Skip to content

Abaza The Wire: “Fuck the average reader. Fuck him to hell.” The Wire — confusing, painful, and exhilarating — may well be the very best and smartest show of the current Golden Age of TV serial drama (though I’ve only seen a few episodes of The Sopranos). Kottke has a great roundup of recent links and quotes about the series, including creator David Simon talking about his show:

My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell.

Aside from the evil clone of Robot Hitler, there is nothing I hate so much as being talked down to, and The Wire — along with Deadwood and Battlestar Galactica — have earned a very special place in my heart by making the radical assumption that a TV viewer like myself might actually be as smart as the writers.