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On The Wire

4.25  ·  Rating Details ·  20 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Many television critics, legions of fans, even the President of the United States, have cited The Wire as the best television series ever. In this sophisticated examination of the HBO serial drama that aired from 2002 until 2008, Linda Williams, a leading film scholar and authority on the interplay between film, melodrama, and issues of race, suggests what exactly it is th ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published August 8th 2014 by Duke University Press Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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Brian
Apr 16, 2014 Brian rated it it was amazing
Linda William's engaging look at the importance of HBO's landmark tv series "The Wire" persuasively argues that the series is more than a modern day version of Dickensian narrative focused on social issues and economics. Instead, Williams through close readings of each season of the series via individual episodes and industrial modes shows that what makes the series so important and unique is its embrace of melodrama. In using tropes of TV melodrama Williams argues the series is best positioned ...more
Billy
May 08, 2015 Billy rated it it was amazing
I usually get enticed into picking up a film criticism book only to be let down. Most film criticism books end up sounding like the author liking the sound of their own voice me. I was very pleasantly surprised by how engaging is Linda Williams's On The Wire. If you are a fan of the TV series The Wire, then I definitely recommend reading this book. Williams goes in depth on the show's origins and looks at the show and its place in wider society with the focus of a surveillance camera. I couldn't ...more
Duke Press
"I must admit being skeptical of Linda Williams's thesis that The Wire is best understood as melodrama. But after reading her convincing and compelling analysis, I not only came away with new insights into a series that I knew very well, but have fully revised my notions of how serial melodrama applies to contemporary television. This vital book is essential reading for scholars and viewers of both The Wire and television drama more broadly."--Jason Mittell, author of Television and American Cul ...more
Margaret Sankey
Jul 17, 2016 Margaret Sankey rated it liked it
Using The Wire as text, Williams applies literary criticism to view the series as melodrama, particularly Dickensian melodrama. Interestingly, she not only uses this to analyze the writing, but also the visual aspects of the show--costume, lighting, camera direction and sounds. This was a good way to revisit a familiar favorite.
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