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.