NEW YORK – HBO is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of The Wire’s debut, and the fifteenth anniversary of people finding out that oh my god you haven’t seen The Wire? Like, any of it?? Well, cancel your plans for the weekend, because you’re staying in and watching The Wire. All five seasons. I have the DVDs with me right now. Yes, I’m serious.
Series co-creator David Simon said “[co-creator] Ed [Burns] and I knew from day one we were making a show destined to get low ratings, be ignored by the Emmys and receive uniform ‘meh’s from critics for five years before becoming a phenomenon that turns people into such zealots that the slightest provocation will launch them on a spontaneous lecture about the significance of the series that eclipses the length of the series itself.”
Dominic West and Wendell Pierce, who played series leads McNulty & Bunk, told reporters at a party HBO hosted to celebrate the anniversaries that being on The Wire has been the highlight of their careers. When one of the reporters unwittingly revealed that he somehow hasn’t seen The Wire, the stars were taken aback.
“Fuck me…” said West. He and Pierce investigated the man’s lack of familiarity with the show from a variety of angles, concluding “Fuck…” “Fucking hell…” and “Motherfucker…”
Wire fan Rodney Surtis, 49, has gone through three divorces, all of them stemming from his exes’ refusal to watch The Wire. “A bunch of us [Wire-divorcees] are on an unofficial task force, listening in on our exes’ phones, trying to figure out how they could stop themselves from watching the best TV show ever,” he said. “My third wife tried to sue me for everything I have, but I dodged her court summons by leaping out an eighth story window. You come at the king, you best not miss…”
As of press time, fans have organised a massive drive herding people who still haven’t seen The Wire into a number of Baltimore’s derelict row-houses, sealing them inside with a nail-gun so they would be forced to finally sit down and watch the series that’s more like a novel or an essay on the far-reaching complexity of America’s institutional decay than a TV show.