Why Every Show Needs to Be More Like The Wire


  • Neil Landau University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)




The Wire, David Simon, HBO, social issues, season-long procedural


Consistently brilliant during its run and standing the test of time over 10 years since the series finale, HBO’s The Wire pioneered the season-long procedural and season-to-season pivot to perfection. It interweaves social issues with compelling storylines, shedding light on the complex problems the urban poor continue to face in today's America. The Wire has been taught by Harvard University sociology professors, and remains timely and topical in the current political climate. This landmark series will continue to be the benchmark to meet or better, for generations to come. Here are my top 10 reasons Why Every Show Needs to Be More Like The Wire.


Chaddha, Anmol and William Julius Wilson (2010). “Why we’re teaching The Wire at Harvard.” The Washington Post, 12 September 2010.

Ganz, Adam (2016). “‘It’s All in the Game’: Greek Myth and The Wire.” In Ancient Greek Myth in World Fiction since 1989, edited by Justine McConnell and Edith Hall, 105-22. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016.

Shapiro, Steven (2012). “The Wire – Far More Than a Cop Show.” https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/knowledge-archive/arts/thewire (last accessed 28-06-19).

Simon, David (2000). The Wire – Bible. HBO.




How to Cite

Landau, N. (2019). Why Every Show Needs to Be More Like The Wire. Series - International Journal of TV Serial Narratives, 5(1), 75–85. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2421-454X/8703



Interview / Dialogue