The thing that strikes me about The Wire and The Corner when watching them so soon after each other is how different they are. This might seem like an obvious statement, but I might be speaking in a way that you don’t think of right away. The big difference for me is the characters. The characters on The Wire are just that: characters. They might have basis in the life of a real person, but they have a made up life. On The Corner, these are real people that David Simon and Edward Burns talked to and wrote about. As we have seen, you can google them and find out what they are doing now, almost 20 years after the book is set. This fact changes how I view the show and the characters. They are more tragic to me. They seem more prey to fate at this point. No amount of letters to the show runners or network can change their fate. This is who they are. For me, this fact was more emotionally gripping. I cared more intensely about these characters and mourned them acutely. To go from that kind of program to The Wire caused me to chafe a little bit when introduced to the new characters. I didn’t care for most of them and questioned their motives constantly. West Baltimore was a place I had come to understand through the lens of The Corner and The Wire wasn’t going to revolutionize that world for me. At the same time, I recognize it as great television. I enjoyed watching it, in spite of barely tolerating most of the characters on the show. It didn’t affect me like The Corner did and I believe that is entirely a result of how I viewed the characters in each program.