Anorak News | David Simon’s Pitch For The Wire And Treme Time

David Simon’s Pitch For The Wire And Treme Time

by | 12th, October 2010

DAVID  Simon wrote The Wire. Anorak has not watched enough of this show because it was broadcast late at night after hours and hours of utter bilge had turned the telly into thing to hate, deride and mock. We’re catching up.

Simon, a former police reporter, has been awarded a MacArthur Foundation grant ($500,000).

He’s working on Treme, a show rubbed against the backdrop of post-Katrina New Orleans, “as a community works to rebuild its neighborhood and culture.”

Simon’s original pitch of The Wire to HBO (PDF).

But more than an exercise is realism for its own sake, the verisimilitude of The Wire exists to serve something larger. In the first story-arc, the episodes begin what would seem to be the straight-forward, albeit protracted, pursuit of a violent drug crew that controls a high-rise housing project. But within a brief span of time, the officers who undertake the pursuit are forced to acknowledge truths about their department, their role, the drug war and the city as a whole. In the end, the cost to all sides begins to suggest not so much the dogged police pursuit of the bad guys, but rather a Greek tragedy. At the end of thirteen episodes, the reward for the viewer — who has been lured all this way by a well-constructed police show — is not the simple gratification of hearing handcuffs click. Instead, the conclusion is something that Euripides or O’Neill might recognize: an America, at every level at war with itself.

Spotter: Kottke

Posted: 12th, October 2010 | In: TV & Radio Comment | TrackBack | Permalink