Anonymous said...

Best TV show ever! The Wire is as good as it gets.... Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

I'll add, this great PBS video interview: