This got brought up in class and I thought it was a really interesting idea: What if The Wire was somewhere other than Baltimore? Could it exist? How would it be different?
Noah joined our group for a minute and asked if The Wire would be able to exist in Miami or Los Angeles. It’s a pretty good question. We all agreed that, just like there are no shortages of corners wherever you go, you won’t have a huge problem finding poor neighborhoods consumed by the drug game in Miami and Los Angeles. We also agreed that these communities would most likely be mostly non-white, with more races than just African-American based on the respective geographical locations of LA and Miami. So white people just don’t use drugs and get their lives ruined? That doesn’t sound right.
I stared imagining a Wire 2.0 (because who knows what kind of bills David Simon might have to pay in the future) that was set in the middle of white suburban America. Since the time The Wire started there has been an explosion of meth use in these locations. Unlike crack and heroine, meth is made with ingredients you can find in most pharmacies or supermarkets. Putting the focus on white meth use in the middle of America would be great, but AMC’s Breaking Bad has already been there and is doing that. The show has a clear protagonist, however, and doesn’t have quite the complexity and diversity in cast that The Wire does. Breaking Bad does look at what it’s like on the police end of things (since the protagonist’s brother in-law just happens to be a cop) but it’s just not the same.
I enjoy Breaking Bad and I enjoy The Wire but now that I really think about merging the two I’m realizing I could be stuck with one mediocre show that struggles to make sense instead of two excellent shows that only make total sense after repeat views.