Wired for new shows

I don’t watch a lot of TV. At least, I used to not.

It’s not a statement or anything. I just find my evenings get packed with other things that keep me away from regularly tuning in to shows. I do tune in most every night for Jeopardy!, which is a tough thing to include in any written form because of the exclamation point in the title, as those who are not familiar with the official title think I am just REALLY excited about a game show.

I used to watch lots of shows. My wife and I would tune in regularly for Friends, Melrose Place, Seinfeld, etc. I can fairly well identify the time I quit watching shows on a regular basis. It’s Aug. 6, 2000. That’s when our first child was born.

Throw in the reinforcement date of March 17, 2003, when our second was born, and that sealed the deal on not being tuned in to TV.

For the last 18 or so years, most of my evenings have been geared towards doing things with them in the evenings. And if that included TV, it was things that were family friendly. So a lot of pop culture passed me by.

I’ve started catching up on some shows that are relatively new. I’ve enjoyed The Umbrella Academy and The Good Place. Fun stuff. But when I harken back to the early 2000s, I realize I missed some shows. And apparently I have missed A LOT of classics. Sopranos. Breaking Bad. One of the shows I heard about often was The Wire. One reason that is resonated in my circles was that the fifth season has a good bit set in a newsroom, where I spent a good chunk of my professional career. 

My kids are now teens, and they often are doing their own things in the evening. A few months back, they were both off doing their own things, and I had a quiet evening at home. So I decided I would fire up the old TV machine and watch an episode of The Wire. And man did I get hooked quick.

Even though the newsroom part was still four seasons away, the show drew me in. I watched the first episode and told my wife that it looked like I’m in for the long haul. She asked me how long the series ran for. I told her that it was five seasons, so I had about 60 hours in front of me.

And now, a couple of months later, I have run the gauntlet, and I have logged every bit of The Wire, and it is probably my favorite show of all time. A few thoughts:

  • It’s definitely not for everyone. It’s hard hitting. It’s raw. It’s coarse. 
  • The storylines are tough to swallow, as it presents a part of the world that we often don’t see, and I think that’s healthy to see that part of the world.
  • When I made it to season five, the newsroom scenes resonated with me in a way I’ve never experienced. While I never worked at a newspaper the size of the Baltimore Sun, it’s clear to me that all newsrooms are kinda the same. 
  • If you’ve watched the series and (a) if Bubble isn’t your most cherished character and (b) Omar isn’t the most fascinating antihero character of the series, I don’t know what to say.

So I’ve put The Wire to bed. I guess I need to go and find some new shows to catch up on, all the while trying to stay current on new shows. Please let me know of any shows I’m missing. Otherwise, next stop, Sopranos.

Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he now lives in Mt. Pleasant. You can e-mail him at or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike or at


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