This week’s open Wire thread. Oh my, but I think we should all start by reading some of David Simon’s postings on the HBO Wire forums:
Here’s the thing and I say it all the time and no one seems to believe it but the writers: To make a world credible and to make a story meaningful, the story must be pre-eminent, not the character. … We aren’t interested in preserving characters or featuring them more because the audience wants it. Forgive me, but the audience is like a small child. If given what they wanted every day, it would be ice cream and cake and seven hours of daytime television. Because the audience of a television show, by and large, feels an allegiance to what came before on a serial drama, to the scenes and moments and characters that are familiar or that pleased them in the past. On Homicide, everyone seemed to want every episode to end with Detective Pembleton going into the interrogation room and winning a case by an act of intellectual prowess. But having told that story, neither Andre Braugher nor the writers wanted to beat it to death. A story told is a story over and so if you don’t want to watch The Wire because anything familiar and pleasing is no longer available to you as a viewer in the amounts you desire, then okay, I understand. But you were never really watching The Wire then, in my opinion. That’s not to convince you that you shouldn’t like what you, or want what you want, or make your own choices as to what stories you wish to enjoy on television or in any other medium. But all of the angst over please don’t kill Avon, please don’t kill Stringer, please don’t kill Omar, please don’t kill Marlo, please don’t let Kima die or let McNulty get even with Rawls or whatever — what can I say? You can’t petition this show on behalf of character. We don’t care about character except to the extent that good characters serve a story well. Story is all.
And to think I said, “Please don’t kill Omar.” Now I feel bad.
But what an episode. Stringer…(strangled sob). Discuss.