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HBO (ended 2008)

"The Wire" is horrible and reinforces stereotypes

  • Avatar of Bengals859


    [1]Jan 28, 2013
    • member since: 12/01/07
    • level: 5
    • rank: Caveman Lawyer
    • posts: 81

    I have been watching the first season of The Wire and all I can say is that this show is too bleak, dark and not realistic. All this show does is tells about the failures and downtrodden state of Baltimore. Baltimore is a proud city and has made a lot of progress that is not even mentioned in the show. In 1994, a group called Baltimoreans United in Leader Development (BUILD) which is an organization that is a grassroots which united custodians, labor unions, churches and other organizations to lobby for increased wages. Due to the efforts of BUILD, Baltimore passed the nation's first living-wage ordinance. BUILD's work has extended beyond providing people a living. They have also built hundreds of affordable housing units for the working poor, created after-school youth programs and providing summer jobs for inner-city youths. In fact, the co-chair of BUILD, Bishop Douglass Miles said, "BUILD is making steady progress in eliminating blight throughout the Oliver neighborhood, where 44 percent of properties are vacant." This is the neighborhood where The Wire was filmed. However, do we hear about these success stories? NO!

    Simon simply views the people in "the pit" as helpless victims rather than people to can bring change. That is not radical; he is simply reinforcing stereotypes for liberal and conservatives alike. It reinforces the idea that the status quo cannot be changed for any of these people in the inner city. A perfect example of this is Wallace. Wallace is trapped in this vicious cycle, he comes so bored after leaving "the game" that he returns to it after the spending a short time with his grandma away from Baltimore. He had his chance to escape forever, but becomes a "victim" of the drug trade and eventually loses his life. It is crazy that people praise this show so much because it does not give us a full picture of inner-city Baltimore and simply seeks to reinforce stereotypes of the white middle-class about inner city life.

    Here is more info, supporting my view.

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  • Avatar of danharr


    [2]Jan 28, 2013
    • member since: 04/30/05
    • level: 45
    • rank: Swizzle-Bird
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    Not sure how one makes a crime story positive so most of your criticisms seem out of place given the subject matter of the show. The city has some good like all cities do but it has plenty of bad as well. I never thought the show represented all of Baltimore but the gritty criminal underworld it showcased.

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  • Avatar of dagrimmreepa


    [3]Feb 16, 2013
    • member since: 07/26/08
    • level: 9
    • rank: Door Number 2
    • posts: 164

    The Wire is the best show I've ever seen. It portrays life as it is in the projects. I grew up in a place not too dissimilar to how Baltimore's shown in this fantastic show, except I was in South Africa.

    The way it displays gang violence and the endless struggle with said gangs against cops is realistic in a way most other shows simply aren't (minus the slight dramatic exaggeration done for understandable cinematic purposes.) If you think the show is too cynical, then you either don't know how the real world is, or you are willfully ignoring what's happening all around you.

    It shows everything as it is, the good, the bad and the ugly. What you fail to understand is that the show deals with only a very limited segment of society: the cops, and the dealers. Nearly all civies that are shown are either junkies, or are involved in some way with either the cops or dealers. It is not indicative of society in general, because it would be absurd to assume that ALL people in the ghetto are one or the other. The show is fairly focused on what it is, and it doesn't spend time aimlessly wandering around. Hence, whatever is shown is shown for a reason, and so obviously those two contrasting elements are all you see.

    Edited on 02/16/2013 11:10pm
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