On this day 20 years ago, “The Wire” made its debut on HBO and set a precedent for police and crime show dramas. Now, former cast member and Wu-Tang Clan legend, Clifford “Method Man” Smith Jr., will celebrate the show in a new podcast.
“The Wire At 20” is a partnership between HBO and Campside Media and takes a look back at the iconic series through interviews with the cast, creators, and more.
“Twenty years ago, June 2, 2002, the pilot episode of ‘The Wire’ premiered on HBO,” said Method Man in a trailer for the new series. “Now, no one knew it at the time, but that day, the bar for television went through the roof. Back then, most cop shows were procedural, they had heroes and villains. But ‘The Wire’ wasn’t most cop shows. And over time, it became clear that it wasn’t a cop show at all.”
He further alludes to underlying messages within the series that took things deeper than what had been seen on any cop show before then.
“‘The Wire’ put society under a microscope. It used the inner workings of a city to tell a story about the decline of America,” he continued. “That city… was Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore was full of people – police, politicians, drug dealers, dock workers, even middle schoolers – who were all caught up in a rigged game, a game that didn’t love anyone back.”
For six years, “The Wire” aired on HBO and helped to launch the careers of actors like Idris B. Elba, Michael B. Jordan, and Tristan “Mack” Wilds.
The series ran from 2002 to 2008 and was an hour-long drama that starred Dominic West, the late Michael K. Williams, Sonja Sohn, Clarke Peters, Lance Reddick and more. Method Man portrayed Melvin Wagstaff from season two to season five.
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