Police blunders: David Simon is back in Baltimore! After The Wire, often considered the best series in history, the screenwriter plunges back into this city plagued by violence and focuses more particularly on a corrupt police unit.
What is it about ?
The story of the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force. This task force was designed to keep violent criminals off the streets of Baltimore in the face of the city’s upsurge in murders. The unit ended up operating as a full-fledged criminal organization, with agents stealing money from people they claim to be suspicious, performing illegal searches, planting evidence, and extorting money from drug traffickers. Based on the eponymous book by journalist Justin Fenton.
The miniseries We Own This City is broadcast on OCS in US+24 from Tuesday, April 26, one episode per week. Episodes seen: 3/6.
Who is it with?
To embody the protagonists of his new creation, david simon reunited with some of its former actors from TheWire. Particularly Jamie Hectoraka the iconic gangster Marlo Stanfield in the cult series, who here goes to the other side of the law by playing a detective from the crime squad, or Darrell Britt-Gibson who played O-Dog in The Wire and plays a Gun Trace Task Force cop in We Own This City.
We also find there Delaney Williams, Sergeant Jay Landsman from the 2002-launched series who becomes Baltimore’s police commissioner here. David Simon has also offered roles to actors from his other series like Don Harvey (The Deuce) whose character investigates We Own This City’s corrupt police unit or McKinley Belcher III (Show Me a Hero) and Rob Brown (Treme), who both play members of this Task Force.
This is also the case for two newcomers to the screenwriter’s world: Jon Bernthalaka Shane in The Walking Dead where the Punisher in the ex-Netflix Marvel series, and Josh Charles (Dead Poets Society, The Good Wife). Wunmi Mosaku (Lovecraft Country, Loki) meanwhile plays a lawyer for the Department of Justice while Dagmara Dominczyk (Succession) plays an FBI agent investigating the GTFF.
Well worth a look ?
Twenty years after the debut of The Wire, a series which is today celebrated as one of the best television works of all time, its creator, former journalist David Simon, and his very frequent collaborator , the author George Pelecanosreturn to Baltimore City.
Created by the duo for HBO, like all their works, We Own This City takes place in this emblematic city of the cult series. All episodes were directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green (The Williams Method) and screenwriter, producer and former police investigator in Baltimore Ed Burns is also part of it after having collaborated with David Simon on numerous projects.
With such personalities behind the camera and this return to the source, in other words, the miniseries was eagerly awaited by series fans and it should not disappoint. Based on a real case told by Justin Fenton in the book The city belongs to us published in France by Sonatine Editions, the show is in line with its predecessor but also with The Shieldanother famous series on a police unit with muscular and not always legal methods.
Condensing this incredible tale of corruption into six episodes was no small feat, but the creative team pulls it off with flying colors. Obviously very documented and ultra-realistic, the series plunges the viewer into immersion as close as possible to its characters, who are numerous, and juggles between the present, the fall of the Gun Trace Task Force in 2017, and the past.
From the journey of Sergeant Wayne Jenkins (the charismatic Bernthal, formidable) from his graduation from the academy to his apprenticeship on the streets, to the creation of this famous unit and behind the scenes of the system of corruption and racketeering that it set up , to the investigation to bring her down launched in 2015, the story is captivating and shows how these violent police officers were able to act with impunity for years in a city where they were asked to make ever more arrests leading to many deviations.
Multiplying the temporal round trips (not always easy to follow) and points of view (we also follow, for example, a civil rights lawyer seeking to shed light on the discrimination suffered by the inhabitants of Baltimore) and carried by a distribution in tune, We Own This City is a demanding but uplifting series.
And it proves once again to what extent David Simon is capable of x-raying the failings of the American police system in a city where, twenty years after The Wire, little seems to have changed…
When Barack Obama interviewed David Simon about The Wire: