First off, Kevin’s post is awesome. The post is very thorough and gave me somewhere to start my blog post. I had no idea what to write about after watching the show. I had a lot of scattered thoughts, but nothing to write an entire post about. Then, after reading what Kevin wrote, I started thinking about the age old question: What is literature? Like most of the class, I was confused as to why we were watching a television series at first. However, after watching The Wire, I would say that it does hold some literary merit. The series may not be of the same literary caliber as Lolita, but nonetheless, The Wire is a well made and thought out television series.
I’m not usually a big fan of crime drama or action centered movies or television, but I’m a huge fan of the majority of HBO series, so I wasn’t completely sure what to expect when I first started watching The Wire. After only a couple of episodes, it’s pretty clear that this is a high quality series, whether you like crime drama or not and could easily be considered literature. The storyline is excellently complex. I was sort of passively watching the first two episodes and it became quickly evident that unreceptive viewing was not the most effective way to view this show. I think it’s fairly easy to imagine The Wire as a novel, replete with a gripping and realistic storyline, great social commentary, and round, well-developed characters. The shows forces the audience to think without forcing them to think in one particular way, which we learned is really important in developing quality literature, while discussing Funny Games’ downfalls. Neither the cops nor the drug dealers have untainted histories and neither group is portrayed as being morally better than the opposing group.
I consider The Wire literature. The Wire’s plot is complex and dynamic, the characters are very believable and well-developed, and it’s impossible not to take into account the show’s social relevance. The series goes against the norm and does not push the audience into believing the cops are the protagonists and that the junkies and dealers are unintelligent, immoral people. By not imposing judgment, the show appears to be more truthful and ultimately more appealing than most run of the muck crime dramas.