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The Wire 

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Baltimore drug scene, seen through the eyes of drug dealers and law enforcement.

Creator:

David Simon
Reviews
Popularity
151 ( 8)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



5   4   3   2   1  
2008   2006   2004   2003   2002  
Top Rated TV #6 | Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 15 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Dominic West ...  Det. James 'Jimmy' McNulty / ... 60 episodes, 2002-2008
John Doman ...  Dep. Comm. for Operations William A. Rawls / ... 60 episodes, 2002-2008
Deirdre Lovejoy ...  Asst. State's Atty. Rhonda Pearlman 60 episodes, 2002-2008
Wendell Pierce ...  Det. William 'Bunk' Moreland 60 episodes, 2002-2008
Lance Reddick ...  Lt. Cedric Daniels / ... 60 episodes, 2002-2008
Sonja Sohn ...  Det. Shakima 'Kima' Greggs 60 episodes, 2002-2008
Seth Gilliam ...  Sgt. Ellis Carver / ... 60 episodes, 2002-2008
Domenick Lombardozzi ...  Det. Thomas 'Herc' Hauk / ... 60 episodes, 2002-2008
Clarke Peters ...  Det. Lester Freamon 59 episodes, 2002-2008
Andre Royo ...  Reginald 'Bubbles' Cousins 52 episodes, 2002-2008
Michael Kenneth Williams ...  Omar Little 51 episodes, 2002-2008
Jim True-Frost ...  Det. Roland 'Prez' Pryzbylewski / ... 50 episodes, 2002-2008
Frankie Faison ...  Acting Commissioner Ervin H. Burrell / ... 47 episodes, 2002-2008
Corey Parker Robinson ...  Det. Leander Sydnor 45 episodes, 2002-2008
Delaney Williams ...  Sgt. Jay Landsman 45 episodes, 2002-2008
J.D. Williams ...  Preston 'Bodie' Broadus 42 episodes, 2002-2006
Wood Harris ...  Avon Barksdale 39 episodes, 2002-2008
Idris Elba ...  Russell 'Stringer' Bell 37 episodes, 2002-2004
Aidan Gillen ...  Councilman Thomas 'Tommy' Carcetti / ... 35 episodes, 2004-2008
Jamie Hector ...  Marlo Stanfield 32 episodes, 2004-2008
Gbenga Akinnagbe ...  Chris Partlow / ... 30 episodes, 2002-2008
Robert Wisdom ...  Howard 'Bunny' Colvin / ... 27 episodes, 2003-2008
Anwan Glover ...  Slim Charles 27 episodes, 2004-2008
Felicia Pearson ...  Felicia 'Snoop' Pearson 27 episodes, 2004-2008
Chad L. Coleman ...  Dennis 'Cutty' Wise 26 episodes, 2004-2008
Tray Chaney ...  Malik 'Poot' Carr 26 episodes, 2002-2008
Michael Kostroff ...  Maurice 'Maury' Levy 25 episodes, 2002-2008
Isiah Whitlock Jr. ...  State Sen. R. Clayton 'Clay' Davis 25 episodes, 2002-2008
Robert F. Chew ...  Joseph 'Proposition Joe' Stewart 25 episodes, 2002-2008
Michael Salconi Michael Salconi ...  Off. Michael 'Sanny' Santangelo / ... 25 episodes, 2002-2008
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Storyline

Set in Baltimore, this show centers around the city's inner-city drug scene. It starts as mid-level drug dealer, D'Angelo Barksdale beats a murder rap. After a conversation with a judge, Det. James McNulty has been assigned to lead a joint homicide and narcotics team, in order to bring down drug kingpin Avon Barksdale. Avon Barksdale, accompanied by his right-hand man Stringer Bell, enforcer Wee-Bey and many lieutenants (including his own nephew, D'Angelo Barksdale), has to deal with law enforcement, informants in his own camp, and competition with a local rival, Omar, who's been robbing Barksdale's dealers and reselling the drugs. The supervisor of the investigation, Lt. Cedric Daniels, has to deal with his own problems, such as a corrupt bureaucracy, some of his detectives beating suspects, hard-headed but determined Det. McNulty, and a blackmailing deputy. The show depicts the lives of every part of the drug "food chain", from junkies to dealers, and from cops to politicians. Written by ahmetkozan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Read between the lines (season five) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Greek | Mandarin | Spanish

Release Date:

2 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wire See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (seasons 3-5)| Dolby (Dolby Surround) (seasons 1-2)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the first scene after the opening credits, Jay Landsman tells his officers that Colonel Raymond Foerster has died of cancer. Actor Richard De Angelis, who played Foerster, really did die of cancer in the middle of the film recordings. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the last two seasons, Carcetti repeatedly refers to a possible gubernatorial challenge in 2008, after serving two years as Baltimore mayor. But Maryland holds gubernatorial elections in off years - 2006, 2010, etc. The new governor would have been elected the same year that Carcetti was elected mayor - 2006 - and up for re-election in four years, not two. See more »

Quotes

[repeated line]
Det. James 'Jimmy' McNulty: What the fuck did I do?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening song is the same, but every season a new version is used with different artists performing in different genres (blues, soul, etc.). See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 HBO Shows of All Time (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Way Down in the Hole
Written by Tom Waits
Performed by The Blind Boys of Alabama
(season 1)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The best show ever made
24 June 2016 | by sabol-13102See all my reviews

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 crumble. The social commentary, the writing on the characters, the well thought out plot twists, great directory, and David Simon's expertise on the case made The Wire the best television show ever seen on small screens. Enjoy the ride while it lasts, because once it ends, you'll be left with an empty whole within yourself, because they'll never be a TV show that could rival The Wire. Now go watch it already!


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