It premiered a couple weeks ago, but I didn’t get the chance to watch the season premiere of The Wire until last night. It was good, as always, and it sets up a season that promises to be great.
It may sound like hyperbole, but The Wire is easily the best TV show I’ve ever seen. It lives up to the HBO legacy of deep, complex, nuanced dramas that unfold slowly over the course of an entire season. It foregoes eye candy and witty repartee for realism, subtlety, and unparalleled writing and acting. Whats more, David Simon‘s writing is a tour de force. The Wire isn’t just television, it’s modern literature. (HBO should be paying me for this!)
Sadly, despite its critical acclaim, The Wire has underperformed. Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and Entourage all sell HBO subscriptions, but with viewership flat at 1.5 million, The Wire doesn’t. Given that, HBO deserves serious kudos for renewing it. Whether it’s a commitment to quality content or a soft spot in some exec’s heart, I’m just happy it’s back.
I also caught the season premieres of The Amazing Race, which was silly but fun, and Studio 60, which was surprisingly good. Think Entourage meets West Wing – not surprising, since Studio 60 is also written by the embattled Aaron Sorkin. Also, props to NBC, you can watch the entire episode online.
Thanks to Matt and Kristin for their living room and company, and to the Tim Goodman for his unerring reviews.
One thought on “The Wire, and the rest”
Coincidentally, this morning I got to hear Bob Zitter, CTO of HBO, talk about the future of TV distribution and the role HBO will play.
He was understandably bullish about multiple platforms, including online and portable, and multiple distribution channels, including the telecoms and direct to consumer. He was also understandably concerned about DRM and the analog hole.
I was impressed by his knowledge of both the business and technical sides. He knew the current and up-and-coming technologies, how the different business models were doing, and he had a sense of history going back to the early ’70s. I suspect he’ll learn from the industries’ past mistakes instead of repeating them.