• Publication date: December 21, 2010

Listen carefully The Wire: The rules are about to change

Labeled as a crime drama, The Wire has often been hailed as a realistic look at relevant themes troubling several American cities and their inhabitants. It is filled with varying socio-political themes exploring the social interplay between the law, the drug trade, political institutions, and the media. The show�s creators are from Baltimore, Maryland, which is where the show was produced and is set in. What has developed is a highly critically acclaimed television series, arguably one of the best and most realistic ever.

Labeled as a crime drama, The Wire has often been hailed as a realistic look at relevant themes troubling several American cities and their inhabitants. It is filled with varying socio-political themes exploring the social interplay between the law, the drug trade, political institutions, and the media. The show�s creators are from Baltimore, Maryland, which is where the show was produced and is set in. What has developed is a highly critically acclaimed television series, arguably one of the best and most realistic ever.

David Simon created The Wire based on his knowledge gained working as a police reporter for The Baltimore Sun and is loosely based on the experiences of his writing partner, Ed Burns, as a former homicide detective. Simon had decided to avoid a repeat of facing network objection to the pessimism depicted in his former television series Homicide: Life on the Streets, which was based on one of his non-fiction books. For this reason, he decided to take it to HBO, known for its inclination to exploring new areas and ideas.

The series� narrative begins by introducing to major groups of characters � the Baltimore police department and a drug dealing organization run by the Barksdale family. When D�Angelo Barksdale is acquitted, detective Jimmy McNulty goes to meet privately with judge David Phelan. He tells the judge that the key witness changed her story due to being intimidated by members of the drug trafficking empire run by D�Angelo�s uncle Avon Barksdale. In addition, he informs the judge that no one is investigating the Barksdale�s criminal activities which also include several unresolved homicides.

Judge Phelan then meets with and pressures high ranking figures in the Baltimore police department to form a joint narcotics and homicide team led by detective McNulty to take down the Barksdale organization. The process is difficult for the motivated cops having to deal with the slow pace of corrupt bureaucracy and self aggrandizing officers who pride themselves with their status and threaten to disrupt the investigation.

The show�s acute realism has been hailed as one of its most successful elements. Its use of wiretap technology is fundamental to the show�s success and purpose. The show�s title conveys that the series serves as a sort wiretap for the viewers in transporting them to the reality of the situation as experienced by Simon and Burns. This is accentuated further by casting non-major character actors who carry actual qualities to their real-life counterparts and basing episodic events on actual ones.

The show has been said to come close in standards to HBO�s Emmy Award-winning The Sopranos. It has been nominated for forty-three industry awards, including two Emmys. It has won a Peabody Award, Directors Guild of America Award, Writers Guild of America Award, and an Edgar Award.