But to tell the truth, I no longer watch many
films. . . . I feed my hunger for fiction with what is by
far the most accomplished source: those terrific American TV
series like
Deadwood, Firefly, or The Wire. . . . There is a knowledge
in them, a sense of story and economy, of ellipsis, a science of
framing and of cutting, a dramaturgy, and an acting style that
has no equal anywhere, and certainly not in Hollywood.
—Chris Marker,
La Jetée / Sans Soleil DVD booklet
Who knew that the movie business would disappear. It disappeared
instantaneously. . . . There will be festival films, there will be a way to live,
where a movie like ‘[Michael] Clayton’ gets made if you get a movie star like
[George] Clooney to waive his fee, there will be exceptions for decades. But
as a rule, the middle class drama, ambitious drama, it’s on TV. Everybody
knows that, it’s why TV is so great right now, they’ve got it.
—Tony Gilroy, The Playlist website
In the summer and fall of 2007, I was laid up in bed. For the first time
in my life since childhood I had time to feed my “hunger for fiction” via
television. A friend had brought me an inspired gift: bootlegs of the first
three seasons of The Wire. I proceeded to watch an episode each eve-
ning until I ran out. As soon as I could, I purchased the last two seasons
and continued to steadily feed a growing habit. The series ran weekly on
hbo from 2002 to 2008, but ran in a more concentrated, nightly form
on my bedroom tv from 2007 to 2008. By the time I finished watch-
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