Along with TV-shows like 'Oz', 'Deadwood', 'The Sopranos' and 'Six Feet Under', David Simon's 'The Wire' was part of a revolution - qualitywise - in television. Although it is very entertaining, this isn't just entertainment; this is art, pure and simple - and the concept of this show was groundbreaking. On the surface, one might think this is a show about crime, but really, 'The Wire' is about the life and soul of a whole city. Every aspect of the city of Baltimore gets its share of screen time, and the way this is done - the writing, the direction, the amazing performances by the terrific cast; the music, the camera work, the realism... I could go on and on - is just outstanding. On par with 'Generation Kill' (no wonder, since the same creative team was behind both), this is as good as television gets.Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/
This Review is aimed at anyone who has never seen the wire, but may have heard about it from about 3000 people recommending you should watch it. I watched the wire about 3 years ago well after the series concluded, and watched it in the same binge watching way I watched The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, and Game of thrones. I won't compare The Wire to these shows because they are not really comparable other than the fact they are some of the greatest shows ever, but are completely different. The wire isn't about drug dealing, the police, politics, or the education system, it is about the entire city of Baltimore. I'll admit The Wire isn't for everyone, it may be too violent or complex with the vast amount of characters and side stories for some, but I guarantee if you are a film and TV series lover and appreciate writing, acting, and an abundance of interesting characters, the wire is pretty much perfect in these regards. Each Season changes slightly in which facet of the city it will mainly cover, and becomes more complex as the series progresses. This show has without a doubt some of the most interesting characters, and best writing I have ever seen on a series. Even small side characters have intriguing stories that progress throughout the entire series, and I have never seen more attention to detail. This show isn't built up with such high expectations for people who haven't seen it for no reason, watch it , and there is about a 99.99% chance you will become one of those previously mentioned 3000 people recommending it to everyone you know who hasn't seen it.
I don't subscribe to HBO. A couple of weeks ago I heard an interview with a young actor from this series on NPR. It was described as a "gritty crime drama" with many Baltimore locals portraying variations on themselves. The interview made it sound interesting enough that I decided to check out the first season on DVD.After the first few episodes I became seriously hooked and devoted 36 hours of the next ten days to the show.Having now watched the first 3 seasons, I believe it to be the best television series I have seen.I do not understand why this show hasn't generated the buzz or the awards of HBO's other series, such as the Sopranos or Deadwood. It is more gripping, faster paced, and more intelligent. The other shows can be a bit plodding, with plot lines that go nowhere, and a few characters I don't much care about. That wasn't the case here.The show is a cross between the Sopranos and the old NBC show Homicide: Life on the Street. The crime/sopranos side and the law/Homicide side run in parallel. Individually, the parallel plot lines are compelling. In tandem, they are complimentary and brilliant.There is no way to avoid having "the best show ever" tag sound like anything but silly hype--regardless, what makes this show substantially better than any other realistic and compelling crime or police drama is the fact it is... searching. It doesn't just delve into the individual psychologies motivating these people (ala the Sopranos) or the complex interactions amongst the members of a community (ala Deadwood) it asks "what the hell can be done for all of these people" and points out the problems with any and all of the answers.It's truly brilliant. If you like intelligent television, I envy the enjoyment you will have watching this for the first time.
Definetly the most realistic show I have ever watch. You can feel for all of the characters, there is no certain good nor evil like the real life. Acting is also amazing, a piece of fine art. The Wire is a must watch show, trust me you won't regret it.
I say that without a shred of hyperbole. The Wire's importance, beyond setting the standard for all modern television, is one of a historical document. 500 years from now, the show will surely be one of a handful that allows future generations to glean the state of American society during this time period -- it's problems, it's people, it's language, it's institutions, and the constant tension that exists when all of these are forced to coexist.This is due to the fact that the Wire, through nuance and true-to- life portrayal of human interactions, constructs an extremely lucid and heart-breaking evaluation of almost every aspect of society. Most of you reading right now wake up every day as a cog in the massive, interwoven, and fundamentally autonomous institutions which together make up a capitalist society. However, given that we are all a minuscule part of this larger whole, it is nary impossible to take a step back and objectively evaluate just how much influence these institutions hold over the course of our lives. It's not unlike trying summarize a 1000-page novel while holding a single random page less than an inch from your face. Our perspectives are inherently limited in this regard, and so too is any vain attempt to connect the pieces and make sense of it all.This point is one of the many reasons that the Wire warrants our time and careful consideration. From a bird's-eye perspective, each season builds on those prior until at the very end we have no choice but to reckon with vast tapestry of individual strands as a singular work. One that feels so true to life that it's near impossible for me to think of anything else, fiction or non-fiction, book or movie, painting or play, sculpture or architectural feat, which in their combined power holds the volume of educational lessons, thoughtfulness, humanism, pure ethos, or entertainment that the Wire does."All the pieces matter," a quote that flashes across the screen at the beginning of an episode in Season One, is prophetic in it's understanding that the totality of something can have a much greater impact than its individual parts. And that is why I find it upsetting when reading reviewers which call the show "boring" or "slowly paced" or "overrated" and then go on to admit that they gave up watching before the end of Season Two. I am not a cynic by nature and in general tend to dismiss the common criticism that our generation is one that needs constant gratification all of the time in order to stay engaged with something for the long haul. But in this case, I truly believe that the Wire is so much different than what most people are used to watching on the medium of television that some may get confused or frustrated when the show refuses to pander to the standard beats and thrill-inducing plot devices on an episode-by-episode basis which we have been trained to expect with TV shows. There are no neatly wrapped episode arcs, no spoon-feeding over obvious plot points via voice-overs or flashbacks, and no musical score to tell us how a particular scene or moment should make us feel.Instead, the show forces us to become witnesses to a series of events in much the same way we would witness something unfolding right in front of us. Especially during Season One, David Simon and his creative team give us a lot of footage that looks like it should be from a documentary. This is all intentional, of course. The 4:3 film, the non-HD look, the way the camera seems
The Wire absolutely, without a doubt, lives up to all the hype it gets! It's ranked #6 All-Time with a 9.3 rating for a reason... because it's absolutely amazing! If you google any "best show ever" list you will find The Wire near the top of every single one. If you've never seen this incredible show then do yourself a favor and go watch it immediately and if you have seen it go watch it again because it's just that good!
Hate to be rude but don't pay attention to the moronic post below. That was some of the most lame criticism I have ever come across on this site. I doubt the guy even watched the entire first season. This show is the best thing going on TV. Writing. Direction. Acting. Its all perfection. The people behind the show are former journalists and police officers who were covering crime in Baltimore or working the beat as cops for over 20 years. They know what they speak of and don't rely on cookie cutter characterization. This is the closest thing to a novel that you will find on TV. It is so impeccably plotted and so honest and realistic that I will never be able to watch another cop show (or any TV drama) without comparing it to this example of television greatness. Did I mention its also the smartest TV show on the air too? The Sopranos gets the media attention but it can't match the sophistication and grittiness of The Wire. The Sopranos is a romanticized TV crime drama by comparison. And as for Six Feet Under? Please! It reached its peak in its final six episodes of the first season and haven't lived up to that magic since. It doesn't get any better than The Wire. Universal critical acclaim. The winner of the 2002 TV Critics awards. The winner of the 2004 Peabody award. Nuff said.
HBO's "The Wire", another ground breaking TV crime series from David Simon who grandfathered "Homicide: Life on the Street", raises the bar for crime dramas by dedicating a whole season (13 episodes) to a single story with unparalleled realism. Telling of a motley bunch of detectives who set about to bring down a Baltimore drug ring which supplies a black innercity housing project, the gritty 12 hour first year series slowly develops a broad range of characters from street punks to senators in a world where the blacks and whites of good and evil are reduced to shades of gray and everyone is connected by their humanity for better or for worse. Not the usual cops vs bad guys fare with episodic ups and downs, "The Wire" is one long drama about people which happens in a law enforcement and crime setting. For realists only, this series will require some viewer patience while the complexities of the plot and the characters are developed. One of a kind...so far. (A)
Possibly the best thing written for television ever; certainly the best to come out in the last 25 or so years."The Wire" escapes the melodramatic pitfalls of shows like "the West Wing," "Six Feet Under" and even "The Sopranos" (which are all smartly written--or rather have had their moments of greatness).Here is a show which over the course of 37 hours weaves together scores of very tautly detailed characters. It's not easy to watch--and its certainly challenging. But it is surely worth it.The story unfolds in Baltimore and is a study on the effect of institutions on its members: police, politicians, criminals, addicts.Some may find the show didactic. This is understandable because its creators make heavy usage of allegory (for instance, seasons three's not-so-subtle criticism of the situation in Iraq).Didactic or not, the show forces its viewers to think about and hopefully start a larger discussion of the issues it touches upon: the failure of the drug war, the gradual extinction of the American worker and the dangers of a presumptive, preemptive war.Hats off to creators David Simon and Ed Burns (a retired BPD detective) for creating one of the most interesting, daring shows in the history of television.Let's hope HBO renews it for another 26 episodes.
the wire is definitely the best show ever made. most realistic stuff ever. i takes a couple of episodes to get into it because it's pretty slow compared to the average show but once you get into it, you just become addicted. unlike other police shows this one deals with ONE investigation during its 4 entire seasons while in other shows cases are closed in one episode. another good thing about THE WIRE is that we follow both cops and thugs without any superficial caricature we find on CSI and such,THE WIRE keeps it real all the way. incredibly well written, amazing photography and oustanding actors, this is the kind of show that should be covered with emmies...
Rarely do you see a show like this that has so much ambition in what it's trying to accomplish, and more rarely do you see a show like this succeed in it's intention of doing so. Let me introduce you The Wire, the best TV show put on small screens. The show that will, after you've finished it, live you empty inside, because you'll never find another TV show that can rival it. With it's five seasons, The Wire raised the bar of quality for TV shows, the bar that no TV show to date has managed to reach. The Wire's story is set in the city of Baltimore, and it's about the slow fall of Baltimore city, about the pointlessness of the war on drugs, the bureaucracy and corruption that infest both the police force and drug-dealing gangs, class war against the labor unions, and the city's dysfunctional public schools system. And it's all shown through the perspective of law enforcement and drug dealers. As the story goes, you'll encounter well thought out plot twists, and you'll see a lot of characters die, because, as David Simon said: "We are not selling hope, or audience gratification, or cheap victories with this show. The Wire is making an argument about what institutions—bureaucracies, criminal enterprises, the cultures of addiction, raw capitalism even—do to individuals. It is not designed purely as an entertainment. It is, I'm afraid, a somewhat angry show.", and that makes the show so great, because deaths have meanings and consequences, and aren't just there for the shock factor like in Game Of Thrones. It also helps that Simons knows what he's talking about since he was writing a lot for the Baltimore Sun, and he saw a lot of things on the streets that are portrayed in the show. One of the things I really love about The Wire is that characters aren't all good or all bad. They're gray, when it comes to their morality. Simon challenges the viewer to like characters, a lot of characters will do some bad things, and you'll probably agree on a lot of them given the situation they're in. The writing is just great, The Wire has a web of a lot of characters and the show spins them well. From McNulty to Stringer Bell, there are a lot of complex and great written characters, but there are also some weaker ones, but that's also to be expected, because the show has more than the hundred characters and you can't expect that they'll all be on the same level of writing. There is no plot armor in this show, a lot of characters will die, and, as I've already said, their deaths have consequences, and aren't just meant to be shock factor. Acting team consists of familiar HBO actors, and of real cops and criminals, and they all did a pretty damn good job. Some are weaker, and that is most notable during season 1 and 5, but weak actor aren't that usual in the show, so don't worry. I'd say the best actor is easily Dominic West as McNulty, who stole the show for me, but since I'm biased towards McNulty, don't take my word for granted. The only problem I had with the The Wire was one of fifth season's arcs, the one with the newspapers. It felt out of place for me, and it wasn't that interesting. It didn't introduce interesting characters nor was it on par with The Wire's better arcs.In the end, The Wire did what little to no TV show could hope to do, it succeed with it's extremely ambitious, and I'd say impossible mission to tell a story of Baltimore's crumb
This series not winning an Emmy, is why awards are nonsense. Andre Royo alone deserves one for every season this show was on.