The Wire’s Final Season and the Story Everyone Missed

17 Mar
March 17, 2008

From the Huffington Post, March 17, 2008
Reprinted with Permission

Well now, it’s been a week since The Wire‘s final episode and a certain calm has descended, leaving a little less agita and a little more reflection. A moment for one last question:

That wasn’t too vicious, was it?

Sure there was a fabulist and, yeah, he snatched the big prize. Couldn’t resist, sorry. That was a bit beyond the historical reality; at the historical Baltimore Sun, he was a mere Pulitzer finalist. And okay, the city editor, the honorable fellow, the one for whom journalism was an ethos, he got slapped down and thrown to the copy desk. We did that, too, because hey, to criticize such a newsroom culture did indeed carry those risks in Baltimore.

But the fifth-season story arc began with a wonderful bit of adversarial reporting on deadline — good, clean newspapering it was. And at the end there, that other fellow wrote a very sincere narrative about a very real and genuine soul. Righteous journalism that makes a good reporter get up in the morning.

True, the top editor had to get up on a desk amid the deluge of the internet and the declines in circulation and advertising. And yeah, he gave the more-with-less talk to maintain morale and it rang a hollow because at this point, buyout upon buyout, the grey ladies are down to bone already. But he was sincere in his grief. He hated closing those foreign bureaus and cutting back further in the newsroom. But what can you do? The suits in Chicago are running scared.

All in all, the last season of The Wire wasn’t that cruel a portrayal, was it? There was some love in there for the ink-stained wretches. A few funny lines, too. Tell me you didn’t laugh at the burnt-doll harem in the photog’s trunk. C’mon, it’s okay to smile.

Ah, fuck it, who’s kidding whom?

It was way worse than you thought. Any of you — save for a couple sharp journos who were able to stand back just far enough to realize what the real critique was. Lowry got it, and tellingly, he used to work for the L.A. Times but is now a step or two removed from a metropolitan daily, writing for Variety. And a couple of others at alternative weeklies figured it out – again, perhaps, because they’re less vested than everyone at the big, vulnerable dailies.

But the rest of you blessed, scribbling souls? Not so much as an offhand reference, and that goes not just for the journalists displeased enough with our newspaper tale, but for the larger number of commentators and critics who thought we did swell. No one went near the theme; everyone stayed dead-center and literal, oblivious to the big-ass elephant in our mythical newsroom.

Let’s be clear, though. I’m actually rigorous about letting criticism of the show stand without arguing back. I’ll rant a bit about journalism, or the drug war or any other issue that I rub up against. But if you didn’t enjoy The Wire this season, then let’s concede for purposes of this little note that you are correct. We sucked. The writing was a train wreck, the characterization limp, the acting and plotting, shameful and shameless both. Jumped that shark in high-topped Nikes, we did.

Okay, I don’t actually agree, but neither would I argue. We said what we wanted to say and now everyone else is entitled to talk back without some counterbitch finding them. So let’s happily concede that all criticism stands and get to the real fun.

Because the thing I can’t leave alone, the thing that makes me giddy as a schoolgirl is this: Whatever else I am — a traitorous apostate to newsprint, the angriest hack in television, a kicker of small dogs — you must acknowledge that I am now, also, the newly crowded King of Meta. That’s right. I am your new lord sovereign of buried, latent, subtextual argument. I dragged it past sarcasm, past cynicism, and all the way to balls-out snide. Crown me up and kneel, ya bitches.

Here’s what happened in season five of The Wire when almost no one — among the working press, at least — was looking:

Our newspaper missed every major story.

The mayor, who came in promising reform, is instead forcing his police department to once again cook the stats to create the illusion that crime is going down. Uncovered.

The school system has been teaching test questions to improve No Child Left Behind scores, and to protect the mayor politically and to validate a system that is failing to properly educate city children. No expose published.

Key investigations and prosecutions are undercut or abandoned by the political machinations of police officials, prosecutors and political figures. Departmental priorities make high-level drug investigation prohibitive.

Not the news that’s fit to print.

Drug wars, territorial disputes, and the assassination of the city’s largest drug importer manage to produce a brief inside the metro section that refers only to the slaying of a second-hand appliance store owner.

Par for the course.

That was the critique. With the exception of the good journalism that bookended the story arc — which is, of course, representative of the fact that there are still newspaper folk in Baltimore and elsewhere struggling mightily to do the job — the season amounted to ten hours of a newspaper that is no longer intimately aware of its city.

And here comes the meta:

In Baltimore, where over the last twenty years Times Mirror and the Tribune Company have combined to reduce the newsroom by forty percent, all of the above stories pretty much happened. A mayor was elected governor while his police commanders made aggravated assaults and robberies disappear. School principals in Baltimore and elsewhere in Maryland were obliged to teach test questions to pump scores at the expense of meaningful curricula. Politicians then took credit for the limited gains that were, of course, unsustainable as the students aged into middle school. Politically sensitive casework was butchered or pursued selectively by political interests and departmental indifference. Notable killings and machinations in the drug world were the talk of the streets.

And yes, in real life, there wasn’t much written about such in my city. Amid buyout after buyout, theBaltimore Sun conceded much of its institutional memory, its beat structure, its ability to penetrate municipal institutions and report qualitatively on substantive issues in a way that explains not just the symptomatic problems of the city, but the root causes of those problems.

The Sun began doing so in the 1990s — before the internet, before the Tribune Company did its worst — when beat reporting and any serious, systemic examination of issues was eschewed in favor of “impact” journalism, special projects and Pulitzer sniffing. It continued doing so into the present decade as the Tribune Company followed the Times-Mirror buyouts with even more ruthless abandon. And now, with the economic vise that is the internet tight around her, The Sun - like so many once-worthy regional newspapers — is fighting for relevance and readers.

It’s admittedly easy enough, if you are writing a fictional television show, to sit in a diner booth or on a bar stool with a police lieutenant or an assistant principal, an assistant state’s attorney or a political functionary and have them tell you the good dirt, knowing as they do that fiction is a safe abstraction. Fiction makes everyone comfortable and talkative; journalism — good, probing journalism — is a much harder, much more rigorous task. It is time-consuming, expensive, deliberate and demanding.

It would not have been easy for a veteran police reporter to pull all the police reports in the Southwestern District and find out just how robberies fell so dramatically, to track each individual report through staff review and find out how many were unfounded and for what reason, or to develop a stationhouse source who could tell you about how many reports went unwritten on the major’s orders, or even further — to talk to people in that district who tried to report armed robberies and instead found themselves threatened with warrant checks or accused of drug involvement or otherwise intimidated into dropping the matter.

It would be hard for a committed education reporter to acquire the curriculum of a city middle school and compare it to what children were taught before No Child Left Behind reduced teaching to rote repetition, or to track a rise in the third-grade test scores into the fifth or seventh grade and thereby demonstrate how temporal and false the gains actually were. And to get teachers talking, even on background, about their anger and frustration at this flummery?

That kind of trust comes slow.

But absent that kind of reporting, we will all soon enough live in cities and towns where politicians and bureaucrats gambol freely without worry, where it is never a risk to shine shit and call it gold. A good newspaper covers its city and acquires not just the quantitative account of a day’s events, but the qualitative truth and meaning behind those events. A great newspaper does this routinely on a multitude of issues, across its entire region.

Such a newspaper was not chronicled on The Wire. There were still good journalists in our make-believe newsroom, and they did some good work — just as there are still such souls in Baltimore and every city laboring in similar fashion and to similar result. But there used to be more of them. And they covered more ground, and they knew the terrain in a way that they no longer do.

I confess I thought that journalism was still self-aware enough to get it, that enough collective consciousness of the craft’s highest calling remained, that reporters still worried about what their newspapers were missing.

We certainly expected more attention from the media. Write a television story arc about the betrayal of the working class, the fraud of the drug war or the lie of No Child Left Behind and you can’t get off the entertainment pages. Maybe an education magazine writes a column on inncr-city curricula, or a libertarian website revisits the idea of drug decriminalization.

But suggest that high-end American newspapers have been gutted by out-of-town ownership, besieged by the internet and preoccupied by a prize culture that validates small-trick and self-limiting “impact,” rather than seriously evaluating problems? Now you’ve got the full attention of the media.

We are grateful for ink. Always.

But for all of it to amount to a forest-and-tree farce? To argue about whether Whiting is more venal or one-dimensional than Valchek? To debate whether Gus Haynes is more of a hero than Bunny Colvin? To wonder whether anyone would be disciplined for cursing in a newsroom, or why they made the top editor wear those suspenders, or whether it was a cliché to have a fabricator driving the overt plot? To argue about whether the drama had become arch or unsubtle? And to studiously avoid any sustained discussion about whether the depicted newspaper is, in all respects, capturing the meaningful narrative of the depicted city? And whether that is an accurate critique?

When we were beating the story out, Bill Zorzi wondered whether — in the final episode — it might be necessary for Gus Haynes to vocalize the theme, to turn to Alma or Luxenberg or some other character and say, “We’re so thin, and we waste what little resources we have left on the wrong things. I wonder what’s happening in this city that we don’t know about. I wonder what we’re missing?”

But no, show don’t tell is the rule. To have the city editor saying such things would have been, well, arch. And unsubtle. As it is, I argued, any good journalist will — if he or she loves the business — follow this story and wince at the stories systematically missed, the undiscovered and unreported tales of the city known to viewers for four seasons. As wounded and onanistic and self-absorbed as the profession has become, there are still plenty of people for whom that matters above all.

So I talked Zorzi down on that one.

My bad, Bill. My bad.

David Simon, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun for thirteen years, is the executive producer of HBO’s The Wire. The drama’s final season, depicting a Baltimore newspaper, concluded last week.

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28 replies
  1. Anne Farnsworth says:

    Rock on, Simon. Rock on.

    Reply
  2. John Keitel says:

    David. Beautiful. Everyone who complanes about season 5 is just mourning. I wanted catharis too…but I was raised on ER.

    Reply
  3. Matt R says:

    The great irony (relative to the final season) is that the criticism being leveled against NCLB and the war on drugs was lost on the real-life media in the very same way that The Wire’s Baltimore Sun “missed” those very same things in the show. In this sense, life-imitates-art just as art-imitates-life. It is for this reason that I think Season 5 is so brilliant. The plot simply provided context and structure for socio-political criticism. What a way for a series to go out….

    Reply
  4. Jeff A says:

    Hi David,

    Great blog, it confirms my suspicions of the final season but wasn’t enough to change my mind about it. Not that your intention with this blog was to do that. I agree with the message of Season 5, just not the execution. The reason I loved the Wire was because it felt REAL. Almost everything in the show from the dialogue to the outcomes felt refreshingly believable. This feeling of gritty realism was lost on me during the McNulty fake-killer arc. I felt it was entirely too unrealistic and borderline offensive to the shows entire structure. I understand the story and the tie-in’s that you wrote about in this very blog, but I feel like you could have highlighted the ‘bullshit’ of the media without compromising the core of The Wire, unrelenting, brutal, realism.

    Anyway, that’s all. I loved the show, it’s in my top 5 of all time and I can’t imagine it going anywhere. I did enjoy everything else about Season 5. Thanks for making a great series.

    Reply
  5. Sean says:

    Great job started watching a lil when I was in like 4th or 5th grade before I really understood all of it but re watched it recently and it’s my favorite series. Think season 5 could of been way better but liked how Omar died didn’t expected it from the little kid. When the big bust happen since the wire to wasn’t legal I figured Marlo was going free. Also liked how micheal played through the all series always looking out for people around him and outsmarting snoop at the end
    Good series wish could of been another series though!

    Reply
  6. TheDagz says:

    Thank you for such an amazing show. I just watched all 5 seasons over the past couple weeks and it was a pleasure. Thank you for this clue-in as well, I admit I missed most of it.

    Better late than never, right?

    Reply
  7. Ericthemidget says:

    David-I just finished the entire series in about a week. Wow…Im emotionally drained. Any criticism you get is unwarranted. Season 5 was great. It was nuanced and I really saw Gus as the lead protagonist of this season and lester and mcnulty as shifty antagonists. I hated Marlo for his ruthlessness but I respect that you gave him a realistic ending-they could not realistically build a case against him bc of police corruption.

    Reply
  8. nick says:

    Good god, this was the most amazing show I’ve seen in ever.

    I just binge-watched the last 3 seasons after slowly going through 1 & 2 and I feel regret that I almost missed out on this amazing thing that started basically a decade ago when I was just starting high school.
    I’m sad I missed all the hoopla, the reviews, analysis, any interviews and behind the scenes footage that was released with and right after the show ended. Of course, it’s all still out there, and I can find it and watch it and still enjoy it all, but I feel like I’m a decade late to the party. I got my invitation late in the mail and I may as well just see all the videos and photos and banter about it on people’s social media profiles.
    This show, it’s impact, the things it’s talked about directly and indirectly (as shown above) has along with all that impacted me, and I feel like I’ve got enough influence from this show alone to myself sit down and write like I’ve been wanting to do, but not just any writing, but writing that’s thoughtful as well as entertaining, and also writing that matters.
    This show mattered and it still does. I’m so glad I got to bear witness to it, even if I was late.

    Reply
  9. Shawn C says:

    David, I just wanted to take a brief moment (6 years later) to thank you for both an amazing show and this write up of your thoughts and insights into S5. Like another commenter, I only noticed the Prop Joe story being missed/overshadowed by the Sun.

    I knew that in a general sense the overarching theme was the demise of quality of news journalism, but finishing my binge of the season tonight (after having avoided the show for years fearing it was over-hyped and couldn’t live up – boy was I wrong!) the biggest feeling that I was left with was that of Newton’s Third Law of Physics, the action-reaction law. I was leaning more towards something karmic, but it’s clear that many of the characters did not get what was coming to them. However, each action, no matter how small, led to clear and defined reactions that changed the course of events. It was especially poignant seeing all the since-deceased (or reformed, there’s no way I could overlook or forget Dukie becoming Bubbles) characters’ roles being filled by the “New Age.”

    Anyway, I’m straying from my point: thank you for defining this additional layer to the theme of S5. It was too subtle for me to catch on my first watch, and I’m sure a 10 hour binge made it even easier to gloss over. It’s especially shameful that the media did not pick up on this. It’s quite apparent that today’s 24 hour news cycle is entirely based on sensationalist impact stories. In fact, when I was delivering newspapers as a kid back in the 90s I became incredibly skeptical of the news I was delivering. Once I learned that wrestling was faked I began to wonder what else on TV, or in print, was fabricated or “enhanced.” Then the Lewinsky story broke and dominated, and I lost even more faith. Even as a child I remember sifting through the paper wondering what a presidential blowjob has to do with anything important. This season has opened up my eyes to an important point: what exactly are we missing by focusing on all this sensationalist garbage? Even recently I remember watching CNN and they were covering the Treyvon Martin case seemingly 24/7 and in the news ticker at the bottom of the screen there was the briefest mention of some protest in Egypt. While the Arab Spring was happening, the only thing you could find on news TV was tabloid coverage of a murder case.

    In response to a few specific complaints I’ve come across rather frequently in regards to the season:

    How is it remotely plausible that Marlo walked free? Given the corruption in the Baltimore you portrayed, it isn’t hard to imagine an offender being released for even more serious charges. The case was based on a wealth of curruption and illegal detective work and the need for self-preservation could easily allow for a deal to be made. The vacant murders and 2 lieutenants getting lengthy sentences in exchange for Marlo exiting the business is not hard to wrap your head around.

    Omar’s death/Omar returning to Baltimore: We all wanted to see Omar’s last stand be in a bloody shootout with a high body count, but anyone paying attention to the story being told knew it wouldn’t go down like that. It was pretty much written on the wall for us when that one kid didn’t run away from Omar. I knew in my bones as he walked up to the convenience store something bad was going to happen. To the people saying he was stupid for returning to Baltimore in the first place: Marlo used the perfect bait. While he is cold and calculating, from the moment we met him Omar has a big heart and made decisions based on his emotional reaction.

    The finale was weak/unsatisfying: I feel that the people who express this opinion don’t quite understand the type of storytelling that you were going for. To me, The Wire was told as an epic novel. In this format you’re not going to have stark revelations, a happy and blissful montage followed by a cut to black. To me, the climactic conclusion of the show happened in S5E9 and E10 was more of the epilogue, allowing us to digest what happened and gain some insight on where things are headed for the city.

    Anyway, I’ve gone on for far too long here. Ultimately, thank you for such an epic drama! I sincerely believe S4 is the best season of any show in existence and overall, The Wire is the best-told story I’ve ever experienced in television.

    Reply
  10. Eric says:

    It’s tremendously unfortunate a potentially amazing show was turned into a cute little art project. It’s like the artist was told by everyone he’s a genius, so he gets an inflated ego and starts throwing out abstract garbage and lording over it with the ultimate smugness. Then when people point out the garbage it becomes oh-so esoteric. “It’s not garbage, they just don’t get it”. Whatever you say, arthouse. See if you can purse your lips any tighter or hold your nose any higher.

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      You seem angry. Six years later. Over a television drama.

      Reply
      • DrCruel says:

        No. He’s just being painfully honest. Isn’t that what your essay calls for?

        Reply
        • David Simon says:

          “Purse your lips any tighter or hold your nose any higher”? I dunno. Seemed pretty angry to me.

          You don’t like the last season of a television drama, feel free to venture an opinion. You wanna say so on the producer’s blog, no worries. Explain your displeasure in detail, no problem.

          The original essay doesn’t do anything to counter anyone’s opinions as to whether “The Wire” was good, bad, or indifferent. The essay notes, accurately, that no one picked up on how disassociative the media has become to the actual issues and realities of the depicted Baltimore in the drama. That was thematic and no one commented on the argument, which I found disappointing.

          You wanna say who cares, the story sucked? Okay. You wanna say that its an unfair representation of modern journalism? I’m interested. You wanna explain where the argument is inconsistent? Great.

          You want to suggest that the creator of the project has his nose in the air for being interested in the matter at all, and that you have some insight into his temperament? Well, okay. But having left the topic at hand to engage in ad hominem characterization, you can’t very well expect anything less in return. If my state of mind can be presumed by this fellow, certainly I’m entitled to note his own. Painfully honest? I dunno. It’s not painful to me. Maybe it’s honest. But “inflated ego,” “ultimate smugness,” etc? Maybe the guy’s just kind of being a dickhead here.

          Reply
  11. cez says:

    When the Wire was first broadcast, in 2002, I decided not to watch it because of the hype. i do not like hyped up shows, because of an innate sense of superiority which makes me believe than anything that other people like cannot be good. A few months ago I decided to give it a go and, as you can imagine, I fell in love. I watched all five series back to back in less than a month… bit of an overdose I guess, but just couldn’t stop. And I thanks you for that, because you gave us a piece of truth storytelling.
    Now, the fifth season was a bit of a problem. Not because I missed the point about your critique of the journalist world, I got that, but because you sacrificed some of your best characters to get your point across. The serial killer story was just too silly. Ok, maybe I can believe that McNulty would come up with a silly story to get the wire going, maybe, but Lester? Really? And why would carcetti suddenly give them all the money? Why would he care about the homeless? And Kima, would she really be snitching on them? Wouldn’t she confront them first?
    And Omar, well I can understand his death, tragic, but it was more realistic than a final bloodfest. But why would he go around looking for Marlo, wasn’t he a bit smarter than that? What he suddenly turns stupid?
    But thanks for creating some of the best characters in TV history. I actually cared about them as if they were real… well, nearly!
    ps
    I’m watching Treme now. It’s a great show!

    Reply
  12. Harold says:

    Wow, I can’t believe that went over my head too David. I was focused solely on the fact that the the newspaper was in a battle over the homelessness killings issue in a sense that their biggest problem right now was sensationalism and lies versus honest reporting.

    But it went over my head, that the newspaper, completely missed every major story about what went on in the city. Focused on a fake serial killer, they missed rampant corruption in the city government, missed obvious lying and stat juking in the police department, missed the penetration of the law courts by shady lawyers etc.

    So it makes you wonder what actually gets reported and what we all miss day in and day out. There’s a reason people say you’re a genius and why your show is perhaps the best in history.  

    Reply
  13. Sam says:

    The Wire is my favorite show of all time, but Season 5 was definitely the weakest. The only story that I noticed that the newspaper missed was when they mentioned Prop Joe. I just thought it was depressing that someone that big in the community wasn’t well known by the newspaper people, but for some reason I didn’t really put any more thought into them missing things. I think the biggest problem with Season 5 is that the Sun people were kind of boring and so many of them were one note. You had the ambitious lying dick with no redeemable qualities, the very honorable and honest veteran, some young black guy who covered Bubbles, the villainous senior editors, and a girl who was a good reporter.

    I know this criticism in no way helps, the show is long done with, but I loved everything about the 5th season except for the newspaper guys. The ending was perfect, the way Omar died was perfect, the serial killer thing was perfect, but then whenever it cut back to that newsroom it dragged.

    Thank you so much for making The Wire, it ruined every other tv show. Now I just read and laugh at bad writing on other TV shows. I’m an asshole.

    Reply
  14. Tyler Bacidore says:

    I absolutely love The Wire so I mean no disrespect when I say this (aren’t prefaces like that always inevitably followed by something kinda shitty and disrespectful?) but what the hell happened with the last season? Marlo gets away clean and he keeps his money, Avon lives happily ever after in prison, McNulty gets screwed, the lying reporter wins a damn Pulitzer, and oh yeah, OMAR GETS KILLED BY A LITTLE KID?! What the hell, man? Did you guys just intentionally try to deliver a shitty, unsatisfying conclusion so you can feel like you didn’t pander to the audience or compromise your artistic vision or some shit? Or are you just that pissed and depressed about the world that you can’t help but force your misery on your viewers? At least you’re not complete sadists. You let Bubbles live. Only silver lining to that dark cloud of a series. Still, all that being said, it was a hell of a ride and still the best damn tv series ever made. Other than Breaking Bad. Okay, you probably hate me by now so I’ll shut up. Take it light but take it. Peace, yo. I’m out.

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      Sorry. We told the precise story we wished to tell and what happened was supposed to happen. If you didn’t dig it, then you didn’t dig it.

      But all the endings mean something and other endings would have been the wrong ones.

      Reply
      • Tyler Bacidore says:

        I feel like an asshole now for saying some of that stuff. Who am I to bitch about how you decided to end your own show? I do honestly feel that way about the ending but telling you that personally (digitally, whatever) was completely asinine and unnecessary. My comment amounts to little more than unwanted negative feedback for a show that ended 5 years ago. So fuck what I said. You’re fuckin’ awesome. Burns is fuckin’ awesome. Pelecanos, Lehane, Price, Alvarez, Zorzi, the directors, cast, the whole lot. Thank you for your ridiculously worthwhile contributions to humanity.

        Reply
        • David Simon says:

          No worries. No story is subject to referendum, at least not in my shop. We do what we do and people are free to react as they will. It’s not likely to change our reasons for telling the stories we do, but neither is the criticism necessarily invalid or unwarranted.

          But thanks for your kind words.

          Reply
          • Jason says:

            I just watched all 5 seasons in short order. It was amazing television. Can you give any specific insight into why Marlo was let to walk away unscathed. Not everything can have a happy ending, I understand. but I believe even his murder would have been more satisfying for viewers who were waiting for his comeuppance.

            Reply
  15. derek says:

    It worked, I thought it fell short of the seasons 3, and 4. By the way, I’ve been through journo school in NZ, although I didn’t pass (I dropped out), my tutor told me that NZ doesn’t have the same problems as the USA regarding the demise of newspapers, because, according to him, NZ newspapers already run on a hard core skeleton staffing level with no subcutaneous fat…which I always thought was bullshit. Thanks for the reply.

    Reply
  16. derek says:

    Interesting article. I feel better about missing the plot about The Baltimore Sun newspaper missing important stories, now I know that the pros missed it too. Season five was the weakest season imho. Too short. Maybe you were too close?

    Reply
    • David Simon says:

      For me, it’s all of a piece. Each season building toward a singular, connected argument. And no, I think season five achieved its goals as the other season, with me being no closer to the world of journalism than others on our writing staff were to the other worlds depicted. I know that is a meta-narrative that some people find credible, but I could as easily and as credibly argue that the meta-narrative itself stems from newspaper critics who were too close and too sensitive to the overall critique. But then I would be as guilty of lazy ad hominem as they have been in assessing the work.

      The more honest assessment is that it doesn’t matter where I stand, or where Ed Burn stands, or what I think. If season five didn’t work for you, then it didn’t work for you. It’s a subjective matter that isn’t worth a good argument, especially if, like me, you don’t see the seasons as distinct but cumulative. But you’re entitled to enjoy one thing more than another, and you’re even entitled to wonder about a filmmaker’s or writer’s motivations and standing, whether or not you actually have any evidence of its relevance or not.

      Reply
      • Kevin Stevens says:

        ” If season five didn’t work for you, then it didn’t work for you. It’s a subjective matter that isn’t worth a good argument, ”

        If you took out subjective arguments about popular entertainment, the nation would free up a lot of bandwidth and many repetitive stress injuries would be avoided.

        Reply
        • David Simon says:

          I would want us to argue subjectively about public policy and social issues. At least the stakes matter.

          Reply

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