I went out and bought the complete series box set of The Wire on a whim because I had heard many good things about it. A lot of what I had heard in the past was blurbs from celebrities, and not to mention one of my best friends telling me I would love the show. The thing that really strikes me after finishing this show, is that it didn’t win any awards and relatively flew under the radar with commercial success. I am going to go on record and say that this is easily one of the top three shows I’ve ever seen. The way that this show is shot is unparalleled by any other show that’s been on television. You get an inside look into the lives of drug dealers, drug users, city law officials, blue collar workers and more. I feel like I was sleeping under a rock for not watching this show.
One thing that The Wire does exceptionally well is drive character development on both sides of the fence. You will feel like you start to know the characters like they are your acquaintances because the character development is so good. From Avon Barksdale to Marlo Stanfield you will learn everything that you need to know to become a kingpin drug dealer. If you are interested in becoming a detective in a high crime city just follow the lead of Jimmy McNulty, Kima Greggs or Lester Freamon. If you need to know how to run politics you can gain interest in Tommy Carcetti or Clay Davis. It’s all there, every aspect of a large metropolitan city (the drug trade, the ports, government & bureaucracy, the school system & print media) brought to you in an excellently exceptional matter never seen before. I also have to comment on the acting in this show, because a great majority of the actors/actresses in the show are relatively unknown. They put on a great show just like any other top quality actor/actress would.
Another thing that The Wire brilliantly boasts is that is incredibly authentic. According to an article I read in the UK Telegraph Online said that each of the story lines came from real life. That exact same article said, that during a 2005 drug trial in New York, drug dealers were studying The Wire to learn about the newest types of police surveillance. They did all of the shots on scene in Baltimore and all of the casting was done there as well, it just so happens that series co-creator Ed Burns was a former Baltimore Homicide Detective. If that doesn’t scream authentic, I don’t know what does.
The thing that I loved the most is that you can never actually know what to expect. There are so many twists and turns in this show that it can’t easily be explained in words. I found myself clinging to characters and hellaciously hating others. When I was nearing the end of seasons 4 & 5 I just wanted to see someone take Snoop’s little ass out so bad, and seeing Marlo get shot up would have probably brought a subtle grin to my face. My favorite parts of The Wire was watching McNulty & Bunk’s journey through friendship as well as trying to be “good police”, not to mention their dastardly drunken escapades.
I think that everyone should get a chance to see this show in its entirety. Many people laugh when I try to tell them that I think The Wire is one of the greatest shows to grace the TV screen, but I am sturdily steadfast when I make that comment. The Wire is truly five seasons of one of the most brilliant shows that television has ever seen. It truly a tragedy that the show ended when it did, I can guarantee that I will be watching this show for many years to come.
10 Wire Taps out of 10