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David Simon's next TV drama should tackle alt-right extremism -- it could be The Wire 2.0

  • "It's the most important story in America right now," says Tim Goodman, in proposing that The Wire creator delve into the history of alt-right extremism and homegrown American terrorism, which has been in the news over the past two years and especially in the last two weeks. Goodman got the idea from The New York Times Magazine's exhaustive story over the weekend headlined: "U.S. Law Enforcement Failed to See the Threat of White Nationalism. Now They Don't Know How to Stop It" from writer Janet Reitman. "That New York Times story can't be over-sold for its national relevance — it's the story of our now, our until-recently-unspoken national nightmare, our new bogeyman that crept up behind us when we were all looking at Al Qaeda and ISIS and the Middle East," says Goodman. "It's a story so fresh people are still in denial about it being an issue, or even existing, or being a threat that will linger beyond Trump. Great storytellers with sociopolitical vision, like Simon specifically, must see all these interwoven connections and froth at the prospect of telling a complicated, compelling fictional narrative that mirrors the non-fiction story we're living in when the television is off; it's the opportunity to create the next great drama series of their lifetime. This is not wishful thinking. This is not a hopeful prompt for someone to step up and take the challenge. Someone is absolutely going to tell that story. The only question is how quickly they can get started on it because they're already behind, as the Times story so ominously showed. The possibilities are endless for this potential series — and any fan of dense, well-constructed, universe-building dramatic series should be able to see those possibilities as well as root for someone talented to bring them to the small screen. Simon is the logical first choice because his TV series have for the most part sprung from the street-level reporting he did as a journalist and the books that helped spawn those series. What he was able to do with The Wire was see the long-view of Baltimore as an ecosystem and subject matter for myriad stories, tackling drugs, gangs, cops, politics and journalism and the integrated nature of all of them."

    TOPICS: David Simon, HBO, The Wire, Charlottesville, Pittsburgh synagogue shooting