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Stop Making Excuses and Go Watch 'The Wire'

It has come to my attention that many of you still haven't seen HBO's The Wire. This includes several people I otherwise generally admire and consider well informed. So, I've prepared a list of common excuses for not having seen The Wire and refuted them:

Excuse #1:
I don't have HBO.

Response: Seasons 1-4 are available on DVD. And the show is over, so I'm not sure it's even airing anymore anyway. Rent it, dude.

Excuse #2: I'm not really that into TV shows.

Response: The Wire is so accurate and poignant that I'm not sure it even counts as TV. Besides, it doesn’t have commercials.

Excuse #3: There were 5 seasons. How will I catch up?

Response: Really easily. It's the most captivating thing ever filmed. By the end of the 1st season, you'll understand. By the end of the 3rd, you'll have sent me a thank you note.

Excuse #4: I'm a hardworking drug reform activist/staffer. I work 50+ hours a week and just haven't gotten around to it.

Response: You suck. The Wire is the most realistic depiction of drug war policing and the politics of crime ever produced. It's far more accurate than the evening news. If this is what you're passionate about, then you must accept David Simon's glorious gift to our movement and bask in its brilliance. You'll learn 50 things you never saw in any drug policy book or blog.

Excuse #5:
I hate cop shows.

That's because you've never seen The Wire. This ain't Law & Order: Criminal Intent. You won't find Vincent D'Onofrio squirming around until everyone gets pissed off and waives their right to remain silent.

In conclusion, go watch The Wire. Start with season 1 and work your way through. It just gets better each season, so be patient if it doesn't blow your mind immediately. You will better understand the war on drugs, which will make you a better activist. And you'll be able to discuss the show without anyone ruining it by telling you who gets killed.

I'm not promising that the drug war will end if you watch The Wire, but I guarantee that it will continue until you do.
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Drug WarRant's picture

Another one...

#6: I spend hours each day focusing on the non-fiction drug war, so when I watch TV (usually while composing blog posts), I really want to see something else so my brain doesn't explode.

Totally understandable on

Totally understandable on some level, but see reason #4 again anyway.

Fair enough

I'd argue though, that the Wire is fictional only in the sense that the characters and specific plot lines are made up. The story overall is carefully adapted to the history of Baltimore's drug war, with major characters based on real people, etc. You might say it's "based on a true story." To call it fictional is correct, I guess, but fails to account for how true the totality of its content really is.

As for making your brain explode, that's exactly what it will do and exactly why you need to see it.


Excuse #6: I've seen the Sopranos.

Response: Wrong. Go watch The Wire.

Worth it

When the first season of The Wire came around and I saw it involved cops pursuing drug dealers, I was like, "Great. Another Good Cop vs Evil Dealer show. Pass."

I decided to watch at the very last moment... never regretted it.

It's not like it blew my mind at the start... but the more I watched it, the more I truly began to appreciate just how intense it was. Each new season got even better...

Best Show in the History of Television?

I think so! I heard about it after season one. Caught up and watched ever since. Now I have all the DVD's and watch them in order all the time. You pick up on something new everytime and I don't get tired of it. Not many shows out there have that effect. Watch the show. Look up the actors on IMDB because you're probably not going to recognize any of them unless you like Entourage.

Just finished the series

...and can't agree more. I plan to write an analysis of Colvin's "scheme" in S3 (not spoiling anything here), particularly how it is NOT what we would get from a properly regulated market.

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