If there’s one thing that can take your mind off the horrific results of our failed drug war—a policy that has brought about the highest incarceration rates of any country in the world, wrought economic disaster, and promoted racist criminal statutes—it’s that soon you’ll be able to see a show depicting all that devastation in super-awesome HD! Collider reports that The Wire, HBO’s Baltimore crime drama and show that the Internet will murder you for not appending with the tag “best show ever,” is being released on Blu-ray on June 2.
This HD remastering for the Blu-ray release is a mixed bag, however, as befitting a show where nothing that ever happened was either simply good or bad, but rather a complex mélange of ambiguous consequences. So while it’s good that deeply shaded colors and images will now illuminate those deeply shaded narrative outcomes, not everything benefits from this upgrade. As we reported last year, creator David Simon has some issues with the expansion of the frame from 4:3 to 16:9 (i.e. from old-school square TV shape to rectangular movie shape), especially the final two seasons of the show, which were specifically shot to fill the former frame ratio. As a result, some aspects of the show were definitively improved by the remaster, while others are more problematic. (Simon posted an example of each, which you can see here.)
The Wire: The Complete Series Blu-ray collection is priced at $199.99, because HBO charges through the roof for its stuff. It will include all the previous extras, as well as a new Q&A from the Paley Center For Media’s The Wire reunion. It will not, however, include a button to get all your friends to finally stop quoting Omar.