If ‘The Wire’ Had a Sixth Season

If this image doesn't haunt you, you didn't watch The Wire.

At Slacktivist, Fred imagines what institution David Simon would have turned his unflinchingly honest eye on if the greatest television series in history would have continued to a sixth season. That institution: The Church.

I’m both relieved and disappointed that the show did not continue for a sixth season. That left another key institution spared from this same harsh examination. I’m thinking of the church — a powerful, visible, historically important institution in Baltimore and other great American cities.

I’m relieved that the church was never the central focus of a season of The Wire because it’s an institution that’s dear to me and one in which I have a personal stake. Season 5 was painful for me to watch as I was, at the time, working in the newsroom of a daily newspaper. The show’s portrayal of the press as impotent, incompetent and self-destructive was withering. It was cruelly precise and uncomfortably true-to-life. It was painful to see on the screen a distillation of the same wretched reality I was watching unfold slowly in real life — to see this once-great institution to which I was committed being exposed and examined in such an unforgivingly truthful light.

So part of me is grateful that another once-great institution to which I am committed — the church — escaped such a treatment.

But part of me is also sorely disappointed, because if the church is ever again to be a great institution, then such a brutally honest evaluation may be a necessary first step. It would be a painful process, but a positive one, to see the church’s institutional dysfunction and self-inflicted irrelevance portrayed and examined with the same ferocious eye that Simon turned on the Baltimore Police Department.

READ THE REST: slacktivist » ‘The Wire’: Season 6.

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