Ok, I admit it! I ignored the handful of blogs and few critics who said that The Wire was the best show on tv and refused to watch it out of spite. Big deal. It’s one cop show out of hundreds that have aired. How good could it possibly be?
After getting the first disk of season one of The Wire from Netflix a few weeks ago that set up marathon sessions that kept me up most of the night until I couldn’t focus my bleary eyes onto the screen any longer I can honestly say that I was one naive cynic. How good of a cop show is The Wire? It makes NYPD Blue look like Cop Rock. Season one sucked me in early on and I didn’t think there was a single bad episode until the last season which I found to be a bit uneven. (I believe it was an abbreviated season with only 10 episodes which is probably why it felt rushed at times.) Here are some of the highlights of The Wire for me (I’ll make it spoiler free since the chances are you haven’t seen it)
- Omar Little – Has to be one of the best tv characters of all time. Actually, all the characters on The Wire were fascinating and well written, even secondary characters, but Omar came out of nowhere and slowly became my favorite by the third season.
- Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit. Stretching a monosyllabic word into a 9 second quote is an accomplishment that is in desperate need of some award or accolade. It also is a perfect example as to why shows on pay tv can be so much better than shows on networks that have to answer to the FCC and treat all viewers as if they were children. People in real life use profanity, crimes are bloody and violent, and people actually take off clothes to have sex. It’s good to be able to watch a gritty crime drama without having your intelligence insulted by a censor acting as a your mommy or daddy.
- Season 4. I was extremely skeptical of a full season dealing with the Baltimore school system. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit was I wrong on that one. My favorite season of all time.
- Rewatchability. There are a ton of small details that you’re sure to miss the first time around. After reading some wikipedia pages, I’m surprised at how much I missed watching it the first time around. It moves fast. There’s a lot of info to process for each episode which you can concentrate on during a second viewing.
- DVDs. I find it extremely difficult now to watch a show from week to week when I can just rent the dvds at the end of the series and watch the entire run in a few weeks.
And the obligatory The Wire links: