My Hairstylist and The Wire

I have a regular hair stylist. I like her because she’s a cute girl, about my age, and she asks me a lot about what to do with my hair. And honestly, I don’t know what to do with my hair. But she asks in a way that is low pressure. I tell her I don’t know what I want and she hears me and gently nudges me towards one of two options and checks in with me afterwards. It’s a pretty good arrangement.

One of the other big perks is that she works at a pretty decent salon. I pay about $35 per haircut (including tip) and the whole place is super nice and I get hot towels and neck shaves. This might not sound like much to others but I’ve been going to cheap places all the time and I kinda love being pampered a little.

Anyway, I bring her up because, for the past two haircuts, we’ve talked about television. She loves Breaking Bad. I finally got around to watching it and it’s a really good show. Incredibly well-acted and written. But it’s still second place to The Wire. I’m staying in on a Saturday night and drinking and watching The Wire right now and it’s monumental television. In 20 years, they’ll still be talking about this show.

Breaking Bad is about the a chemistry teacher finding out he has terminal cancer and then seeks to become a meth cook and eventually a meth lord. It’s escapist badass fantasy, like we could all break out of our suburban walls and lead double lives and nobody would be the wiser. It’s full of great personalities.

I have a hard time describing The Wire. It’s a gritty drama about drug dealers and the ghetto and homicide cops. It’s not procedural crime like Law and Order or CSI. It’s about amazingly fleshed-out and researched characters that each exist inside their own environment and system. It’s the fantasy that we could possibly begin to understand the drug war, police corruption, political corruption, the fucked-up public school system. Each season is like a gripping novel because it demands a lot of investment and faith upfront but it rewards you with these deeply intricate characters and these expansive worlds they live in. I could gush about it for hours.

Which brings me back to my hair stylist. I totally failed to explain it adequately to her. She didn’t understand what I was talking about (maybe it was just my accent) and she just kinda said, “Oh, I’ll look into that,” in that way that sounds like they’ll never look into it. She totally placated me.

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