The Wire (TV Series 2002–2008) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
317 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
jaoneal20 September 2006
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.
585 out of 667 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
This isn't just a show about crime - this tries to show every aspect of life in a crumbling society
gogoschka-112 January 2014
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:

Lesser-known Masterpieces:

Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies:

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed:
135 out of 149 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An American Masterpiece: The Single Greatest Narrative of Our Generation
Sean29 September 2016
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.
59 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Simply amazing in every sense
Yaiza5 July 2014
This is not just a TV series about cops and drug dealers in the city of Baltimore, this is a rich, nuanced fresco showing the reality of our society. It's complex, fascinating and exhausting, all in one. No clean cut characters, no good-guys / bad-guys, no straight forward stories. Each season deals with a different subject: illegal drug dealing, international criminal organisations, social problems related to drugs, political corruption, the media. All of it pictured with such attention to details, in such a realistic and unbiased way, supported by such high-quality acting and writing, that you can be sure you won't be disappointed at any time. The series is slow-cooking style, with little especial effects and a rather conventional editing. This might sound old-fashioned, but the approach to the themes and characters is so honest that the result is simply classical, timeless. I read somewhere that, if people want to know about society in the 19th century, they should read Dostojevsky, and if they want to know about society in our times, they should watch The Wire. There you go. Enjoy it.
14 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The best show ever made
sabol-1310224 June 2016
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!
21 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
As Close as it Gets
jeffronthi23 July 2014
You want to get close to the streets? This is it, and what a true American tragedy it plays out to be. The drama is scintillating, without being sensational. These are real people, in real life, with real struggles, played beautifully by an incredibly talented Dominic West and crew.

True politics, true characters, real struggles, genuine, small triumphs,and a lot of poetic moments that are incidental and not self aware. Gotta love that.

Impeccable. Everything I always wished from a crime drama. Check it out.
21 out of 22 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Television at its peak, seminal work
Raindog198013 September 2014
This is the TV series that everyone should watch. On the surface it shows the never-ending cat-and-mouse chase between criminals and law enforcers, but below the surface it's a depiction of how corruption eats its way into each and every institution of power and a full and complete autopsy of a capitalist society.

The Wire doesn't have a single scene that doesn't fit into the whole. It starts out by introducing the key players and the central theme. During the five seasons we follow some very realistic characters on both sides of the law, occasionally trailing off to the other side and then back again. It's never been harder to tell who the good guys are.

This show is addictive, but an acquired taste. At first the bleak setting and hyper realistic portraits might put you off, but just watch one full episode and you will find that there is no coming back. You will find that each season comments each other in a way that is unseen in television.

The Wire is a perfect series in all aspects. The writing is of course sublime as it relies heavily on real events. The characters are complete and some of them you will remember decades from now. The acting is effortless, some of the actors more or less play themselves. Cinematography has never been more realistic, we really feel like we are in there with them. Music, rarely used, sets the mood and gives a hint of how to interpret the theme.

Watch it, then watch it again, and then again. You will have to see it many times in order to get all the nuances and facets. I guarantee you will change in the process.
22 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Best show on TV
inthepalemoonlight18 October 2004
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.
491 out of 660 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The best thing on TV today
Chris Neill (chrisneill)15 January 2005
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.
317 out of 423 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
None can beat this in the Genre.(SPOILER FREE)
hodorx4 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Wire is the handy guide of the entire mechanism involved in the selling,procurement and the money involved in the DRUG racket.The depiction is true,gritty,inhuman and real with all the aspects being portrayed as it is from the gangsters as well as police department point of view. henceforth it mocks all major mainstream movies and TV shows of the genre of over 50 years. This show has no fancy hero who controls every aspect of the drug trade himself.The show elaborately describes how the network works and is compartmentalized and the worth of an individual,where even the strong and secure can perish and how they are all attached. The dialect and coding mechanism used by the peddlers is amazing,which also evolves/changes as the show goes on.The police aspect is also surreal and depicts rigorous and demanding patience in carrying out its duties to uncover the various hidden figures and networks involved. The police faction is shown entangled in the city politics where the Drug Enforcement Agency is at the mercy of district attorney,the mayors,the captain's and how the competition for the posts hampers the surveillance processes.The show has epic dialogue,which are humorous,witty,intelligent and hard hitting at times. It is once quoted 'You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money, and you don't know where the f*** it's gonna take you.' ,this pretty much sets the premise and defines the global network and political entities involved. The casting as per the characters involved are great,in which the Baltimore drugs peddlers and addicts excel in their depictions and justifies the role,specially the characters of Omar Little,Stringer Bell, D'Angelo Barksdale,Snoop,Bodie are likable and funny at times. The show implicates the dark side of the society and also highlights the fact that complete eradication of the drug menace is not possible as an individual is easily replaced by another,which is better evolved to tackle the odds. Thus this is a hard hitting and genre defining show,with multitudes of lives,each with its own troubled tale.
9 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Ahead of its time
George Parker25 October 2004
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 far. (A)
278 out of 377 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
best show ever, owns nypd blues, the shield and so on...
critikal6 June 2005
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...
270 out of 378 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The greatest thing put on film
tomwolf134 December 2008
The day 'The Wire' ended was a sad day to me. Having to see some of my favourite characters in any medium (novels, TV, movies, etc.) for the last time felt like saying goodbye to my friends. Knowing that I will never be so involved in a series ever again is saddening. At the same time, however, I'm proud that 'The Wire' was taken off the air before it could have been potentially bastardized like many series before it.

This show is a pinnacle in entertainment, and though never acclaimed with awards as it should have been, will go down as perhaps the greatest television series in history...and perhaps the greatest thing ever put to film. Literally, perfect.
22 out of 26 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Captivating storyline with too many great dramatic performances to mention
Ed-Shullivan16 January 2015
My wife gave me the complete series as a Christmas gift and although the television series is more than a decade old now I do not feel it has lost any of its relevancy regarding crime and human nature over this past decade or two.

There are a total of 60 episodes spread out over five seasons and there are just too many great performances and excellent story lines to mention them all. Suffice to say that the two main characters are two Baltimore city detectives. Jimmy McNulty (played by Dominic West) is a white Irish rebellious detective who will screw anyone to get to the criminal he is chasing. Along the way he hurts a lot of his fellow cops, his bosses and lets down his immediate family time and time again. With all his faults though once he gives you that great Irish grin of his all is forgiven, no matter what the circumstances.

McNulty's partner is Detective William Moreland, better known around the station house and the bars simply as "Bunk" who knows McNulty best. Bunk is a heavy set well dressed black cop (played by Wendell Pierce) who likes to chomp on a cigar and drink hard liquor to extremes. Bunk has a lot of life in him, and is considered a cops impression of what a real detective should be. A hard drinking, womanizing, persistent cop who really wants to get the worst criminal elements behind bars serving hard time.

Both Bunk and McNulty have ex-wives and two children but their lives really evolve around the city of Baltimore's urban city corners where drugs are always readily available, and murders are popping up within the walls behind condemned row houses by the dozens. The other two characters who deserve special mention are the drug lords, Avon Barksdale (played by Wood Harris) and Russell "Stringer" Bell (played by Idris Elba). Now these two gangsta's grew up on the city streets of Baltimore like many other city hoods but the difference is they had both street smarts and the will to kill anyone who got in their way. Theirs are interesting story lines throughout the series and keep the audience guessing what they will do next. No spoiler alert so I will defer from giving away too much on their path to destruction.

Two characters who you can't help but feel compassion for due to their diverse journeys throughout the series are the drug addicted junk man Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins played to perfection by Andre Royo, and the shotgun wielding gay drug thief Omar Little, also played with fearless perfection by Michael Kenneth Williams. Now their lives when involved in any scene are never predictable and you cannot help but root for them to win. Hell, even the cops cut them a lot of slack as they can see that their hearts are big, but their minds are twisted after living on the streets their entire lives.

I could go on and provide details on at least another dozen strong performances by other cops, attorneys, judges, police captains, shipyard workers, and even kids, but I suggest instead that you keep this crime themed television series on your "must watch" list and if you ever want to see a series that captivates the drug crime world of a major urban city such as in this Baltimore story you won't be able to stop watching until you watch at least a couple more episodes before you go to bed far too late in to the early morning hours because it is just that good a dramatic crime series. And isn't that really when the crime comes out? Late at night?

I give it a perfect 10 out of 10 and a MUST SEE for a television crime and dramatic series.
21 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Filling the void,and then some!
beresford8522 April 2014
Like most,when Breaking Bad ended I asked myself the question..."What now?".

Searching for something to fill the void,and something that would at least come close,I stumbled upon "The Wire".

Having never heard of it I knew it was going to be a gamble,but judging by the IMDb rating it was a gamble I was willing to take.And I hit the jackpot!

Drama,action,gripping story lines,good acting(for TV),and a genre that was right up my street i.e. Gangsters,Hip Hop(although liking Hip Hop is not essential to liking The Wire) Drugs and guns etc etc. What I also liked was how both sides to life are shown,from the police perspective to the Drug dealers perspective,and its not as black and white as it sounds.

I don't want to go into too much detail so as not to spoil any of it,and you go in with fresh eyes,I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

All 5 seasons were outstanding,and once ended you will feel like someone has left your life for good.

So,"What now?".
11 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Best Original Show ever!
Stormchaser9915 August 2014
I have watched a lot of TV shows in the past years. Some of them were good , some were bad, some were just made for fun. But the one thing they couldn't do was bring the real atmosphere to the viewer. Very few even tried it, simply because they feared it might not be likable. Almost all of them failed. But successfully tried? That's where the Wire stands alone.

Many people compare The Wire to other TV shows and under rate it. The thing they don't realise is that you can't ask for a show to be original and likable at the same time in every single scene. But still i feel it's attractive and very entertaining in it's own way.

The Wire is perhaps the greatest achievements from HBO up to now. I watched the show after it ended. Finished it in 5 days. 1 season per day, and i didn't even knew the time passing.

Recommended for anyone who wants some TV's with originality.
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The greatest show ever made
slaveofthepull3439 August 2014
I assumed the wire was another cliché cop drama. After finally watching it (ten years too late) I'm happy to say I could not have been more wrong. The Wire is a unique social commentary about the war on drugs in Baltimore. It weaves an intricate story of diverse and well-written characters, leaving no stones unturned in the process. Every aspect is portrayed, from the police to the lawyers and politicians to the big drug lords, low level corner slingers, junkies, and even the children who get caught up in the midst of it. It also manages to retain a level of moral ambiguity with regards to it all. Cops are not all glorified, the politics of the law often even interfere with the policing of drugs. On the other side of the law, the criminals are sometimes also portrayed in good lights. The story is realistic, and nothing is sugarcoated. It's profound, intelligent, perfectly written, directed and acted. It is the greatest show ever made.
7 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Like a great novel
sinistre11113 May 2005
Season 3 of The Wire ended like a great novel, in a series of great novels, about crime, politics, "po-lice" and personalities in the City of Baltimore. The Wire truly has no equivalent on American TV, more akin to something like the British miniseries Traffik, or Robert Altman's Short Cuts, but really in a class by itself. The show also doesn't fetch the ratings of HBO's other blockbuster series, like The Sopranos or Deadwood, but so far the network has stood behind what is indisputably a creative / artistic success. Viewers accustomed to having a Tony Soprano or an Al Swearingen to latch onto may be daunted by The Wire's 2-dozen or so "main" characters, all given equal importance within multiple story lines. The concurrent tales all buoy one another, and as the season draws to a close, they begin to merge and compliment each other in unexpected ways. No detail is too small to not be done with great care, and no significant threads are left to hang, which also speaks to the brilliance of the writers.

The Wire is no less than a dramatic triumph, and I can't wait for a new season.
194 out of 278 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
More Than TV, This is LIfe in America
MrRedwoodGuy .14 September 2014
You almost forget about the writing, forget you are watching a TV show, and become an invisible observer of life in the roughest environment of a typical inner city in America. Don't be too quick to judge who is a hero, and who is a heel. The full range of human relations is laid bare for you to examine carefully, slowly, with all the due consideration of real characters in life.

There's the killing, corruption, dirty politics, blackmail, betrayal, loyalty, redemption, shame, anger, stupidity, and brilliance and you never know which trait will come from a young black drug dealer, a mayor, a policeman, or a reporter. This collection of imperfect people are roped together by the city itself, seemingly bound in a space, a microcosm, from which no one ever considers escape. They are Baltimore, and Baltimore is them. They are real in a way never before shown on television.

This is not something you watch, as much as dive in and try to hang on to something, anything as you are swept into this vortex. I have been watching TV for 50 years and have never seen anything even close to this. And, I have seen nothing this good since it went off the air. This is TV that makes Hollywood movies seem like trivial fluff of no consequence, and that includes such old standbys as The Godfather in all it's parts.

This is the most important change in TV production I have ever seen. Don't miss it.
10 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
If You Haven't Seen this show, but are considering it, please read my review.
Omar Hartwell White13 May 2014
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.
13 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Consider it more of a TV "book" than a TV "show".
wujawa-130 October 2014
When I watched the first two episodes I can't stand it. After 5-6 episodes I can't get enough of it. After 2 seasons it was so real I felt like I was living in it. I've never seen a TV series like this and I doubt I ever will.

The Wire is more like a literature than a drama. It cover every angle in such great detail that in the end I felt like I was standing in the corner, police station, dock watching them doing their things rather than watching a staged acting.

Breaking Bad and True Detective are also two of my 10/10 favs but The Wire make them look like cartoons (Very good cartoons. Not in a bad way).
23 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The TV event of a life time
For those of you who assume that the wire is just your typical crime drama you couldn't be any further from the truth, it's a passionate exploration into the various institutions of one of the great cities of America. This stunning exploration mainly focuses on the never ending battle between law enforcement and drug dealers, but over the course of the shows history the docks,the declining education system and the corruption within the media come under great scrutiny. All of this contributes to the creation of one of the most compelling dramas produced for TV, that paints an accurate picture of some of the trials and tribulations faced by members of American society today. The script writing is of a far higher quality than any other show out there, and quotes like "You come at the king you best not miss" and "If I here the music I'm going to dance" showcase the talent of the scriptwriters associated with the show, as well as HBO in general. Throughout the course of the show characters like the rebellious Jimmy McNulty, the gangster businessman Stringer Bell, the slick and smooth Lester Freeman and the iconic drug dealer proposition Joe, all give the viewer ample reason to invest their time in this impeccable piece of work. However Michael Kenneth Williams brilliant portrayal of the sociopathic, shotgun wielding gangster Omar Little deserves special praise. Omar not only manages to steal the limelight from some of the other incredible characters portrayed on the show, but manages to be the best character in film and TV history, which will become apparent to you once you watch the show. Overall the wire is an engrossing morality tale, that manages to provide an in depth insight into the workings of the various institutions in society, something that hasn't been attempted by any of its rivals. David Simon and Ed Burns must be commended for this excellent piece of fiction, that once again gives credence to the belief that HBO makes the best TV shows in the world. Believe the hype you won't be disappointed!
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The most powerful and thought provoking TV show ever produced
The_Frase18 December 2011
When I was told that The Sopranos had been beaten to the top of a popular UK TV channel poll by another series I first denied belief but quickly looked to find out why.

The Wire, throughout all its seasons is definitely one of the best television series ever produced. It's the tale of the city of Baltimore, through the eyes of police, drug dealers, dock workers, gangsters, politicians, teachers, judges, lawyers and children.Its excellent writing and acting makes it clear why even such a popular and acclaimed show as The Sopranos was beaten by it.

The series was based on real life experiences of writers David Simon and Ed Burns and this realism forms the main spine of the show. The show depicts of the inner workings of numerous city institutions, each series documenting another facet of city life where law and order and crime and chaos share close a proximity and often overlap. The brilliant writing and acting (numerous members of the cast where Baltimore natives cast due to their similar upbringings/lifestyles of their on screen characters and were previously unknown) is what gives the show its impact. Every second of screen time constructs gripping episode story lines that weep into future series, no lose end is ever left untied and often things that occur which may seem incidental can have huge ramifications on other characters in future episodes.

The unrelenting focus on realism is also one of the main problems people face when entering the world of Baltimore. The use of street slang and specialised language by sections of the community especially the street kids and gang members can be a hard translations for those of us unfamiliar with the Maryland city. But this resistance to add a Hollywood gloss only empowers the show more and distances it from its more mainstream counterparts.

The characters are well written and excellently acted there is not one instance of miscasting. The diverse characters and social situations gives each part of the community its platform and equal importance.

This is true of other shows but few allow such deep and profound bonds to develop between characters and audience. In 'The Wire' each and every character is sacred, you will mourn the loss of those that die and celebrate in the victories of others.

Through-out the entirety of the show scenes of brutal and graphic violence, drug consumption and death are juxtaposed against a dark comedic undertone and a celebration of life.

This show is more than glorification of crime, law and order, its more than the shock for shock value, and its more than gritty realism. It's a tale of a community en mass, a social commentary of the effect of the failed war on drugs on the inner cities of America, the social corruption and inequalities that derive from it and those who are battling the tide against it.

If your still wondering if the show is going to be for you then watch the opening episodes and if you avoid addiction then you probably weren't paying attention, it is that good.
6 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
NOTHING comes close
adashjr29 March 2008
I am 39 years old and honestly can say THE WIRE is the best show I have EVER watched on television. Admittedly, I am not half the TV junkie as some of my friends but I can tell you this: NOTHING comes close and in my opinion, this show is a MUST SEE. I never even heard of the show until I chanced upon several very positive critical reviews of it in some mens magazines. On a hunch and a whim, I immediately joined NETFLIX and proceeded to watch all 4 seasons in 3 weeks time. Please, do yourself a favor, and do the same thing. I am NOT endorsing NETFLIX, I am just saying whatever method you choose to acquire the series, you MUST start at EPISODE 1, SEASON 1 and I DEFY you not to finish the entire anthology.
20 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Best. Show. Ever.
lonelornfr29 April 2014
This is the only show i'm giving a 10. 10 is perfection, 10 should not be given lightly. But this show totally deserves it.

Watching The Wire is a blessing AND a curse, because it's so good, you wont be able to enjoy other shows as much as you used to.

Seriously if you haven't watched this show already, you absolutely HAVE to.

I've watched hundreds of TV shows (i can watch them at work, yeah lucky me), and i cant think of a show anywhere near as good as this one.

1. Trust me and watch this show. 2. Let the sheer awesomeness overwhelm you. 3. Your life will never be the same.
12 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed