Sean O’Neal:

And yes, of course we can give Simon the benefit of the doubt that, as always, he’s only trying to protect the integrity of his show by arguing against premature evaluation, being reductive, and distracting silliness, all of which can indeed sometimes get in the way of the message. But maybe he could do all of us the same courtesy by not presuming those who may amuse themselves with a “who’s cooler?” tangent don’t also recognize that this sort of thing is not the point of the show.

There’s room for all kinds of Wire fandom, after all, and if he’s arguing for first-time viewers to ignore those tangents and stick with a show until its entire structure can be built, it’s probably not a good idea to discourage them from even bothering by telling them to straighten up and dictating the terms of what he thinks that appreciation should be. Otherwise, it’s not a TV show you should be making; it’s a civics class.