The Wire – too good to television?

David Simon’s The Wire has had a strange destiny in Finland’s television. MTV3 has seen trouble and effort to bury The Wire deep in their schedule to make sure that almost no-one will see the show. But never mind that, there is a small and devoted group of fans for the show in Finland – thanks to Amazon.co.uk and the internet. The Wire is by har the best police / crime series in ages – filled with killer dialogue, deep characters and street credibility on par with the reality.

Trouble and the greatness of The Wire is that it is not normal feel good police series. Every one hour episode is a discreet episode, but more than that it is a part of a longer storyline that advances, widens and goes deeper slowly. It is not fast paced feel good entertainment that you can watch before the late night news, but rather it is an example of great story telling that leaves you thinking, feeling and asking for more. In time spectators develop feelings towards the characters in the series and all the upsides and dowsides – as well as unforeseen tragedies of life will feel emotional as you suddenly realize that you might know the lifestory of a some character better than your distant coworker’s.

Five seasons is about the right amount of seasons for a series to be effective and not yet too repetitive. Though Simpsons is running for 45th consecutive seasons – it usually does not work so well for other series. Makers of The Wire did a smart thing when they decided that the original five seasons was enough. It could have been easy to continue the story or stories with the same characters – and sometimes I wish there would have been more to see, but at the same time remember that the probability that next seasons would suck is greater than the probability that it would be great.

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