The other day as I was browsing around the web I found 3 different new posts on "The Wire" and heard a reference to it on "30 Rock". It ts the best TV show I've ever seen but I am still surprised at what a grip it has on our pop cluture 4 years after it went off the air.I guess the audience and interest keeps growing as HBO On Demand, HBO Go, and Netflix allow viewers to see it for the first time at their own pace, or revisit the series and remember how good it is. So… here's my guesses as to why "The Wire" keeps on livin'!
Why Is It Still So Popular?
There are many reasons the show has such staying power. Below I will list a few.
It Is the Best TV Drama of the Last 25 Years
Vulture recently did a competition that set up 16 of the best dramas of the last 25 years and through one off battles, determined which show was the best. The Wire won beating out the Soprano's (another HBO show) in the end. Here's an interesting snippet on why the show won:
Omar Little – "You Come At the King, You Best Not Miss"
The Unique Filming Style
The Literary Quality of the Stories
Slate has a great piece on why the show is so great and how "literary" the stories can be. I love the Dicken's comparison as it does feel like you've experienced a big, important story.
Several critics have commented on The Wire's "literary" quality. In particular, The Wire has echoes of the Victorian social panorama of Charles Dickens (who gets a mention this season, as an obscene anatomical reference). The drama repeatedly cuts from the top of Baltimore's social structure to its bottom, from political fund-raisers in the white suburbs to the subterranean squat of a homeless junkie. As with Dickens, the excitement builds as the densely woven plot unfolds in addicting installments. The deeper connection to Dickens' London is the program's animating fury at the way a society robs children of their childhood. In our civilized age, we do not send 12-year-olds to work in blacking factories as the Victorians did. Today's David Copperfield is instead warehoused at a dysfunctional school until he's ready to sling drugs on the corner, where his odds of survival are even slimmer.
Pop Culture References
The TV Show "30 Rock"
In an April 2012 episode Liz Lemon said (corrreted from Tracey), "Po-Po popped Dookie down by the vacants." It was totally out of the blue! Poor Dookie!