The Wire Series Ended Last Night

I was worried all season how the 5 year, 60 episode series could end its gripping, complex tale of urban street life and dysfunctional bureaucracies (police, unions, schools, city hall, media) without offering either simplistic catharsis which the show vigilantly fought against or annoying vagueness a la Sopranos.The final episode crackled with high-level revelations and difficult bargaining for lives and careers. The final justice against those who crafted the “big lie”about a serial killer that defined Season 5 remained obscured beneath the demands of political and professional aspirations. This mirrors the lack of accountability for either the main drug dealers or the lawyers, developers and politicians who work with them. Left unphased, too, are the the political and bureaucratic hacks who create the conditions that destroys people of principle who seek to reform the system.

It’s still my hope to show The Wire at the men’s shelter and lead discussion. I can’t wait to hear the debates with these men. Yet more importantly I think The Wire should be essential viewing for 20-something idealist, Obama-loving types. The Wire is ultimately a portrait of the devil within and the corrupt system. Most liberal idealists dismiss the intractability of BOTH and believe “we can recreate the world as it should be.”

Great pieces from The New York Times and Slate.

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