The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television

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Tiffany Potter, C.W. Marshall
Bloomsbury Academic, Dec 10, 2009 - Performing Arts - 254 pages
11 Reviews
The first collection of critical essays on HBO's The Wire - the most brilliant and socially relevant television series in years  The Wire is about survival, about the strategies adopted by those living and working in the inner cities of America. It presents a world where for many even hope isn't an option, where life operates as day-to-day existence without education, without job security, and without social structures. This is a world that is only grey, an exacting autopsy of a side of American life that has never seen the inside of a Starbucks. Over its five season, sixty-episode run (2002-2008), The Wire presented several overlapping narrative threads, all set in the city of Baltimore. The series consistently deconstructed the conventional narratives of law, order, and disorder, offering a view of America that has never before been admitted to the public discourse of the televisual. It was bleak and at times excruciating. Even when the show made metatextual reference to its own world as Dickensian, it was too gentle by half. By focusing on four main topics (Crime, Law Enforcement, America, and Television), The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television examines the series' place within popular culture and its representation of the realities of inner city life, social institutions, and politics in contemporary American society. This is a brilliant collection of essays on a show that has taken the art of television drama to new heights.

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Review: The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television

User Review  - Liz Barr - Goodreads

The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television was a highly frustrating book of essays about, yes, The Wire. And urban decay. And American television. Frustrating because these are proper academic ... Read full review

Review: The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television

User Review  - Dan - Goodreads

An excellent collection of critical perspectives on The Wire, each of which is pleasantly readable. Several of the chapters are even exceptionally good. Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Tiffany Potter, teaching in the Department of English, University of British Columbia, and holding a PhD in English Literature, focuses her research on cultural studies, with emphases on colonial and post-colonialism, feminism, the history of sexuality, and the historical literatures of anthropology and race. She has published extensively in many journals, including Early American Literature. C.W. Marshall is an Associate Professor of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies, with a PhD in Classics and a post-graduate diploma in Christian Studies, in the Department of English at the University of British Columbia. Having published on the conventions of heroism from Greek tragedy to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he brings to this project an understanding of the foundations of Western mythic and narrative patterns

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