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Culture Lust by Angela Carone

On Blasphemy, Dimwits, and the Greatest Show on Television!

The boys from Season Four of HBO's The Wire

It happened again!

Early this morning, the laughable popularity contest that is the television Emmy Awards announced this year's nominations. Once again, The Wire , television's best dramatic series, was ignored in every category.

Blasphemy! What a bunch of dimwits.

Furious, I decided to take a little tour around the web, to see what the critics had to say...

From Karla Peterson at our own Union-Tribune :

The Emmys' stubborn lack of recognition for this towering HBO drama verges on the pathological, and it has to stop now. The fourth season's nuanced look at the small triumphs and crushing failures of the crumbling Baltimore public-school system deserves an Emmy sweep, but I would settle for a best-drama nod for the series, along with nominations for the heart-stopping work by Robert Wisdom (Bunny Colvin), Andre Royo (Bubbles) and young Maestro Harrell as Randy Wagstaff, the poster boy for childhood's end.

Rich Kushman from the Sacramento Bee predicted yesterday:

Take every penny you can find, borrow money from loan sharks, and bet it all that "The Wire" will get nothing. It may be the best show on TV, one of the deepest, smartest, most compelling series ever, and the TV academy pays it no attention whatsoever.

Maureen Ryan from the Chicago Tribune is my kind of girl:

"The Wire" is not just considered one of the greatest TV shows of all time. It's simply a classic work of art, by any standard in any creative field. The HBO drama getting only one nomination in its four-season history is like "The Godfather" getting one measly Oscar nomination. It's not just wrong, it shows an institutional inability (or even unwillingness) to recognize true greatness.

Brian Lowry from Variety is a tad cynical:

When television history is written, little else will rival "The Wire," a series of such extraordinary depth and ambition that it is, perhaps inevitably, savored only by an appreciative few.

Even the Canadians get it:

As good as these programs were, though, it was possibly The Wire -- a searing, heart-wrenching look at junior-high students from Baltimore's inner-city housing projects -- that most resembled a sprawling, post-modern morality tale as it might have been conceived by Charles Dickens, if he were alive today and writing for TV.

Robert Philpot , from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram , clearly thinks the members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences are dim. He's just afraid to say it outright:

"The Wire," HBO: The best example of long-form storytelling on television, and that's what works against it. David Simon's sprawling look at cops and drug dealers in Baltimore, which seems to have been influenced by Dickens and Robert Altman, is too dense and complicated to be judged by a few sample episodes. Season four, which also looked at the public-education system, was considered the best yet by many critics. And yet the complexity that makes it so great is the same thing that will lead to it getting passed over.

And, finally, from a fellow These Days producer and avid Wire fan:

Those trick-ass busters need to recognize!

Well said, my silver-tongued colleague. Well said.

-- Angela Carone produces arts and culture programming for These Days and Culture Lust . Please read our guidelines before posting comments.

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