Let's talk about The Wire for a moment. Greatest television show ever? Perhaps. Certainly in the top two or three. Over five seasons the sprawling saga explored Baltimore's crime and its effect on the people through the city's official and unofficial institutions: drug dealers, police, the Mayor's office, the school system, unions, and the media. It's a remarkable piece of television, with complex characters, criss-crossing storylines, and it presents a world where simple labels about right and wrong don't apply. But not everybody involved in the show could see the overall vision that creator David Simon had. After its first season, which focused on inner-city drug dealers, the show shifted its attention to the docks, and even some of the cast were bemused at the time. At a cast reunion last night as part of Paleyfest, Michael K. Williams, who played Omar, told the audience "The whole first season I came on as a recurring character and the character started to grow. So I fell in love with the cast, I fell in love with the writing, I fell in love with the city, so what do you do? You move to Baltimore. So I was ready for second season, like OK, where’s this storyline going? And I got introduced to the mind of David Simon—he took it to the docks. I got real bitter. I was an angry black man. And I approached David, in my ignorance, you know—how come when we made the show hot, and you want to give it to the white people?"
Williams wasn't the only cast-member confused by what seemed an odd shift in focus for the series. Domenick Lombardozzi and Seth Gilliam (cops Herc and Carver) spent most of season two wondering if they were even in the show any more. “We were shooting a lot of second unit with [director] Robert Colesberry, who I think was trying to keep us entertained after a while,” said Gilliam. “We were taking lots of shots of spiderwebs, slow walking track, and it’s like, is there even film in that camera? What the fuck are we doing here?" The two actors threatened to leave the show, even though it would have been a huge mistake. “It was basically like, I’ll quit! Fuck you! I don’t need this show! You’re wasting me! We will walk, man! And we had no way to walk — we didn’t have shoes.”
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