In the Life of ‘The Wire’

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Lorrie Moore looks back at the show and its legacy in The New York Review of Books:

In exposing the nerves, fallout, and sealed fates caused by a remorseless breed of capitalism and its writing-off of whole swathes of the populace, and by insisting on its universality as a subject, The Wire has much in common with great political drama everywhere; the plays of George Bernard Shaw (in which rich and poor are both given language) come to mind. The newly elected mayor of Reykjavik will not allow anyone in his political party unless they have watched all five seasons. The mayor of Newark is also a fan. So is Barack Obama, whose favorite character is the gay, drug dealer–robbing gunslinger Omar Little—a new hero in queer studies, one of the few characters in the show who honors “a code,” and the only one whose ongoing motivation is love for another person.