I'm In Mourning…

I'm In Mourning… December 11, 2009

…because last night I watched the series finale of The Wire.

Is it the greatest television show of all time? Quite possibly.  The ambivalence one feels about virtually every character is surely a hallmark of the show.  But the masterful way in which frustration is expressed about the major institutions in our country — the judicial system, public education, politics and government, and the media — is really what sets The Wire apart.  I cannot think of another show that comes close to the comprehensive way in which that’s been done.  In fact, I can only think of a few novels that have pulled that off.

As I’ve torn through the Netflix DVDs in the past two months, Doug has been preparing to help me in my grief, because he watched all five seasons this summer.  But he also said something that I found to be true, and that’s a real testament to the David Simon, the creator of The Wire — and something that cannot be said of those who wrote The Sopranos — “He really knows how to end it.”  The finale of The Wire was not frustrating, like The Sopranos, or the most frustrating of all time, St. Elsewhere, but brought the five seasons and the characters and the City of Baltimore to a conclusion that was emotionally fair.

Well, and the fact that there weren’t many characters left alive at the end.

(I know, I know.  Now I should start Mad Men.)

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  • johnCW
  • johnCW
  • All my black friends love The Wire, some more than any white people I know.

  • Dan Hauge

    The Wire kicks ass. I just plunked down a big chunk of change to buy the set–looking forward to watching it again. The level of detail and interconnectedness on that show is amazing. (And yes, I have at some point uttered every white-person cliche about how awesome the Wire is, and I don’t care :).

  • kathleen palmer

    Have you tried the BBC version of Life on Mars? The second season was just released on DVD in the U.S.. The main character, Sam has an epistemological crisis that I found theologically resonant. Besides it’s loaded with great acting, great cars and a glam soundtrack. Perfect TV.

  • It literally took me about two to three weeks before I felt like I had come back to planet earth after finishing that series. It is honestly one of the best TV shows ever produced. I love how it makes you feel like you understand why people do what they do and the madness and mayhem it creates.

  • Ironic, I just watched the series finale last weekend!

    My sentiment after it ended, “That was fitting.”

    It was a brilliant show, and it was ended well — more TV shows could learn from that.

  • Pedro


    I need to get this off my chest. I don’t know if you’ll even read this comment. Even if you do, I don’t know if you’d care to respond.

    I read this blog post on “The Wire” a couple weeks back. Well, my family has been out of town for the week (I stayed behind because of work). So I had some evenings “open” due to their absence. I had never heard of “The Wire” until reading your post and your commendation was so high that I rented the first couple of seasons.

    I will say this; the backstory, the plot, and the writing were superb. Mesmerizing, in fact.

    Yet, I felt deeply offended. The graphic sex scenes were like nothing I had ever seen before. I feel hurt for watching them. They were borderline porn.

    And I’m a bit ticked because I simply got the recommendation from your blog.

    Tell me where I’m wrong, here. I’m I too old fashioned? Did I miss something?

    I am still dazed by the gratuitious nature of the sex in the series. And to think you would recommend this? I just don’t understand.

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