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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
140 ( 4)

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:

A new case begins... (second season) 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

Senator Clay Davis' catchprase "Sheeeeee-it" didn't appear in the script. It was added by Isiah Whitlock Jr.. See more »

Goofs

Jimmy McNulty (actor Dominic West) often seems to "forget" that he's from Baltimore, Maryland and lapses into his native Sheffield English accent. See more »

Quotes

Dennis 'Cutty' Wise: The game done changed...
Slim Charles: Game's the same, just got more fierce.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In every episode, after the opening credits a quote appears on the screen that will be spoken by a character in that episode. See more »


Soundtracks

Way Down in the Hole
Written and Performed by Tom Waits
(season 2)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
An American Masterpiece: The Single Greatest Narrative of Our Generation
29 September 2016 | by shandronobrienSee all my reviews

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 to lack the traditional god- like power to always know that a character is going to say something important so that it shows us that character a second or two before they say their line (indeed, if you watch closely you'll notice that there are times that the camera will only pan to a speaking character after they begin saying their lines, giving the viewer the distinct feeling of a real-life situation unfolding in real time) -- all of these things are by careful design. And all of these devices add to the show's power because the characters become more real when depicted in this way. This makes it all the more devastating every time one of these characters is chewed up and spit out by the merciless wheels of capitalistic institutions surrounding them.

I chose to write a review which differs from many of the others here because simply rehashing why I love Omar so much, or which season is the best, or why I think it's better/worse than the Sopranos or Breaking Bad are all things which are touched upon over and over again. Instead I wanted to provide my own analysis about why the show succeeds and stands apart of from others to the point where comparison is futile. Some people, including myself, think that the show will provide you with such an empathy-rich experience that when you have finished you may potentially see the world a little bit differently, that you'll feel a little bit closer to all of the people you share this country with, no matter how different their persona or background is from your own. By this measure, your persistence and patience given to the show will be repaid 10-fold.


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