I missed last night's episode - I went to bed early, so we'll watch it tonight. But over the weekend, I had a long conversation with my brother's girlfriend, Cail, about the role of food in The Wire. (earlier posts here, here, and here)
Cooper and I have Directv, so we don't get the "on-demand" episodes, so I haven't seen the older episodes in a few years. Tom and Cail, on the other hand, refreshed themselves by watching the whole series over the past few months. As a result, Cail has a much better recollection than I do of every time food plays a role in the show.
Over dinner on Saturday night, she listed several - from the contest-winning kids going to the fancy restaurant last season to a Brodie/McNulty exchange over takeout lake trout. There was a common thread between all the instances, and it's not a surprising one: they all highlight the class tension that is one of the show's underlying themes.
Not surprising at all, and this still demonstrates the core tonal difference between The Sopranos and The Wire. Especially since, as I mentioned last week, for as segregated as this city is, you could easily tell a Baltimore food story that highlights commonalities rather than differences.
But that would be a very, very different show...