If David Simon really needed extra proof that his harrowing and flawless magnum opus ‘The Wire’ was truly the exceptional beginning of TV’s golden age, I think the invitation to sit down with POTUS Barack Obama surely was the final kicker. When you find yourself to be the most respected man in a room that also includes the President of The United States, I think you know that you’ve done good.
Come at the king—David Simon, that is—and you best not miss, Obama must have been told, as he interviewed the creator of ‘The Wire’ in an extensive, 12 minute piece. It’s widely known that Obama’s favourite TV show is ‘The Wire’, so for fans of the show, this “in conversation” is perhaps even more of a treat than seeing Lester Freamon tell McNulty off for being a douche while expertly crafting delicate doll furniture. It’s that good.
There is unfortunately not as much of an in-depth look at ‘The Wire’ itself as a fan might hope, but the beginning of the interview is a stand-out, where Obama says, “I think it’s [The Wire] one of the greatest – not just television shows, but pieces of art in the last couple of decades. I’m a huge fan.”
The interview covers broad and contentious territory, as it touches on Baltimore’s war on drugs in the 80’s when Simon was a police reporter, to how drug arrests and incarceration effects communities and spawn a generational domino-effect of men in prison and later struggling to integrate into society, to the real-life inspiration behind Obama’s favourite character—Omar Little, fuck yes—to the public education system in America: “Perhaps one of the most moving section of ‘The Wire’ was the depiction of public schools,” Obama says.
Overall, the conversation is a brave, honest and complex analysis of some of the United States’ biggest flaws. Essential viewing.
Via The Verge.