First off. Slightly misleading title. When I say ruined, what I really mean is it has ruined my television tolerance of what shall now be deemed as ‘post The Wire television’. What started as a collection of friends and colleagues going on and on about ‘another’ US cop show, has evolved to a situation where I now must proceed with my life as a TV producer and TV viewer – with the bar set so high – I need NASA to help me even try and reach it.
For those of you lucky enough to have not yet discovered The Wire… Stop… Think… Do you really want to make every other TV show you will watch from now on, feel shallow and contrived? I’m serious. It’s a nightmare. Now try and make your own TV show with The Wire looming large above you. It’s ridiculous!
I loved The Wire, it totally knocked me off my feet. I haven’t stopped gushing about how good it is since I got past the first 3 episodes. Put it this way, I found myself on the internet in the middle of the night buying a ‘Carcetti For Mayor’ hooded jumper (those in the know – know who he is). It’s embarrassing.
What I think is awesome though, is what an influence it is already having on my preparations for my next TV series. What started as a box set marathon of epic proportions has now filtered out into the creative team I work with. It has become a shared experience that has inspired and influenced us in a way that I hope organically informs the content we produce. Shows like The Wire, come along and whilst may not be as big as ‘Lost’ or ‘Heroes’, have an affect on the people that are responsible for future TV shows. I won’t be surprised when in the next 5-10 years people are sighting ‘The Wire’ as major influences in their work. Also using it as proof that television can be more… More than just clichéd story telling wrapped up in McDonald’s style packages.
I remember when Public Enemy sang “Don’t believe the hype”.
In The Wire’s case they were wrong.