Ideas for season 6 of the Wire
February 19, 2007
According to David Simon, potential Superman writer extraordinaire, season 5 of “The Wire” (Sur écoute) will be the last season of this brilliant show. Mon Dieu! Reportedly, the show is ending because none of the writers could come up with an idea large enough for a whole season (for those who don’t know, each season of “the Wire” is about a different societal ill: 1 is about the failure of the Drug war, 2 is about the deindustrialization of the American working class ala Tommy Boy, 3 is about the effect of local politicians on effecting social change, 4 is about the failure of American public schools/education, and the upcoming season 5 is reported to be about the media). One of the writers suggested that season 6 could focus on the influx of Hispanics to Baltimore, however Simon nixed that idea because none of the writers spoke Spanish or knew enough about the Hispanic community in Baltimore. In order to really do the show right, Simon reasons they would need to take a full year off in order to do research. In other words, it won’t happen.
Not wanting to see our favorite show disappear, we here at Yesterday’s Salad have decided to suggest some ideas of our own for season 6, ideas that will surely keep “The Wire” on the air.
Public Transportation. The pitch: No public works project better exemplifies the broken dreams of Baltimore than it’s rail system. Conceived of as a shining piece of infrastructure, a shimmering paean to the New Society like its Washington brethren, the Baltimore Metro is a one-hop ride to downtown B-more and back. Only one of the proposed lines (map below) was completed, and a companion light rail system was not
only ineffectual, it wasn’t even linked to the Metro. But in many ways, the B-more subways still serves its goal: the line still links the city and the County. It can still serve as a bridge between the two worlds; it can still offer hope of mobility, or it can bring crime to the suburbs and bring about new conflicts. Following the short line into the suburbs, would give Simon and Co. new way of looking at the show’s conflicts. Besides, I’m sure the writers could come up with a season’s worth of material on how useless the line is, how little good it actually does–but how much good it could do with a little renewal. Support the Green Line!
Snitching: If there’s one theme that’s been carried through the entire series, it’s witness protection. Simon’s Baltimore’s always losing witnesses, a fact that’s played an important roll in city politics as well as the formation of the major crimes unit. It occurs to me that there is far more left to be told. The Pitch: Inspired by a Carmelo Anthony-type’s presence in a Stop Snitchin’ type video, no-one on the street’s of Baltimore’s talking about nothing, least of all the new drug cartel somehow involved with the Baltimore Chassidic community. And no-one in the Chassidic community’s talking either, given their disinclination towards lashon hara and the fact that many won’t testify against other Jews in a civil court (or, at least that’s what a gesheft tells me). How will the Major Case Unit make their case? This storyline could also serve as a springboard for Maurice Levy, providing a great way of exploring what could be one of the show’s most interesting characters. Levy, the drug lawyer, is in my opinion the show’s biggest villain; he knows full well what his clients have done, even potentially abets. HE knows the ins and outs of our country’s justice system yet has no concept of justice. Right now, he’s a relatively one-dimensional character, however both the actor and the character have the potential for much more.
The ‘Jump the Shark’ Season: There comes a point in every show’s run where it declines. Whether actors are replaced (Three’s Company), new characters are suddenly introduced (Oliver on The Brady Bunch, or Chrissy on Growing Pains), or people get married (Lois and Clark on Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman), television creators do crazy things and ruin shows. The Pitch: Throw everything out the window. Have half the cast from “Homicide” suddenly be on the show and have Kyle Maclachlan show up looking for Laura Palmer’s killer; have past seasons be dreams; have the entire season exist within the mind of one of the show’s characters, or better yet, the mind of a different show’s character (St. Elsewhere, another show frequently mentioned as being the “best show ever.” See here and here for interpretations/implications of the series end); have a musical episode; turn the show into a comedy; or do whatever your heart desires with any character. My bet: the show’s writing staff and actors are so good, “The Wire” will still be the best thing on TV.
I hope one of these ideas meets with Mr. Simon’s approval. If not, we’ll keep suggesting them.