News

David Simon doesn’t want to hear about your love for The Wire

Pin it

Do you love The Wire? You probably do, because most people who watch it absolutely love it. But I have a more important question for you: did you watch The Wire live, viewing every episode on its original air date? Because if not — because if you watched it later, through DVDs or HBO Go, for example — show creator David Simon really doesn't care what you think about it, as he made perfectly clear in an interview with the New York Times:

"I do have a certain amused contempt for the number of people who walk sideways into the thing and act like they were there all along. It’s selling more DVDs now than when it was on the air. But I’m indifferent to who thinks Omar is really cool now, or that this is the best scene or this is the best season."

In fact, not only does Simon not care what you think about the series now, four years after it last aired — which is valid enough, I guess — he thinks that people like you are actively preventing television from becoming a "serious" medium:

"If you want television to be a serious storytelling medium, you’re up against a lot of human dynamic that is arrayed against you. Not the least of which are people who arrived to “The Wire” late, planted their feet, and want to explain to everybody why it’s so cool. Glad to hear it. But you weren’t paying attention."

And David, people who come to The Wire late, do you think they even, like, get it? Can they even comprehend your grand vision?

"You got led there at the end and generally speaking, you’re asserting for the wrong things."

Oh my God, shut up. Look, David Simon is incredibly good at what he does. The Wire was amazing, and I don't think you'll hear many arguments to the contrary. Treme wasn't as transcendent, but was still quality television. And I understand why a show runner would feel bitter that a show that struggled to stay on the air has so many vocal fans now. I don't begrudge him that and I think it's totally acceptable to air such grievances. 

But have you ever heard someone so contemptuous of his audience? Of his fans? He comes off as little more than a jerk. If it's so wearying for him to deal with all that adulation he receives — which must be so hard — then he should just stop. If he wants people to watch his show when it airs or not at all, he shouldn't work with a paid subscription channel. And if he really doesn't care about fans, or whether they loved it, hated it, or even understood it at all, he definitely shouldn't whine about low ratings. He can't have it both ways.