HBO is releasing a new miniseries later in April that focuses on police and crime in America, and has the potential to be one of the best dramas of the year: We Own This City is adapted from the book of the same name by journalist Justin Fenton. Anchoring the show’s cast is The Walking Dead and Punisher star Jon Berthnal, who stars as Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, a cop working in Baltimore’s gun trace police department.
The show will address issues that are particularly prescient in America in this day age, such as police corruption and ethics, an issue that kick-started the Black Lives Matter protests that have entered discourse in Britain and other western nations. But what is causing most of the buzz around this new series is that it shares some of the cast and crew of the classic HBO series The Wire.
Before Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, there was The Wire, which debuted in 2002 and changed the TV landscape. The seminal series has become one of the most acclaimed influential of all-time, with a legacy lasting beyond its last episode: Barack Obama once named it his favourite TV show of all time. It shone a spotlight on police corruption in America, and launched the careers of Dominic West and Idris Elba. So there’s a lot of pressure for this spiritual successor releasing 20 years later, with Wire creator David Simon helping to develop it.
As well sharing the Baltimore setting, We Own This City features some of The Wire‘s cast members: Jamie Hector, Darrell-Britt Gibson, Delaney Williams, Tray Chaney, Domenick Lombardozzi, Jermaine Crawford and Chris Clanton all had notable roles in The Wire and are featured in the new show. While it’s spiritual predecessor ran for 5 seasons and 60 episodes, We Own This City will only be a six episode miniseries, and focuses more on real events.
The plot of the series centres on the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. Corruption and moral decay have set in in the city, and drug prohibition and mass arrests have taken precedence over proper police work. Bernthal’s characters Sgt Jenkins, is head of the Trace Task Force who instead of working to solve Baltimore’s drug and crime epidemic, chooses to exploit it and manipulate it for his own personal gain. The events of the book and series are based on the scandal that engulfed the Force in 2015, with the backdrop of protests around the killing of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.
We Own This City will release it’s first episode on April 25th, with the miniseries continuing for 5 more hour long episodes until 30th May. The show will be shown on Sky in the UK, as with other HBO shows. Meanwhile, you can watch the show’s decorated predecessor The Wire on Amazon Prime and Apple TV.
WE OWN THIS CITY DEBUTS ON 25TH APRIL