The Game; Season 5

I watched the first two episodes of the new season of The Wire and it was great as always. It is good in ways that are overt and in many ways that are more subtle. The parallels between characters struggling with things in their lives are often shown sequentially. Cuts from one scene to the next underscore many of these similarities without being in your face about it. It is simply brilliant. One of the best things about the show is how they are not afraid to add new elements and change up major aspects of the show. This year for example they have added a newspaper/media angle. In the past they have had a large union storyline, a story involving schools and kids, and they continue to emphasize the political aspects of the story in addition to the street crime and police/detective bits. This continual evolution of the show is one of the main reasons why it could last for years. That is why it is particularly disappointing that they have said this is the final season.
Besides it ending too early, there is one more gripe I have with the shoe: it’s name. It should clearly be called The Game. There are references to playing the game or being in the game constantly by all types of characters. It is a much more broad name that can be used by gang members, cops, politicians, and the like. I have tried to tell myself that “the wire” can refer to more than the surveillance that is being done, like these people are living on the edge (of a wire), so to speak, but that is more than a little weak.

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