DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
SO IF you just loved The Wire and thought it was the greatest show in the history of television, you need to watch Crack House USA. They could’ve called it Smack House USA. It seems to be mainly smack house actually.
‘‘ Soft’’ is what you need to say when you go in and ask for heroin. And ‘‘ hard’’ is crack. Just so you know.
I say that because in life, you just never know who uses drugs. Watch this and you’ll see that. Old, young, soccer mums, office workers, teenagers . . . OK.
So this documentary takes place in Rockford, Illinois, and what the cops did, under Task Force Sgt Barry Cunningham, was find this house, it was fairly neglected, but it was perfectly placed for surveillance, they painted it, fixed it up, they set up a command centre not too far away in an old paint factory, and they wired up the house with video and audio, then rented it, through their informant, to a drug gang.
Six weeks they got out of it, longer than they expected, but less than they ideally needed, and you’ll see how it all goes.
There’s plenty we don’t see, but we see enough.
What I liked though, or I
Set up: Sgt Barry Cunningham don’t know if ‘‘ liked’’ is exactly the word, but what I found just riveting were the interviews with the family of the gang members.
The mothers who keep asking themselves what went wrong, was it their fault . . . we hear from the grandmother of one boy, a sister, a mother-inlaw, they’re all great interviews, remorseful, revealing, lots of things. I loved this part of it.
The wire tap is pretty good though. As one of the cops says, ‘‘ They’re just living like regular people lived.’’
They’re kicking back on the couch, watching TV, playing video games, friends come over . . . the friends who want to buy drugs. Possibly one of the key differences. And everyone has a gun. Crack House USA ABC2, 9.30pm