Fifteen years have passed since one of network television’s most pivotal shows, The Wire, hit the small screen. Since its debut — and with the introduction of social media — the memory of the program continues to thrive in the form of memes or college courses.
Universities across the U.S. have implemented the tentpoles that fall under the five-season series, including the hand-in-hand relationship between crime and law. Now, students at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law will be able to compare what the show depicted onscreen with how it relates to the criminal justice system today. According to Ebony, the first two seasons will be viewed in the “Crime, Law and Society in The Wire” class, and group discussions plus written assignments will be part of the syllabus.
Per the course’s website, students will analyze the series as they examine the criminal justice system’s role in race, false imprisonment and mass incarceration. Per the class’ website:
“This course will use The Wire as a text to study many of the most important and intractable problems in the criminal justice system in America today, including drug enforcement, race, confessions, police manipulation of crime statistics, mass incarceration, use of force, gender, criminal organizations, gun violence, and honesty and accountability in law enforcement.”
Created by David Simon, the drama series was set in Baltimore, Md., and featured actors like Michael K. Williams, Wendell Pierce, Wood Harris, Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan, Tristan “Mack” Wilds and more. In a 2015 interview with Wilds, the Shots Fired actor shared that The Wire served as an “unconventional acting school.”
“It taught us everything that we needed to know,” he said. “I think it was one of those things that put us in a place with veterans and either had to stand up or sit down.”