The Wire is an Novel ratings crime drama television series created and primarily written by author and former police reporter David Simon.
The series was broadcast by the cable network HBO in the United States. Set and produced in Baltimore, Maryland, The Wire introduces a different institution of the city and its relationship to law enforcement in each season, while retaining characters and advancing storylines from previous seasons. The Wire is lauded for its literary themes, its uncommonly accurate exploration of society and politics, and its realistic portrayal of urban life. Although during its original run the series received only average ratings and never won any major television awards, it is now regarded by many critics as one of the greatest television shows of all time.
Simon chose to set the show in Baltimore because of his familiarity with the city. The casting of the show has been praised for avoiding big-name stars and using character actors who appear natural in their roles. The looks of the cast as a whole have been described as defying TV expectations by presenting a true range of humanity on screen. Wendell Pierce, who plays Detective Bunk Moreland, was the first actor to be cast. Several prominent real-life Baltimore figures, including former Maryland Governor Robert L.
Ratings than a dozen cast members previously appeared on HBO’s first hour-long drama Oz. Williams, Seth Gilliam, Lance Reddick, and Reg E. Stories for novel show were often co-written by Burns, who also became a producer in the show’s fourth season. Eric Overmyer joined the crew of The Wire in the show’s fourth season as a consulting producer and writer. He had also previously worked on Homicide. Each episode begins with a cold open that seldom contains a dramatic juncture.
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The screen then fades or cuts to black while the intro music fades in. When broadcast on HBO and on some international networks, the episodes are preceded by a recap of events that have a bearing upon the upcoming narrative, using clips from previous episodes. Rather than overlaying songs on the soundtrack, or employing a score, The Wire primarily uses pieces of music that emanate from a source within the scene, such as a jukebox or car radio. This kind of music is known as diegetic or source cue. This practice is rarely breached, notably for the end-of-season montages and occasionally with a brief overlap of the closing theme and the final shot.
The opening theme is «Way Down in the Hole,» a gospel-and-blues-inspired song, written by Tom Waits for his 1987 album Franks Wild Years. During season finales, a song is played before the closing scene in a montage showing the lives of the protagonists in the aftermath of the narrative. The writers strove to create a realistic vision of an American city based on their own experiences. Simon, originally a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, spent a year researching a Homicide Police Department for his book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, where he met Burns.
Central to the show’s aim for realism was the creation of truthful characters. Simon has stated that most of them are composites of real-life Baltimore figures. For instance, Donnie Andrews served as the main inspiration of Omar Little. In distinguishing the police characters from other television detectives, Simon makes the point that even the best police of The Wire are motivated not by a desire to protect and serve, but by the intellectual vanity of believing they are smarter than the criminals they are chasing. However, while many of the police do exhibit altruistic qualities, many officers portrayed on the show are incompetent, brutal, self-aggrandizing, or hamstrung by bureaucracy and politics.
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