David Simon‘s The Wire wrapped up its fourth season last night. If you haven’t seen this, you’ve missed the best goddamned thing to ever be on television, and we say that knowing full well how strong contenders like Deadwood and the Sopranos are. They’re not even in the same league; in a real sense, they’re not even playing the same game.
If you’re hip, though, go read Heather Havrilesky’s column on the final episode and the fourth season in general over at Salon. Havrilesky’s a damned fine TV writer — she’s the one who did a column all in Milchian Deadwood-speak, brilliantly. Don’t read it if you’re not caught up; it’s full of spoilers. If you’re watched, though, it’s a great reverie.
There is one more season of the Wire coming. We have no idea when it’ll air — 2008, probably, which gives you all plenty of time to catch up on the world of the Barksdales and Stanfields; the Greek, the port, and 13 dead girls in a can; Royce and Carcetti and Davis; the collapse, rise, fall, and resurrection of Prez; McNulty and Bunk; Omar and Brother Mouzone; and the sad tale of Bubbles. Do yourself a favor. Seriously.
(The Wire ran June to September in 2002 and 2003, but slipped to September to December in ’04 and ’06. Since HBO is already running promos for what’s happening on the network this year, and said promos have no Wire goodness in them, smart money says to look for the final installment of Simon’s opus in June or September of 2008.)