Dramatizing the truth: David Simon's poetics in three HBO miniseries
AbstractOne of the most acclaimed and recognized authors of contemporary TV series, David Simon is by now widely known for his ability to bring together complexity and depth – both ethical and cognitive – in his works.
Although The Wire is unarguably Simon’s masterpiece, many of his works show his ambition to use fiction as a way to investigate the present. Such unique poetics clearly emerges in his HBO miniseries The Corner (2000), Generation Kill (2008) and Show me a hero (2015): in depicting and narrating the social phenomena and the significant events that characterise our present, he combines accuracy and sensitivity by means of an approach which is both journalistic and dramatic.
This essay aims at demonstrating such argument through a close-up analysis of the three texts. A comparative reading will show in which way – despite the heterogeneity of themes and narrative techniques – they share the civic, social and political need to tell the truth about our contemporary world in order to change it.
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