1. In the last minute of a podcast interview conducted by Bill Simmons on
March 1, 2012, an interview otherwise devoted to basketball, President Obama
was asked to “settle an office debate” by naming the “Best Wire character of all
time.” His answer—“It’s got to be Omar, right?” was backed up by the state-
ment “And that was one of the best shows of all time.” Simmons, “B.S. Report
Transcript: Barack Obama.”
2. Indeed, at one point he even goes so far as to compare his achievement to
Moby- Dick, with police procedural substituting for whale procedural. Simon,
3. Michaels calls it “the most serious and ambitious ﬁctional narrative of the
twenty- ﬁrst century so far.” Walter Benn Michaels, “Going Boom.”
4. Chaddha and Wilson, “‘Way Down in the Hole,’” 163.
5. Jameson, “Realism and Utopia,” 368.
6. As Jason Mittell has passionately argued, “Television at its best shouldn’t
be understood simply as emulating another older and more culturally valued
medium. The Wire is a masterpiece of television . . . and thus should be under-
stood, analyzed, and celebrated on its own medium’s terms.” Mittell, “All in
the Game,” 429.
7. Talbot, “Stealing Life.”
8. See Williams, Playing the Race Card.
Chapter 1: Ethnographic Imagination
1. Falzon, Multi- Sited Ethnography, 1.
2. Lanahan, “Secrets of the City,” 24.
3. Williams would later play the Deacon in this series.