Monday, September 11, 2006

The Wire is Up and Running -- Everything must stop. HBO has finally brought back The Wire. There isn't more disturbing, gripping, compelling or realistic television -- In the age of so-called 'reality shows' that have nothing to do with reality, The Wire does an amazing job of taking the viewer on to the feral, violent streets of Baltimore. For those who haven't seen this brilliant series, on The Wire, the Charm City proves the perfect setting to look at the wasted lives of a huge chunk of our nation's youth -- the ones you don't see unless you wander into those neighborhoods where the corner store is on the stoop, and the product is decidedlly illegal.

While NBC's Homicide was set in Baltimore, The Wire is truly of Baltimore -- right down to many of the actors, who are simply local youth that fit the bill. They play local kids caught up in the drug business that rules the streets. The adults are played by as good an ensemble of actors as you will find anywhere. This year, the plot ranges wider, as we track the quixotic mayoral campaign of a white city councilman, and the struggles of teachers and students in the aimless out-of-control public school system. Tonight's season premiere was one of the best produced hours of television drama I have seen. Sundays on HBO.

Now, if only Showtime would get around to the third season of Dead Like Me -- along with Curb Your Enthusiasm, one of the best comedies American TV has produced in a very long time (The Office doesn't really count, since that's lifted from the British series of the same name, and I've only watched one episode of the American version, and Arrested Development suffers similarly -- it was brilliantly done, but I hardly ever got to watch it). It's been a year and a half since Showtime promised the next season, and I believe Mandy Patinkin has had two failed series since. Strike while the iron is hot.

Sometime Monday, look for my recommendation on the Cardin - Mfume primary race.

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