The acclaimed US series The Wire has a cult life of its own among the Oz intelligentsia. The other week a senior publishing figure boasted to me that he’d ordered the final series through Amazon. I heard of another publisher who watched the whole lot from an exercise bike. Publisher and partner are now reduced to watching the ‘bonus features’ on their DVDs out of desperation. An academic colleague told me he recently used a week of his holidays to spend every day watching it again. And I must say that, as a latecomer just getting into series two, I’m loving it. Another publisher, Henry Rosenbloom, has a post here (you may need to scroll down) that sums up most of what I like about it. Moral ambiguity. No easy winners. Grittiness. And, most of all, an unvarnished, unblinking take on what has happened to democratic institutions and the role of money, corruption and careerism in the context of a portrait of the modern city. And how we scrape together vestiges of honour, courage and fraternity amidst all this.
For the uninitiated and nostalgic veterans alike, here’s the season 1 recap: