April 02, 2009

The bother of bad timing

Critically acclaimed and lauded by fans, The Wire has created such a buzz that its well-overdue transfer to terrestrial television has become one of the media events of the year so far. So why on earth has the BBC given it such a ridiculous scheduling spot?

11.20 p.m. is pretty late for newly-arrived cutting-edge drama by any standards, but particularly awkward when you consider it’s not available on iPlayer, and that an episode a day is being aired Mon-Fri, giving scarce little time to catch up even if you do have a recording device (which I currently don’t).

Grievances of timing aside, the three episodes I’ve seen on BBC2 tell me that I’ll probably be jumping on the bandwagon of praise very soon. Once you cut through the thick Baltimore accent (or just pop the subtitles on like I did tonight) it’s very well scripted, and I’m already starting to get involved with the characters and their motivations. I knew it was worth a watch when it shocked me, upset me and made me laugh out loud within the space of ten minutes. A warning for the sensitive though – it doesn’t wimp out on violence or bad language, so steel yourselves.

I’ve been staying up for it this week out of sheer stubborn determination, but I do hope BBC bosses see sense soon – maintaining a lifestyle that involves watching The Wire AND getting up at 6.30 a.m. may begin to prove hazardous to my health…

V xx

The Wire


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