The Wire

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HBO (ended 2008)

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9.0
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3,578 votes
111

SHOW REVIEWS
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Show Summary

In chronicling a multi-generational family business dealing illegal drugs and the efforts of the Baltimore police to curb their trade, this series draws parallels between these organizations and the men and women on either side of the battle.

The words of Gary W. Potter, Professor of Criminal Justice and Police Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, in writing about the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s, can also be used to illuminate some of the central premises of the show:

"There is precious little difference between those people who society designates as respectable and law abiding and those people society castigates as hoodlums and thugs. The world of corporate finance and corporate capital is as criminogenic and probably more criminogenic than any poverty-wracked slum neighborhood. The distinctions drawn between business, politics, and organized crime are at best artificial and in reality irrelevant. Rather than being dysfunctions, corporate crime, white-collar crime, organized crime, and political corruption are mainstays of American political-economic life."

Tim Goodman, the television critic for The San Francisco Chronicle, summed the show up perfectly when he wrote: "This show is precisely the reason you pay for HBO."

In New York's Newsday, Diane Werts says: "Most TV crime series aspire to John Grisham's level. 'The Wire' aspires to Dostoevsky's."

Season Themes

Season One centers around a family of drug dealers and the innerworkings of their empire. It also follows the detectives who are trying to catch the high members of the empire. Season Two steps away from the drug trade (while still mentioning characters from the previous season) to a case of dead prostitutes which turns into a look at the corruption surrounding the Port. Season Three investigates politics and finishes the main stories that were left open in season one. Season Four focuses on four middle school students and their journeys through the public school system and continues to address the politics of an inner-city and the issues of an election. Season Five is rumored to be about the media's role in Baltimore. Season Five will be the show's final season.

Theme Music

In the Season One opening credits, the Blind Boys of Alabama did Tom Waits's "Way Down in the Hole". The Season Two opening credits feature Waits's version of the song. According to creator David Simon, "It was our way of saying: This is the same show (song) but this year, the tale itself (singer, tonality) will be different." The Neville Brothers's version of the song opens Season Three. The theme which plays over the end credits was composed by the show's music supervisor, Blake Leyh.

International Airings

Australia -- Monday at 12:00 p.m. on Ch.9. Currently airing Season 3. New Zealand -- Wednesday at 11:40 p.m. on TV2, beginning December 15, 2004.

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Dominic West

Dominic West

Det. James "Jimmy" McNulty

Idris Elba

Idris Elba

Russell "Stringer" Bell

J.D. Williams

J.D. Williams

Preston "Bodie" Broadus

Clarke Peters

Clarke Peters

Det. Lester Freamon

Andre Royo

Andre Royo

Bubbles

Wendell Pierce

Wendell Pierce

Det. William "Bunk" Moreland

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Fan Reviews (111)

SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Bad Language

    7.0
    I tried to watch the first episode but it was just FILLED with so much bad language that it felt like I was being hit in the face constantly. I'm sure this is authentic, I guess, but as much as I'd like to try to watch this acclaimed series, it just makes it too ugly.



    I wish they would back off the language on TV and in movies. It's gone too far. I didn't mind the amount of language in say, Breaking Bad. But every other word wasn't f- this and s- that. Yuck!moreless
  • Definitely not The Shield

    5.0
    No, that show won't do it for me.

    Why that title? Because I read a lot of times The Shield and The Wire in the same sentences. It was obvious that a lot of fans of one were fans of the other. So, as an absolute fan of The Shield, I tried The Wire.

    And I just don't get the comparisons. I wouldn't say it's an insult to The Shield, because some people like The Wire and I respect that, but this is definitely different.

    The Shield is very fast paced. Everything is going very fast. The Wire is (very) slow. Long conversations without any pace for not much.

    The Shield is hand-held filmed (right term I hope), very documentary. You are IN the scene. It increases the immersion and the pace. The Wire is filmed very traditionally, like any other show like that. So I have the feeling to just watch an other tv show.

    I don't feel it is half as realistic as The Shield, I find the characters a bit clichs,...

    So you get it: The Wire, not for me.moreless
  • Survivor States . Canada or the World

    10
    I would just love to see a Survivor with competitors from Canada or around the world. I'D even participate. I Would love to pitch this idea and I believe it would take off like wildfire but I don't know where to go to pitch it and get confirmation it has been received. Can anyone help?
  • How Refreshing

    9.0
    When I was watching Blue Bloods, I was so impressed with Tom Sellack praying at the end but better still, he evoked the name of Christ and they all made the sign of the Cross. Thank you writer(s), cast and CBS!
  • The greatest drama series ever.

    10
    Intelligent writing, wonderful characters and above all scalpel-like precision cutting in to big city police departments, politics, education and public sectors. Can i give it a twelve out of ten?
  • *SOB*

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    More Info About This Show

    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    issues with authority, the low class, undercover cops, Cop Shows, Crime