Polan on “The Wire”

Polan argues that the transient nature of The Wire allows the material of the show to transcend time and people. This is often seen as a trait of good cinema where, due to the time limitations of a full-length feature, the material must be able to cover a lot of time without leaving the audience feeling like they’d been ripped out of time or rushed through a story. I believe for The Wire to have a similar ability is a mark of David Simon’s appreciation for work that is meticulous and representative of the real world. Nonetheless, his focus on one particular part of Baltimore life through many facets (police & dealers, the media, the docks, etc.) makes The Wire seem less adaptable to other locations (though it is often attributed to being an honest representation of urban life in the US in general). It also takes away from the credibility that Simon is giving an honest and comprehensive portrait of Baltimore and its inhabitants.

Is there any place that The Wire could be transplanted to? What do you think the viewership of the show would think if suddenly white suburbia popped up in the show? Or more interestingly, more of the black middle class? Would that open up a whole other world of race issues in the show or do you think it would reiterate in some way the race and class issues already prevalent in the Baltimore of The Wire?

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