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larb blog the wire

On Watching the Wire Again

Originally published on LARB Channel Avidly, Claire Jarvis recounts her experience of watching The Wire again. 

By Claire Jarvis

It’s deep in July, and there’s nothing on television; the season of rewatching is upon us. My partner and I have decided on The Wire. The first two times I watched The Wire, I was living in the Baltimore it claimed to represent. I had moved to the city for graduate school and the twin towers had fallen on the first full week of classes. I watched the news coverage of that event on my 13” television (with combination VCR) and hoped to God my lone pre-a-week-ago friend would come over that evening so I wouldn’t be alone. Part of the power in The Wire comes from its representation of urban destruction to a wider world that had just come into consciousness that it, too, could possibly be destroyed. Baltimore, that gorgeous nineteenth century city, with row after row of working peoples’ houses, housing that had been filled in the booming forties and fifties, had been steadily shrinking for almost a half century when the towers fell. Continue reading