Earlier this year HBO announced that The Wire was being remastered in HD. I had just started watching the show and was about 4 episodes in. I decided that I'd already prolonged my viewing of the one constant that came up in almost every conversation I'd ever had when discussing my admiration for Breaking Bad and so I kept watching The Wire in it's gritty1 4:3 standard definition. I'd done the same thing with The Sopranos and thought that it probably didn't make that big of a difference. The thing is that The Wire gains something from the way it was filmed and the quality contributes to the aura of the show in a way that it doesn't with The Sopranos. Fans of the show are aware of this and the idea that HBO would be touching what is widely considered to be one of the best shows ever created brings pause to it's admirers. This makes David Simon's exquisite elaboration2 on his involvement in the remastering process calm many nerves and generate excitement from the scrupulous afficionados of the show.
So when HBO sent out some promo ads about a conversion of The Wire to HD and a 16:9 ratio a few months ago, I reacted not merely as David Simon, showrunner and ink-stained scribbler, but as David Simon, the medium for Robert Colesberry, professional filmmaker. WWBD. What would Bob do?
Well, for one thing, he would make sure to be included in the process.
I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief about the end result and that it won't tarnish our dear Baltimore. I'm glad to have an excuse to watch The Wire for a second time and be able to see every detail in the way that David Simon and Robert Colesberry originally intended later this month.