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A decade after The Wire, David Simon continues to prove he's one of the edgiest and most dynamic showrunners in the TV game

  • Unlike HBO's other legendary Davids (Sopranos creator David Chase, Deadwood creator David Milch and Curb Your Enthusiam's Larry David), David Simon has been too busy working on other projects to revisit The Wire. "In part, that’s because he already told that story; in part, it’s because HBO has kept him busy pretty much since the day we said goodbye to his fictionalized Baltimore," says Alan Sepinwall. Since The Wire ended in 2008, Simon has worked on the HBO Iraq War miniseries Generation Kill, New Orleans drama Treme, public housing miniseries Show Me a Hero and, currently, porn drama The Deuce. "The Deuce in many ways feels like a culmination of everything Simon’s done since saying goodbye to McNulty, Omar, and the Bunk," says Sepinwall. "Like Show Me a Hero, it has high-profile leads in Maggie Gyllenhaal (as a prostitute turned feminist porn auteur) and James Franco (as identical twins caught up in vice to varying degrees) to draw attention, and to make the more plotless sections feel compelling in and of themselves. Like Treme, its strongest appeal is its sense of place in its recreation of the grimy pre-Giuliani Times Square. And like Generation Kill, it’s a period piece about grand plans for which no one has considered the unintended consequences. Though its sprawl occasionally proves a hindrance — as with Treme, the lack of a narrative spine like The Wire’s police investigations can make aspects of the show feel too scattered — it’s a potent reminder that Simon and his collaborators can be as good at basic entertainment as they are at dramatizing civics lessons."

    TOPICS: David Simon, HBO, The Deuce, Generation Kill, Show Me a Hero, Treme, The Wire