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The Wire

January 8, 2010
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Sadly, I just finished the fifth and final season of The Wire. Outside of Mad Men, 30 Rock, and Arrested Development, I think The Wire is the best single piece of writing I’ve seen on television (wait, it’s not TV, it’s HBO). It was a wonderful five seasons, and a show I recommend anyone looking for something to watch on Netflix. 

The series is based on the bureaucracy found within all things Baltimore: the drug game, politics, the shipping harbor, journalism, the school system, and the homeless. The series seamlessly jumps around these areas using intriguing characters and engrossing story all while giving analytical critique of sphere of the city. Every season shifts its focus to a different sector of Baltimore, but as it skips across story-lines a handful of familiar faces follows along, adding a cohesiveness to the story of the show. 

One of my favorite things about the series was the continual presentation of ethical quandaries. Whether it was drug muscle deciding to act out of loyalty or survival, a police officer choosing between justice and vengeance, or an editor’s choice between truthful reporting and keeping his job, the series is filled with insightful instances of moral conundrums. The shows gives excellent examples of how truly difficult decisions can be. Does the ends justify the means? Is it ok to sacrifice the well-being of a few to save the majority? If there is one thing that studying ethics taught me it’s that moral decisions are almost never objective, and I think The Wire does an excellent job at displaying that truism.

In short check out The Wire if you haven’t already. An excellent show with a talented cast, intelligent writing, and skillful film-making. You can’t go wrong.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Nate permalink
    January 8, 2010 5:16 pm

    You need to watch The West Wing. Greatest television show in history, if you like smart writing.

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