This idea has already surfaced in the blogosphere. But fanatics of the popular cable series The Wire have to act. We may finally have the perfect pitch to David Simon, the journalist who turned his knowledge of Baltimore's underground drug economy and its connections to that city's political and business worlds into an award-winning crime drama, to bring the series back for a sixth season.
Our wait may very well be over. The torture of the past several months might soon end. We may no longer need to watch our favorite moments over and over again on DVD.
Remember when Jimmy McNulty and Bunk Moreland investigated that murder scene in the 4th episode of the first season and the only words they said were M.F. or some derivative--and we knew exactly what they were talking about. There were all those times when Omar Little whistled "A Hunting We Will Go" just before he robbed a drug dealer's stash house or busted a cap in somebody's you know what--the most memorable time being when he snuffed Stringer Bell in the 11th episode of the third season. And who could forget Sgt. Ellis Carver's long walk down that hospital hallway while Randy Wagstaff, played by Chicago's own Maestro Harrell, sarcastically asked if the officer would still have his back. Wagstaff's foster mother had just been killed in a fire started by drug dealers seeking revenge for his cooperation with the cops--a move Carver urged Wagstaff to make insisting that he would protect the youth.
Those were truly memorable scenes. But hopefully there will be more in a sixth installment of one of the most gripping, entertaining and realistic dramas ever to reach television. U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich have shown us the way.
Simon could bring the unit back together again one more time to investigate organized crime at the highest levels: city hall and the state capitol. Instead of busting up money laundering drug dealers, McNulty, Moreland and the rest of the crew could use wiretaps, much like Fitzgerald has, to investigate crooked politicians using their positions of power like crime kingpins. Consider the "crime spree" that Fitzgerald has accused Blagojevich of committing: offering a U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder; trying to strong arm Chicago's largest newspaper into firing some of its editorial staff; and shaking down a children's hospital, of all places, for a $50,000 campaign contribution. Not even Clay Davis, the resident crooked politician from "The Wire," could top that. The allegations facing Blagojevich make Davis look like an altar boy.
And this case is just the tip of the iceberg. Remember when D'Angelo Barksdale broke down the drug game in The Wire's first season? Politics in Chicago, which would have to be the setting for the sixth season, works much the same way. Instead of dealing drugs, crooked politicians deal jobs, contracts, vacant land, zoning approvals, grants and appointments for campaign cash, political work and other favors. The hierarchy of a criminal drug enterprise, as Barksdale explained it, closely resembles the hierarchy of machine politics in Illinois.
On top of that, Fitzgerald has practically provided the script with his 76-page criminal complaint that details many of the alleged conversations, schemes and strategies Blagojevich has used during his time as governor. Most folks, journalists and lay people alike, read that thing cover-to-cover. You couldn't make this stuff up. Hell, the f-bombs alone--some of them allegedly coming from Illinois First Lady Patti Blagojevich--give the criminal complaint enough character to hold most audiences; all this thing needs is a soundtrack and some art direction.
So c'mon Wireheads. Let's make it happen. Somebody get Simon on the phone and tell him that it's a done deal.
I'm already counting my pennies to renew my subscription to HBO. I can't wait.
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