Time to Rewire Your TV


Don't cry for Deadwood—an even better series, The Wire, will return to HBO in just 11 days. The Baltimore City Paper has a long feature on the forthcoming fourth season, which will add a new theme to the program: the failures of urban public schools.

One of the show's writer/producers, Ed Burns, is an ex-teacher as well as an ex-cop, and the new episodes will draw on his bleak academic experiences:

"We all want to believe in that Lake Wobegone moment, that all the kids are above average," [show creator David] Simon continues. "But in believing that, there's an element of denial there, and Ed Burns is not about that kind of self-deceit. He's fought too many losing wars not to be full-throated in his criticisms. Between Vietnam, the drug war, and teaching in city schools, I think he's earned the right to call shit 'shit.'"

Bonus Reason link: my interview with Simon.

NEXT: Let Them Sell Bread and Flowers

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  1. I want a hamsterdam in my home town.

    not for the drugs but for the cheap crime free neighborhoods which i could gentrify.

  2. i’ve never watched the wire but why are all the reason writers dismissive of deadwood. it was GREAT.

  3. This show is great, nothing else shows the failures of the War on Drugs, corruption of the police force, and politicians quite like this show. It’s very similar to the Shield, just with less overt action and more thinking.

  4. Damn it, I think I’m finally going to break down and buy season one of The Wire. Just sounds too good.

  5. i’ve never watched the wire but why are all the reason writers dismissive of deadwood. it was GREAT.

    not dismissive simply resigned to the fact that it has been canceled.

    Did you not read Matt’s Deadwood Democrats article??

  6. t.j.: Who’s dismissing Deadwood? I like it a lot. I said The Wire was “even better” than the show, not that the show sucked.

  7. Don’t worry, Jesse; you’re just in the same boat as David Weigel was when he inadvertently implied that Dave Foley was not necessarily at the maximum summit of comedy.

  8. The last season of The Wire showed how difficult it can be to get a useful wiretap on a known criminal organization. The only way the police could get a tap on the gang’s prepaid cell network was to sell them pre-tapped phones. With $20 Walmart phones and terror suspects being found with hundreds of prepaid phones it is probably impossible to get probable cause for a wiretap warrant if they are willing to pay $20 per call. The people who say they approve wiretaps on terrorists but claim that they will get warrants for all taps are bullshitting us. A phone that is used only once will easily stand out as suspicious if we have a complete call log database, but that is not enough to get a warrant. The Wire makes it pretty obvious why the NSA program needs to be set up the way it is.

  9. The Foley slight has not been forgotten.

  10. Don’t worry, I ain’t crying for Deadwood aka the Cocksucker Chronicles.

    I won’t be buying Season 2. Not the worst show I’ve ever seen but it ain’t no Sopranos neither.

  11. i did read the deadwood democrats thing and i seem to remember something cavanaugh saying a while back saying deadwood was good but he was look more forward to that show’s creator’s next project more. i thought i’d read that and something else and this too but i could be remembering wrong. again i’ve never seen the wire. it could be better for all i know but deadwood interested me more and it depresses me that it’s getting ended before it was intended. i seem to remember the show’s creator saying that they intended it to be a 4 season show which seems a very modest reasonable goal to me. at least it wouldn’t outlive it’s welcome. i guess i should go back and check out all episodes of the wire. by the way, i’d like to say that i love this site and it’s writers. i’m a 24 year old leaning libertarian who loves all the stuff you guys do about libertarian themes in culture. you guys should all listen to penn jillette’s radio show on the free fm station. he’s as most of you probably know a hardcore libertarian and often spouts his beliefs on the air. i don’t get the station but i listen to it on the computer.
    anyway…back to the wire. is this one of those hbo shows that demands devout viewers so i’ll be lost if i tune in this season?

  12. is this one of those hbo shows that demands devout viewers so i’ll be lost if i tune in this season?

    Yeah, you’ll probably be lost if you join it midway through. Better rent the DVDs first.

  13. I just started watching the second season of Deadwood and think the writing’s much better, or at least much more interesting, richer, and pungent, the second time around (I learned a new morphology for ‘aroma’ as in ‘aromafied’ the other day). But I’ve had this debate with myself about whether the writers are actually trying to capture how they thought people spoke – or is it just based on the gilded letter writing style of the day mixed in with what they’ve gleaned of camp lingo of mining towns? And with some characters, I’m reminded a little of Twain’s criticism of Cooper where he said something like in one instance a character talks like a back country hayseed and the next instance he sounds like a gilded high born boston brahmin…something to that effect. Only in Deadwood’s case, a character can do this almost in the same sentence.

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