"The Wire"

Dateline: Fri 11 Jan 2008

The highly intelligent cop/criminal drug drama set in Baltimore is back for its 5th and final season on HBO, with a strong storyline about journalism.

David Simon, the former Baltimore Sun police reporter who created the TV drama, is mad at former bosses at the paper for ruining daily journalism. Anger is a fuel, the therapists say, and if that's true, Simon is a jet-propelled rocket bound for outer space.

Thanks to the Star's Leisure piece Wednesday about the series and longtime endorsements from my kids and critic/friend Marcia Dayan, I finally got up to speed with "The Wire." Do not believe the reviews published by the Baltimore Sun, where some of this season was filmed. The newsroom stuff is on fire. Former Star editor Tim Franklin -- who left when Gannett came to town and now runs a very good show in Baltimore -- gave the OK for Simon's people to come on premises.

"A newsroom is a magical place where people argue all the time about everything," says the metro editor, our hero. The snarkiness, smoking (out by the loading dock, where else?), bitterness, and pure black humor as a saving grace are all there. If you don't get HBO, rent the series and get caught up. (Most of it deals with crime and culture in raggedy Baltimore).

As for Simon, his rage makes me happy.

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