In my terribly long absence, I bought, started, watched, finished, cried at (without shame) the complete series of The Wire, which is most epic. I’ll throw my hat in with Barack Obama and every nerdy, underpaid television columnist at every newspaper who say, uniformly: “The best television series ever.”
I had actually bought the first season of Mad Men at the same time as Season 1 of The Wire, but I’m of a single mind and can’t follow two heavy series at once, so I put Mad Men away on the shelf for a while. Then when -30- rolled, and The Wire was no more, I spent a few nights sitting on the couch, idly and morosely clicking through channels, despairing that no series would ever live up to David Simon’s world again. Could there be life after The Wire?
I seemed destined to wander through the television stepps (population: America’s not-quite-best singers and dancers) for all eternity, until I could no longer resist the lavish, exultative praise that the (now former) television columnist at my paper heaped daily on the lusty, chain-smoking folks at Sterling Cooper. He’s a Maddict, through and through, and his zeal to devote every column to Don et al made me think there could be.
I was expecting something like a ’60s-set Desperate Housewives meets Grey’s (Advertising) Anatomy, based on the rabid female audience demographics, but you can chalk that up mostly to Jon Hamm. Not that he’s not a perk of the show (tee hee), but it’s so much than male eye candy. Tufted furniture! Tweed! Teak galore! Christina Hendricks!
(And because all the self-indulgent, passive-aggressive and avoidant behaviour of Draper reminds me so much of my own self-indulgent, passive-aggressive, avoidant self it’s embarrassing to watch it with other people in the room since I invariably cry with frustration and self-loathing at every episode. Then I go into equally self-indulgent, Revolutionary Road-esque pangs of worry over whether I’m “happy.” LULZ, as they say.)
It’s still the best series ever, but the way Mad Men’s going, The Wire could soon lose its mantle.