The Wire

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HBO (ended 2008)

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The Wire Fan Reviews (113)

9.0
out of 10
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3,587 votes
  • A typical cop show on a soapbox

    6.0
    If you have the right kind of politics, you will absolutely love this show. For everyone else, it's nothing new. The show it at its best when it dramatizes real people and events from Baltimore during the 1990s, but at its absolute worst when it tries to promote the pro-union Democrat worldview. If you happen to have a pro-union Democrat worldview, you'll actually love these parts and the show will appear "deep and meaningful" to you, but it's a big reason why the ratings for this show were so poor for the general population. If you haven't bought into its meta-theme and ideology, it's hard to shake the sense that you're being preached to in every episode.



    Take special note of Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, who gives a stellar performance - in part because she's not really acting. She was picked up at a club and asked to do her role, without any prior acting experience, but with a murder conviction on her criminal record. She subsequently got caught for trafficking heroin after her stint on the show was over. In my opinion, she's the only authentic individual in the whole series. Even if you can't stand the politics, check it out just to see her do her thing.
  • Sistine Chapel of Television

    10
    I pity the fools(more likely the unfortunate ) who never had the patience to watch a couple of episodes of this masterpiece crafted in a camera reel. Yes, everyone has an opinion and I respect that but to love good TV and miss this show is like missing out on SEX in life(owing to the fact that most people consider it the best thing that ever happened to us ).

    Never has a television series portrayed the pathos of a social structure crumbling within itself yet staggering along as The Wire. The poignancy of the plot and the heart rendering performances by some of the most unlikely cast TV has ever seen.

    What makes it a utopian achievement in the history of television is not its impeccable plot and direction or even the performances or way it sensitized us. It was the "Humanness" of the show. It was soooo human in its portrayal of each and every character, plot and story. It never glorified any character and his deeds, it simply conveyed the truth of the consequences of our actions. The most truthful and humane show to be ever screened on television. Like a Dostoevsky novel Wire doesn't simply pierces into your hearts, it rattles your conscience and soul( if you believe in souls). I feel honoured to be able to have watched the show. Thank you David Simon and Ed Burns.

  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • Saw "The Wire" Twice

    8.5
    I recently saw the entire show (all episodes) again, even though I had seen it originally on HBO.

    Entertainment Weekly recently ranked it #1 among all TV series, although many I spoke to had never seen it. I think it examines the structure and hierarchies of organizations -- police departments, drug organizations, newspapers -- and their inherent similarities, difficulties and politics. HINT: A lot of African-American slang and pronunciations may confuse, so on DVD playing, put your English subtitles ON.
  • The Wire can inspire hope despite its overwhelmingly negative plot

    10
    While, yes, The Wire can appear to some viewers as though the writers have lost hope for the inner city African Americans the show attempts to portray, and yes, there are some great things coming out of those same low-income neighborhoods, we need to keep in mind the point of this series. Simon has stated that he wanted to show how the system is broken and how that affects certain individuals. In my opinion, he also does a great job of pointing out the actual thoughts and motivations behind these so-called "thugs" and why they do the things they continue to do. The Wire showed how these characters are simply a product of their environment, yet their true innocence and naivety comes out quite often, especially with the young drug dealers in the pit.. These glimpses of curiosity and morals that we see in characters such as Wallace make me, personal, hopeful, not hopeless. There are real people out there just like each and every one of these characters, and while some cannot be reached out to (in the show and in reality), there are some who can.



    The Wire is a series that amazes me with its close attention to detail and plot lines that draw the viewer in. While it would be nice for the writers to have included the amazing work done by Baltimore groups such as BUILD and ACORN, I don't believe that there was any more room in the show considering the 60+ characters they were already working with, that their contribution in the show would have been as interesting (for dramatic purposes) as the violence and the corruption.



    To read more about the debate on the shows reality and "hopelessness," read "Is the Wire Too Cynical?" on Dissent Magazine
  • Real or not

    10
    Although I have never taken residence in a city with a ghetto as extreme as Baltimore's, I have lived and traveled places similar. While maybe sometimes slightly over embellished, The Wire does an amazing job and portraying the struggles of Baltimore's drug brigade. While some may argue that Omar's character is to unreal, that there could never be a stickup man like him that never gets caught, I disagree. Omar does not steal or hurt the innocent, he is a modern day Robin Hood who steals from the rich or in our case the drug dealers, and gives to the poor. It makes perfect sense that the citizens would want Omar around; they would make it as hard as possible to lock him up. He basically acts as a guardian angel of the neighborhood and is more effective than the cops at times. It is evident that the cops are almost too aware of Omar's profession, but since he is technically doing it for the good, they almost seem to look away. As for characters such as Stringer, he is the modern day drug dealer. Similar to the Freakenomics chapter of drug dealing, Stringer is a business educated man who applies his economic knowledge to the drug game. As pointed out in "In Defense of The Wire", "The Wire is not a documentary but fiction", people need to keep this with a grain of salt when observing the show. Many find the characters to be to cynical or corrupt, but in reality would there be a drug trade if corruption were not present? I believe it is the overall message that David Simon is really trying to highlight. The idea that this drug trade is the life that people in these ghettos are born into, it is more than just a job, but a lifestyle.
  • Masterpiece.

    10
    Masterpiece.
  • The Best

    10
    The Wire deserves all the critical acclaim by tv pundits in the way it slowly tells the story of the ills of modern society, from the decay in government policies, schools, port authority to how corrupt the government operates.



    The Wire tells the story of the Law, and focus mainly on the special force unit head by Detective Cedric Daniels and their pursuit of notorious drug dealing gangs in Baltimore City. while on the other hand shows the daily operations of criminals, how they operate and the things that make them be miscreants in the society.



    The show slowly buids up it stories and their is a major arc every season which is followed throughout the season. It takes 3-4 episode t o get into it as the pace does not match similar cop shows but it is worth it.



    Amazing cast and performances in this show that are notable but impossible mentioned al but few include OMAR LITTLE, a modern day Robin Hood whose idea of justice is intriguing. Stringer bell a calculated and different kind of Gangster we see on Phil Mcnulty whose the lead and a pragmatic and controversial Detective,

  • Really excellent

    10
    Some unforgettable moments and characters. The episodes with David Simon's commentaries really deepens the experience.
  • One of the best.

    10
    There is not much that can be said about The Wire that has not been said already. It is easily the best drama of the 2000's and you could make a case for it to be top ten all time. This show excels in weaving together dozens of storylines to create one complex story arc. If you watch this show expecting everything to be spoon fed to you, you're not going to like it very much. If you dive in though, you will be rewarded with a rich, gritty, and realistic illustration of inner city crime and those who fight it everyday.
  • A good start

    9.0
    Not seen the whole series, but I think its going to be a great show....the beginning tells me so.
  • I WAS HOOKED!!

    10
    I think what I loved most about the wire, besides the realness of the issues involved obviously, was it's ability to have you rooting for characters on both sides of the law at the same time. I didn't catch on to the show until it had stopped airing. But after having watched a repeat or two, I was hooked and ended up renting every episode on netflix so I could catch it all from the very beginning. I was a little disappointed with the last season though as it became very boring I thought. It seemed to have lost that even balance it had as far as showing what was going on in the streets and the city's politicians. It became mostly about the politicians. I mean there was other stuff going on but it was far less than what it was in prior seasons. I guess that may have been a sign they were running out of steam and called it quits. But it was definitely one of the BEST shows to hit the air and will be missed.
  • The Wire is no mainstream TV show

    9.5
    The Wire is a series that treats a subject that is not that common, but say, that's already been treated in other series. Its great difference is the way it does so.

    What The Wire is not is a drugs-version of 24. It is not The Shield in Baltimore.

    What is really is, is a show that tries to be as close to reality as it can, by depicting how complex the life and characters of people that deal with this struggle that many American (and many other countries) cities face. Omar Little for example, always has this nor innocent nor guilty kind of game. The police officers (and chiefs), who sometimes would like to do real police work, but sometime have to let this idea go because their job sometimes disturbs the "more powerful".

    This show treat many subjects in its 5 seasons: corruption, childhood in poverty, truth and lies in journals and politics... But the fact is, it really does it in its very own kind of way. David Simon does not give Manichean or absolute answers to the questions that the show underlines. It lets you do so if you want to. In this way, it's kinda normal that it's considered as an UFO (I dunno if you guys use this expression in America^^) of TV.

    So no, this show is not for everyone, but I tell you what, if you can follow the show, it's totally worth it.

    (Pardon my bad English, I'm French^^)
  • I'm depressed...

    10
    The first couple of programmes didn't hook me. I think it took about four or five. I had to try and get used to the terminology and pace of the show. Unlike the majority of the other shows out there the Wire doesn't explain what's going on, it allows the story to slowly unravel like a good book. I don't want to give too much away if you haven't seen it but I have watched all five season and I am slightly depressed that there is no more Wire. What will I do. I need more... If your going to watch one show then watch the best. Watch the Wire....
  • boring but still interesting

    8.0
    sometimes I want to fall asleep watching this show, but I still enjoy watching it for some reason.

    The intro music sucks and its way too long.

    Season 2 is a little better than season 1.

    Compared to most of HBO original programming, this show is ranked way below Oz, Sopranos or Curb Your Enthusiasm.
  • not impressed

    5.0
    now i have not watched this show on a regular basis, so maybe i am being too harsh. but i honestly do not think it is really that great. yeah, you get a feel for how bad things are in the inner city and you see corrupt government officials, but wasn't that all covered several years ago. i just think this show is a little unoriginal.
  • Not the masterpiece people make it out to be

    7.0
    Do I like the Wire? Yes. Is it one the best shows ever? hardly. I bought the first season on Dvd because of all the great reviews the Wire had been getting. The show is slow. If people think Lost is slow they need to come and watch a season of the Wire. The show is realistic from what I can tell, but the language is way over the top. Every Character has the filthiest mouth I have ever heard.Is this much swearing really important to the show? I will say that out of the three seasons I have watched it does get better every season. So far season four has been slow like usual, but we will where it goes.
  • A fabulous show inside the Baltimore PD Unit- New stories each season

    7.9
    An uncompromising look at the drug war taking place on the streets of West Baltimore. The lives of homicide detectives and drug dealers overlap as murders are investigated and probes are undertaken.

    BRIEF HISTORY:Creator David Simon ("Homicide," "The Corner") executive produces the series, and served as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun for 15 years. The series, which received a 13 episode order, is shot on location in Baltimore, MD. Former "Homicide" regular Clark Johnson is a regular director for the series.
    STARS: * Idris Elba as Stringer Bell * Seth Gilliam as Det. Ellis Carver * Larry Gilliard Jr as D'Angelo Barksdale * Wood Harris as Avon Barksdale * Domenick Lombardozzi as Det. Thomas "Herc" Hauk * Lance Reddick as Lt. Cedric Daniels * Sonja Sohn as Det. Shakima Greggs * Dominic West as Det. James McNulty * Wendell Pierce as Det. "Bunk" Moreland
  • Builds Slowly but Stick with it

    9.5
    Quite rightly critically acclaimed during its five season run The Wire builds its story and characters slowly over the course of the opening episodes. Stick with it though and you will be rewarded with arguably the most complex and fascinating show in TV history.

    Set in Baltimore the show follows both sides of the war against drugs in an inner city area. What sets The Wire apart from the majority of other programmes is that everything is not simply black or white, not all the criminals are bad guys and the cops and politicians can be just as corrupt as any drug dealer. For me the show reached its peak during seasons three and four but, after the slow opening, The Wire is fantastic viewing throughout.
  • Baltimore, police, drugs, murders, politics and schools. How can this be interesting? It's main strenght is it's caracters. Our knowledge of them, being cops or drugdealers, politicians or kids. This is as good as it gets.

    10
    Just another cop-show? Chasing creiminals, and taking them down or behind bars at the end of each episode? No!

    This is in-depth TV. They tell a story based on learning to know each caracter with all their flaws and skills. It doesn't mather if they are homicide detectives, corner hoppers, homeless or drug boss. We get to follow and know them all.

    Great casting, great storytelling and beyond anything you've seen elsewhere.

    4 seasons so far, and each episode gets us closer to the caracters involved. I'm really looking forward to the next season, and know I'm not gonna get dissapointed.

    Why should you see this?

    Because it's as good as it gets.
    If you appreciate the art of telling stories, you're in for the ride of your life.
  • One of the greatest series I have ever had the priviledge of watching.

    10
    Please check out my full review here:

    http://benjamin1439.blogspot.com/

    I would greatly appreciate any feedback you guys could leave in the comments section there. thanks!

    The Wire is a series that dared to take the proper time to tell a story. Though each season had an individual storyline running throughout, this series was really one big sprawling epic. It is a story about a city with serious problems; the people who cause those problems, and the people trying to fix them. This is by far the grittiest, most realistic show that I have ever had the privilege of watching. As a whole, the show is stronger than the sum of its parts, and that is why I will be giving this truly amazing program the score that I am.
  • Perfection...

    10
    It is essentially impossible to give anything other than ten out of ten for this TV show. If you are looking for an intense, dramatic and realistic portrayal of crime upon community then look no further. Throughout the five seasons of the show we delve into five different worlds in the Baltimore area. We see the struggle of the Police to stay on the right side of the law in trying to keep the peace whilst we see the simplistic complexity (makes no sense right!?) of the way in which the drug dealers and criminals that plight the streets avoid incarceration. The show creates some of the most compelling "bad guys" you are ever likely to see and explores both sides of the law in great depth. The cast of this show is excellent, whether destroying the English language as a street dealer or Baltimoring up the word "Po-lice" on the straighter side of the law. You'll think that you've seen the best television of your life by the time you reach the end of season three and the first major arc has played itself out, but that's only because you haven't seen season four. The show gets better with age, and the children's perspective of the world that they are submerged in is more gripping than anything before. Season five wraps up one of the greatest shows of all time in an unexpected way, with the moral boundaries of protecting and serving being pushed to an extreme extent to get what needs to be done, done.

    Overall, I don't need to recommend this show to anyone. If they have the use of an internet enabled computer or know anyone that is even remotely invested in good television, they know all about how good The Wire is. The only issue anyone really has with this show is the changing of the opening theme. Personally, I feel even that escapes you about half way through each season and you almost eagerly anticipate what it will be next. Ultimately, if the theme song is your only complaint about a show, you've probably got yourself one hell of a piece of television.
  • Amazing.

    10
    Great show, and continually getting better. Came to it on video (thanks to the writer's strike) and was able to watch all seasons on DVD since the beginning. The first episode or two of season one were just good, but as that season went on it got better and better. By the end of that season I couldn't wait to see more (but had to wait as it was always out at the video store-- seems others were discovering it now). Season 2 however, was a disappointment... it starts out on the docks (not in the inner city) and immediately I was like, okay... but there going to get back to the 'hood... but they stay on the docks... So you can skip season two... Season three was unbelievable... as was the next season. Highly recommended.
  • Simply, the best show ive ever seen!

    10
    Incredible writing. This show has such an incredible story line that it would almost seem like it was based on a true story. The slums of Baltimore surround by drugs and poverty and the task force who is set out to clean up the streets. A city plagued by drug lords and the people who are surviving the streets of addiction and murder.

    Each season brings a different scenario and the writing was so great that even the task force was shuffled into different roles and scenarios over numerous seasons. The show ended perfectly after its 5th season and wasn't a story that was meant to be drawn out over more episodes. A perfect start to execution of a series that will open many eyes to what the streets are and can truly be like. Sad but true.
  • I like to visit this site/program from time to time just to remind myself how great television can be. It also reminds me of the "glory days" of HBO; when they could truly boast - "Its' not TV - Its' HBO.

    10
    As I look over all the reviews for this program, it still amazes me how we all say pretty much the same thing. This was among the best storytelling in this or any other medium. Maybe it was just luck but there was a time that HBO could boast several excellent programs - although there were varying degrees of excellence. It seems to me that they have hit a bit of a "dry spell" lately - and because cable is so expensive, I no longer subscribe. If the writers of The Wire get together and come up with another program though - I'll be right there.
  • A MUST WATCH SHOW, BEST SHOW OF ALL TIME.

    10
    Everything from the writing, to the acting is pure gold. This show relied on catching the viewer's imagination with superb storylines, and the connections made with the characters. We tuned in every week because we cared that happened to Bubbles (Andre Royo) or to see who Omar (Michael K. Williams) was going to hit this time. It didn't need CGI or over the top explosions to make us sit up and take note. Truthfully, special effects would have pulled the attention away from the brilliant performances. Which in turn would have given us a good show, but with out Computer-generated imagery the wire became a great one. Finally if you have seen the wire, and are considering buying it, hear this… unlike a lot of shows being broadcast it has an ending, I don't know if that's got anything to do with HBO but a lot of channels seam to just cut shows for the hell of it.
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