Last week, David Simon gave an interview to Jeremy Egner of the New York Times in which he discussed bloggers, Wire fans, and the problems of advertising-based TV. When the interview was published, it caused a minor Twitter-storm; Simon comes off as grouchy and resentful of all the attention The Wire is getting at this late date. He went on to give another interview to clarify his thoughts a bit. After reading both, we’re still pretty sure that Simon is the smartest grouch in America. (There’s nothing wrong with being a pessimist, Dave! Don’t apologize! Keep it up!) In case you’re keeping track, we made a list of things that David Simon does and doesn’t like. In true Simonian fashion, we’ll start with the negatives.

Things David Simon Doesn’t Like:

  • Advertising-based television. “People who have just been informed that America is becoming a coarser, brutish and less governable place, and that our collective future might be very dark indeed, are not going to be receptive to then turning around and looking at the new blue jeans or the new iPods or the new Lincoln Continental…It’s what I think has kept television a juvenile medium in a lot of ways.”
  • TV bloggers. “The number of people blogging television online — it’s ridiculous. They don’t know what we’re building. And by the way, that’s true for the people who say we’re great. They don’t know. It doesn’t matter whether they love it or they hate it. It doesn’t mean anything until there’s a beginning, middle and an end.”
  • People who obsess about how cool Omar is. “By the way, he is. But it’s wearying.” “For us, telling us how cool Omar was four years after the entire thing is on the page — if that’s the point, then our ambitions were pretty stunted to begin with.”
  • People who focus on the show’s characters, the coolness, or the jokes, not the issues. “That people have fun with the show is okay on its face.  That this stuff singularly crowds out any continued discussion of our real problems and the show’s interest in arguing those problems is the disappointing part.”
  • Grantland’s March Madness-style bracket of Wire characters. “These guys weren’t around when the show was fighting for its life, and now that it’s all there on the page, and you can consider all of that and argue about that, they want to break it down like a deck of cards, and argue over whether the jack of spades is better than the jack of hearts.”
  • Today’s TV viewers. “I think there’s a fundamental disconnect with what certain types of longform television are now trying to build and the way in which they’re consumed by the audience. And I don’t know what to do about that.”
  • People who assume David Simon is using particular characters as David Simon mouthpieces. “In the first hour of “Tremé,” John Goodman goes on a rant that a number of reviewers, not just bloggers, but writing the initial review of “Tremé” contended was my voice, my anger: the angriest man in television venting yet again. But he’s actually speaking the words of a very noted and famous blogger who was quite passionate and was speaking in tones that all New Orleanians accepted as quite rational. It was three months after their city had understood a near-death experience. And more important, David Simon didn’t have anything to do with writing that scene; Eric Overmyer wrote that scene.”

Things David Simon Does Like:

  • Baltimore. “People ask me who I loved writing for the most and I always tell them, the city of Baltimore. And that’s totally true. I’ve never said anything more honest about the show.”

One reply on “Things David Simon Doesn’t Like”

  1. How can we watch Treme’ ? We don’t have HBO and only stream netflix. the library does not have it either

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