Vice talks with David Simon, responsible for the feat that is The Wire. On the show’s writers coming from non-TV-writing backgrounds:
If there’s anything that distinguishes The Wire from a lot of the serialized drama you see, it was that the writers were not from television. None of us grew up thinking we wanted to get to Hollywood and write a TV show or a movie. Ed [Burns] was a cop, and then he was a schoolteacher. There were journalists on the writing staff. There were novelists. There were playwrights, too. Everyone began somewhere else.
That impulse was the same in The Wire writing room as it would be at the editorial board of a good newspaper.
What’s powerful about the entirety of interview style is that it doesn’t read like an interview at all. With respect to Rose, Solomon, Gross, and others who know how to ask a good question, theirs can at times read and sound a bit like an inquisition. This, well, it’s dialog. As transformative as conversation. Simon responds not to stilted questions, but to one concept, “Absolutely.” “I’m getting depressed.” “Wow.” This is how conversation happens. This is why dialog matters. Sure, perhaps the questions could have been more investigative overall, but I enjoyed seeing Simon just go at it.
If you haven’t already linked away to read the entire interview, please do so now. The interview-writing, and the writing about the interview-writing, is not to be missed.