Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'The Sun' TV Critic Offers Harsh Review of HBO Series Set in His Newsroom

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'The Sun' TV Critic Offers Harsh Review of HBO Series Set in His Newsroom

Article excerpt

David Zurawik of The Sun in Baltimore admits that reviewing the latest season of HBO's "The Wire" was unusual since much of the storyline is focused on a fictional version of his newsroom.

But that did not stop Zurawik from penning a harsh review Sunday of the popular series set in Baltimore and created by former Sun reporter David Simon.

"Whether I praise or pan Simon's made-for-TV version of the paper, the fact that I work for The Sun means I am likely to be mistrusted, if not damned," Zurawik contends. "So be it - I am not the first journalist to write about matters involving his or her own paper."

Zurawik does not let that detract from his criticism of the latest season, or at least parts of it, declaring "...the newsroom scenes are the Achilles' heel of Season 5 - with mainstream entertainment sacrificed to journalistic shop talk, while fact and fiction are mashed up in the confusing manner of docudrama."

He adds, "Time and again, momentum is lost as the story shifts to the newsroom. Part of the problem involves the way Simon populates the city room with several non-actors. Two of the first Sun staffers that viewers will see are played by former Sun columnist Michael Olesker and former feature reporter Laura Lippman. They look like two people stuck in cement before the camera mercifully leaves them behind. (Lippman is Simon's wife.) Ed Norris, the former Baltimore police commissioner who plays a homicide detective on the series, is not an actor either, of course. …

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