The Wire – I was hooked!


A couple of months ago Comcast was offering $5/month subscriptions to HBO and Cinemax.  Not one to pass up a deal, I signed up.  The greatest benefit in doing so has been getting to watch the last season of The Wire, the HBO crime drama.  Since I have digital cable, I was able to watch the episodes on “HBO On Demand” a week before they aired on regular HBO.

I have to tell you that I was hooked after the first show.  And still am, though I admit that the last episode was a bit of a downer for me.  I like tidy endings and that one was everything but tidy.

The series may be over but I’m still hooked.  I joined Netflix so I could rent and watch the four seasons I had missed. In addition to fifth season, I’ve now seen the first season, the fourth season and the last five episodes of the second season.  This is some good television.

If you’re offended by “colorful” language, you may want to pass on this show.  Your ears will be buring and ringing and everything in between.  But the stories and the characters are something to experience.  While there are “good guys” and “bad guys,” it’s sometimes hard to figure out which is which.

The series is set in Baltimore.  The first season dealt with the drug war on Baltimore streets.  To paraphrase Lt. Daniels, “If I follow the drugs, I’ll get drug dealers, but if I follow the money, I don’t know where it’ll take me.” That one sentence tells the story of the first season.  It turns the concept of “war on drugs” on its ear.

Season 4 takes us to a Baltimore middle school.  Bring your tissues is my best advice ‘cos you’re going to be crying over these kids a lot. Take Dukie, for instance.  First, the assistant principal sends him a box of back to school supplies, including some clothing.  When he still wears the same clothes every day and is a bit smelly, his math teacher gives him another set of clothes.  When he continues to wear his old smelly clothes, the teacher pulls aside one of the other students to find out why.  The answer: “His people sell his stuff on the corner.”  You see, Dukie’s parents are drug addicts and they exchange what people give him for drugs with the guys on the corner.  You’ll have to watch Season 4 to see what happens to Dukie and his friends, Michael, Randy and Namond.

Season 5, the final season, was everything you don’t want to know about government and newspaper publishing.  Will the Democrat mayor beg the Republican governor for money to cover the school system’s $50 million deficit, or will he save his pride (and his own gubernatorial aspirations) and let the schools suffer?  Will the newspaper turn a blind eye to a reporter who is obviously making up stories because it thinks the stories might lead to Pulitzer? How far will a cop go to catch a drug kingpin?  I didn’t like the answers The Wire provided to any of these questions, but I have a gut feeling that the answers provided were what would most likely happen.

Season 2 is about dock workers and Season 3 brings us back to the drugs. I’ll let you know more about them after I view the DVDs.  This really was a great series with some great actors.  I still wish I had gotten my tidy ending though.

If you’ve seen The Wire, tell me what you think of the show. If you haven’t seen it, pick up a DVD.  You’ll be hooked after the first episode.

9 thoughts on “The Wire – I was hooked!

  1. Welcome to the Darkside!

    I’ve loved The Wire since the first episode and don’t think I missed one. My husband and I would watch them together, one of the few TV shows we agreed on.

    You’ll understand after you’ve seen them all but this is one show that really should be watched in correct sequence. Scenes, dialogue, clues are dropped in along the way. Season 2 didn’t make much sense after Season 1, but I fully understood how it fit in by Season 4 and Season 5 doesn’t work without Season 2. Season 3 was pivotal. You’ll see…

    And for a bit of weird juxtaposition, you might find it interesting that the older guy who plays the church deacon in seasons 4 & 5 is the real life former Baltimore drug kingpin, Melvin Williams. His story was featured on BET’s American Gangster series.

  2. Patricia, you’re so right about the order. Since watching Season 1, I better understand Season 5. For instance, that judge mentions in Season 1 how he saw the lady ASA as a judge one day. I liked learning how Carver and Herc got to be sargeants, both political. Now I know where Volchek came from. It seemed out of the blue in Season 5. The history between “the connect” and Prop Joe is now clear. And then there’s Prez. Talk about a history! And Shardine and Lester. Yes, watching in order helps. I’m going to have to re-watch one day.

    Now one character is not coming together for me is Stringer Bell. I love Idris Alba but I’m not liking String and ready to see him dead. This could be because I saw the last five episodes of season 2 before the first seven. I love Slim Charles (ooh, that voice) and can’t wait to see the scene where he makes his first appearance. Same with Snoop and Chris.

    I don’t like Marlo. I love Bunk and Kima.

    Okay, enough. Let me go watch the first episodes from Season 2. Gotta get em back to Netflix on Thursday so I can get some more for the weekend.

  3. My husband and I where die hard fans. We also liked Stringer and Omar, they both were done wrong. Enjoy the series. That’s the good thing about DVD, you get to see shows you missed. In the past you just missed a good show unless they did reruns. I learned a lot about local politics, the newspaper and drugs.

  4. Now I’ve seen all the shows except Season 3. Stringer is just wrong. He did D wrong on two counts (his girl and his murder) and he lied to Avon on two counts (the PropJoe deal and D). String has got to go. I don’t care how much he tries to sound like businessman, he’s a thug. At least, Avon is honest about being a thug. 🙂

    I’m really enjoying this season. Do you think our law enforcement officials are watching? Follow the money, somebody please!

  5. This sounds like a great series, though yes, I admit I don’t like “colorful” language. However, it’s very unlikely that I will be able to see it any time in the near future. I’ve only just been able to afford basic digital TV service again this year, and that only just barely.

    At the moment, I find that all I’m watching is news, some documentaries and Law & Order reruns (all 3 series.) LOL

  6. Okay, I have GOT to get The Wire. My best friend keeps talking about it being the best show on TV. I’m sold. I’ll rent it on and let you know what I think!

  7. Sigrun, I’m a L&O junkie as well. Nice to know you’re a kindred spirit.

    LaShaunda, I’m learning a lot, too, from this show. My next book, Up Pops the Devil, features an ex-drug dealer. After watching the show, I think I did a good job with him. He sorta represents what would have happened to Stringer if he’d gone to prison and found the Lord.

    Geigh, I’m loving the series. Start with season 1.

  8. UPDATE (No longer hooked!):

    Well, the first three DVDs for Season 3 arrived today and I started watching them tonight. I don’t think I’ll be finishing the season. I HATE the McNulty character so it’s difficult for me to buy-in to a season that’s driven by him. I’m beginning to feel about this show the way I felt about THE SHIELD. How can the crook be the hero, especially when the crook is a cop?

    McNulty has no redeeming qualities. I just watched him totally disregard the limb that Daniels had gone out on for him, and disrespect Lester who had fought for him. He really only cares for what he wants, and forget everybody else. I don’t respect that attitude so I’ve lost interest.

    My reaction probably says more about me than it says about the show though. I have to have a character to root for, someone to stand behind, someone that i want to win. Even Kima is acting crazy this season. So I’m done.

  9. I’m sorry you’ve been disappointed in the character. I saw a bit of THE SHIELD once and definitely did not like the lead character, though I’m not sure that I found out that he was crooked, since it seems so long ago.

    Most of the shows on TV I get really upset about because they often show anti-heroes or heroines. They should be showing role models, not twisted and wily characters. Yet these people are taken as role models, people who twist the truth or plain lie to gain their own ends. I’m sure we all do that a little bit, but to teach that this is admirable is beyond the pale.

    Recently I saw something about a book–forgot the title–in which a man who used to be “meek and mild” (my words) learned to be a jerk and is now teaching others to be the same.

    The message these days is definitely that having morals, being kind and considerate of others, being compassionate, etc. in this world is reprehensible, not the other way around.

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