Getting into The Wire is like joining a cult, anyone whose been there knows that once you tap into season one, hours, nay weeks – even months – of your life will be devoted entirely to the world of Baltimore's rough streets. It's riveting drama and the perfect argument against those people who refuse to watch TV, claiming it's nothing but crap. It's?a show entirely worthy of its hype and word of mouth.
In fact, word of mouth and the release of all the seasons on DVD is what's made this series, which began it's run way back in 2002 so popular lately. More and more people are discovering what at least someone at HBO knew all along. Sure they failed to gain a huge audience for the hailed program, but they did allow it to go on for five years – all of which I am excited to watch. (Like I said this show can take months of your life from you.)
Former homicide detective, Ed Burns and his co-creator (and former journalist) David Simon were clearly inspired by their real life experiences and have written three dimensional characters who feel nothing like the expected television versions of themselves. No cop is on a vengeance kick after losing his wife to a bad guy, even the bad guys aren't bad guys in the typical sense. Some have more honor than the police officers, others are just kids stuck in a losing cycle.
The women are given equally complex and dignified roles. No where is there a boring twenty year old blond girl in charge of a crack team of detectives, a TV trend I've already railed against. Sadly, despite critics constantly calling this one of the greatest television shows ever created, if anyone in the networks saw it, they took no notes from it except that it wasn't an instant success, because nothing since has come close to the complexity, sophistication and greatness of The Wire.
Each season focuses on a different aspect of the city of Baltimore: the projects, the docks, politics, schools, and media, which maintaining some central characters like Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell – the top men in a drug ring, Detective McNulty and Detective Greggs who try to catch them, and characters like the drug addicted Bubbles and the Robin Hood like Omar who are just trying to make it in a crazy world.
To get into the plots would be unfair to you that have yet to watch it and simply too much to get into here (I recently finished an explosive season three), but I can say that this is a thought provoking and worth while journey with some of the best characters put on the small screen.