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

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138 ( 6)

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5   4   3   2   1  
2008   2006   2004   2003   2002  
Top Rated TV #6 | Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 14 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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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 Yuri

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All in the game. (fifth season) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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| | |

Release Date:

2 June 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Žica  »

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

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Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jamie Hector has commented that he sees Marlo Stanfield as striving to obtain power rather than profit and revelling in using that power over others and that much of his performance stems from trying to capture Stanfield as a man of power and economy using minimalist movement and speech. 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]
State Sen. R. Clayton 'Clay' Davis: SHIIIIIT
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits of Season 1 feature visuals and clips of things that happened during the episodes of that season. Season 2 features clips from episodes of Season 1 and 2 Season 3 features clips from Season 1 through 3 Season 4 features clips from Season 1 through 4 Season 5 features clips from all 5 seasons. During these credits you never see anyone's faces. The credits also feature several listening and communication devices. See more »


Soundtracks

Way Down in the Hole
Written by Tom Waits
Performed by DoMaJe
(season 4)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The best show ever made
24 June 2016 | by See 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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