David Simon has made the streets of Baltimore famous with gritty television dramas such as “The Wire,” “Homicide: Life on the Street,” and “The Corner.” Now he wants to take on the Big Easy.
The next series he hopes to produce for HBO is about musicians reconstituting their lives in New Orleans, he told The New Yorker for its issue hitting newsstands Monday.
Simon, whose dramas are known for their authenticity and detail, has been spending time there researching the music scene.
“This show will be a way of making a visual argument that cities matter,” Simon said. “’The Wire’ has never done that. I certainly never said or wanted to say that Baltimore is not worth saving, or that it can’t be saved. But I think some people watching the show think, ‘Why don’t they just move away?’ ”
A goal of the show will be to celebrate the glories of an American city, and “why we need to accept ourselves as an urban people,” Simon said.
“At the Macy’s parade, when they show New York, they gotta get the dancers from Broadway shows out in the streets doing a kick line,” he said. “In New Orleans the musicians are already in the streets.”
The fifth and final season of HBO’s “The Wire” begins in January, this time focusing on layoffs at The Sun — where Simon once worked — and how newspapers fail to capture certain complex truths. Previous seasons of the acclaimed drama have featured drug dealers, struggling longshoremen, city politicians and inner-city students.
The drama is actually about “the decline of the American empire” and the failure of postmodern institutions, Simon said. He is also working on an HBO miniseries called “Generation Kill,” based on the 2004 book, about a Marine platoon in Iraq.