Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Tuesday, February 19, 2019

"The Wire" Diaries: Things fall apart



I'm sad to report that I'm giving up on "The Wire" for a variety of reasons. Well, technically only one: I never truly liked watching the show.

I respect "The Wire's" place in American television. I laud its efforts in bringing diversity, sexuality and perspective to the genre. And I admire the complexity of its characters, plots and themes. However, just because a show is critically beloved and executed well does not necessarily mean everyone will enjoy watching it.

I appreciated "The Wire." But nothing captured my attention or piqued my curiosity to continue watching. I didn't hate it. I just couldn't get into it. And I'm not finishing it right now.

When I watched "True Blood," it was all I could think about. I was obsessed. I couldn't watch anything else. Same with "True Detective" before it, and "Dexter" before that. One show at a time! I never became obsessed with "The Wire." Case in point:

Here are some of the shows I thought about starting while watching "The Wire:"

"Six Feet Under"

"The Sopranos"


"Black Mirror"

"Luther" (this one is related by Idris Elba, so that's okay.)


"Breaking Bad"

"Game of Thrones"


"Criminal Minds"

When people ask me what I'm watching, I usually say the show I am working through, start to finish, first. This is the easiest answer, since listing all of the shows with which I currently keep up would take too long.

For example:

Person Who Actually Wants to Know About my Viewing Habits Instead of Being Talked at About Them/Bombarded by Them via Twitter: "Hey Erin, what TV show are you watching now?"

Me: "The Wire, I'm blogging about it for The Scene," I would say. However, my answer wasn't entirely true. Here are some of the other shows I actually watched while claiming to be under the category of "watching "The Wire:"

"Once Upon a Time" (three FULL seasons)

“Arrow” (see above)

“The Flash”

“The Office” (handful of episodes)

An episode of “Downton Abbey”

“The Newsroom” (RIP)

“The Affair”

"Bob’s Burgers"


"Family Guy" (this is what I throw on when I give up on continuing my current show or don't want to start anything new. “Family Guy” puts me to sleep instantly.)

Do I feel slightly defeated? Yes. Do I feel that I'm missing something, since I couldn't finish "The Wire?" Yes. Do I feel like I should have my TV Viewer Card revoked? 100%, yes. But I'm glad to be walking away from "The Wire" right now. Hopefully, I'll come back to it. I think I could finish it someday. I still feel attached to McNulty and Omar, and I'm glad I spent time with Rhonda and Prez and Kima. But I think for right now, it's time to focus my TV watching energy elsewhere, into any of these blog ideas I came up with while blogging about "The Wire:"

"Fringe" Binge

Falling for "The Fall"

A Study in Olivias (all about Olivia Dunham, Benson and Pope)

One Tree Huh? Watching an Early-00s teen Drama in 2015

Redux: An “X-Files” Retrospective

Welcome to the CW, B****! Watching Only The CW for One Straight Week

At the end of the day, I can confidently say I've seen "The Wire." I'll judge you when you say you haven't.

“The Wire” is streaming in full on HBOGO.

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