the wire

A decade after it went off the air, the groundbreaking HBO show "The Wire" looms large over our peak TV era. David Simon’s sprawling look at the Baltimore drug trade, politics, media and the decline of the white working class didn’t garner many viewers or awards in its time, but remains a cultural touchstone today. It also introduced viewers to a new generation of black actors, and brought bestselling authors into the writers room. Now, sportswriter and author Jonathan Abrams has released a terrific oral history of the show — “All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire.” It’s a perfect complement for Honey Nut Cheerios on a 40-degree day.

A headshot of actor Jim True-Frost
Selected Shorts

Just about the only good thing to result from that February snowstorm that postponed the Selected Shorts taping at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall is that it gives us a chance to catch up with Jim True-Frost here in April. Jim True-Frost will be among the actors at Sunday’s rescheduled show at 3 p.m. in Troy. WAMC is cosponsoring the show.

   David Simon is best known as creator of HBO's The Wire which chronicled the story of Baltimore's police department and its gangs. A former reporter for The Baltimore Sun, Simon is also known for his NBC police procedural Homicide: Life on the Streets. The show was based on his book, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets.

This week he spoke at Williams College, presenting a lecture entitled "The Audacity of Despair."

Unlike many of his peers in the arts, actor Wendell Pierce was never afraid of leaving his native New Orleans for a shot at the big leagues. Trained at Juilliard, Pierce went on to star on Broadway and on the screen, best known for roles in Selma, Treme and as homicide detective Bunk Moreland on The Wire, which Pierce calls the role of a lifetime.

Any Questions #146

Jun 13, 2014

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a show about television police.

Actor Brian Anthony Wilson is probably best known for his role as the cynical but ultimately honest detective Vernon Holley on the celebrated HBO drama The Wire, which spent five seasons examining drugs, poverty, race and politics in inner-city Baltimore. Wilson’s Holley was sometimes bitter, and like many of his colleagues in the precinct, Holley didn’t always have an answer for the endemic violence and depravity in the streets — or the high-stakes office politics.

Richard Mallory Allnutt

To read Benjamin Busch’s memoir Dust to Dust is to confront the big, hard questions of humanity: life and death, peace and war, family, honor, duty, and the frailty of all of it. Busch writes of his life’s often surreal interactions with nature and its destruction, whether that destruction is being wrought by land mines or natural erosion.