Yep, this post is in response to Ironic Pink and her suggestion that I needed to give The Wire a chance. EssBee and I just finished watching the 4th season (I think that's what just aired this summer) and I wholeheartedly agree that it is not just another cop drama. I have yet to watch the preceding seasons, but after finishing this one, I know that I will watch them.
The Wire paints a complete picture of the politics of a city and how those politics maintain the status quo. Unfortunately, the status quo includes violence, drugs, abuse, neglect, etc. It seemed to me that this season was a snapshot of life in Baltimore. It was striking, how scenes would go from the abject poverty and violence of the projects to the opulence of the city government buildings. Perhaps this was the perfect season for me to watch because it was about kids. More specifically, about kids in the 5th grade, which happens to be the age of the students I most often work with at my job. At times, my reaction to the show was visceral. How about hearing an adviser to the mayor push away the problems in the education system by saying, "Kids don't vote". That could have been the name of the entire season - when we see it's easier for a drug king-pin to find housing for two neglected boys, than it is to safely place a boy into a foster family when trying to use the tools the State provides. Also compelling are the relationships that grow between the police and the criminals. It's like the police (those working the streets, NOT those in power), the criminals, and the everyday citizens work to survive in a system perpetuated by a bunch of power-hungry, megalomaniacs; who may have started with the best of intentions, but who ultimately focus on what it takes to win the next election and the next one, and the next one... Heartbreaking. I highly recommend it. Thanks, Ironic for peer pressuring me until I watched it.