The Wire finished its run on the BBC last night, and proved itself to be every bit as good as the hype that had surrounded it. Rather than delivering yet another encomium as to how good it is, I shall attempt an original comment regarding it instead. (Well, one that a brief Googling doesn’t seem to reveal having been made before)
I’ve noted some similarities between The Wire and some of the versions of Batman – Miller’s Year One springs most to mind, but there are no doubt others – in that both depict cities that appear to be fundamentally corrupt, where crime and supposedly legitimate business are deeply intertwined and a despairing police force (save for a few determined officers) has effectively given up on anything other than managing the situation. Into this situation, a seemingly non-corrupt police officer manages to rise up through the ranks to become Commissioner, while a crusading new District Attorney attempts to prosecute corrupt officials and a small group of police try to bring down the kingpins of crime. Meanwhile, on the streets, a man clad in dark clothing attempts to take on the crime lords, while having a complicated relationship with the police.
Yes, it’s tenuous, but I suppose I could have photoshopped pictures of Stringer Bell as the Penguin to really make the point if I’d wanted to.