The new Atlantic has a really great article on The Wire by Mark Bowden that we're releasing early -- and for free -- online in light of the pending debut of season five. Regular readers of this blog will probably be familiar with the stuff covered in the beginning of Bowden's article -- best show ever, etc. -- but he goes quite a bit deeper than other profiles, getting into the ways in which the show, despite its "realism" departs quite a bit from reality but doesn't suffer as drama as well as offering a real under-the-hood look at some of the Baltimore media issues that will be the subject of season five.

Bowden's got a background in the Charm City newspaper world just like Simon and it gives him a perspective you don't get elsewhere. Check it out.

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