Saturday, September 26, 2009

Watch Brick City

You know what we learned from The Wire, right? Among other things, we learned a lesson that we seem to need to repeat endlessly: that our cities are neglected, that people are suffering, and that a system that offers them no hope condemns them and their children to poverty, violence, and death.

It is telling that The Wire, the best show in the history of television, never won an Emmy. Maybe it's a little to real for people who prefer to watch undertakers or suburban Mafiosi, or maybe it's just part of the phenomenon it reported on.

Now we have a new series that has been compared to The Wire, but it's a documentary. In five consecutive nights, Brick City documents the struggles of people trying to make Newark, N.J., a better place. The star is undoubtedly Mayor Cory Booker, but the heroes are in every scene, including gang members, ex-felons who have taken to the streets to save Newark's youth, to guys who get out of prison and decide they need to serve their families by making the hard choice to look for a straight job.

The entire series ran this past week, but it's still playing on the Sundance Channel. You need to watch it.

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