Life imitates The Wire? Maybe not…

The complete five season box set release has spawned some new Wire reviews and recs.

Ran across this article at   The reviewer offers high praise for the series but grew up in West Baltimore and says he feels The Wire is bleaker than the world he grew up in.

Why did Cutty give Dukie such a hopeless answer? Maybe it’s because some people who never lived in a neighborhood like “The Wire” confuse hopelessness for authenticity. Yeah, I could shock you with stories of violence, but it’s so easy to slip from revelation to titillation. I start off telling you a story about how tough my school was, and soon I’m shooting it out with five drug dealers who want to steal my homework.

But I never remember West Baltimore being so hopeless. A man like Cutty wouldn’t tell a young man that he had no way out — adults rallied around kids with potential.

I even checked with some childhood friends — one who is now an undercover police officer who literally works a “wire” for the Baltimore Police Department — and we all agreed that “The Wire’s” bleakness was exaggerated.

“They made it seem like we grew up in Bosnia,” my friend, another “Wire” fan, told me.

The writer points out another scene that did ring true for him, though.  Read the full article.



  1. I think that all people don’t want to believe that they grew up in the worst environment. I think that perhaps the reviewer is to close to the situation.

  2. Who wants to watch a TV show about happy people in a happy place? This is tragedy, not comedy. Anything trying to stay inbetween these two will most probably fail!

    The Wire is not a documentary. And I don’t think its portrayal of its characters makes a bad name for the city. I don’t think Baltimore is a bleak place just because of The Wire, for the same reasons I am not afraid of visiting Japan just because I saw some Godzilla movies.

    I’ve never been to Baltimore, but after watching the series I feel a great urge to meet the city personally. I don’t know, maybe eat some crab cakes or a lake trout by the harbor. For me, right now, it is more of a tourist destination than, say Los Angeles, or New York.

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