HBO’s The Wire isn’t just an entertaining crime drama — it’s a medium via which co-creators David Simon and Ed Burns have chronicled the failures of public institutions. While the show primarily revolves around the cat-and-mouse game between Baltimore’s police and the city’s drug rings, the program also delved into the myriad of problems facing urban environments, whether they involve education, local government, or the media.Â Freelance writer and pop-culture critic Leonard Pierce joined me a couple of years ago to discuss the series after the conclusion of the third season, and with the fifth and final season having wrapped up last month, we recently got together again to take another look at this landmark television show.
While it obviously helps if you’ve seen the show and know its characters, having this background knowledge certainly isn’t a pre-requisite for listening. Leonard is a film critic withÂ Nerve.com and links to his writing projects can be found atÂ ludickid.com. [Originally broadcast on WLUW’sÂ Under Surveillance in April 2008.]