Highest Video Rec: The Wire

Last weekend we finished the final episode of the last season of HBO’s The Wire.  What a great show.  I know we’re not exactly breaking new ground here, and the series has been off the air for a while, but I thought I would go ahead and post it here:  highest video recommendation for grown-up drama.  And in the era of home-DVD video, it’s easy and well worth your while to check out the entire five-season run.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of crime/police drama or just someone interested in excellent storytelling, if you’re willing to deal with some sad truths, some depressing reflections of reality, you also get first-rate characterization, multifaceted narratives, and just plain compelling drama.

The Wire is set in the hard-working city of Baltimore, a city Producer David Simon knows well.  Each season deals with a different facet of the drug-dealing standoff between the criminals and the coppers, with recurring characters, minor and major to follow throughout.  Season 1 was firmly focused on the cops and the hoods; Season 2 shifted to the Port of Baltimore and focused on the means of supply for the drug dealers (as well as the slow demise of the dockworkers’ way of life.  Season  concentrated on the role of politics, both local and within the stat-driven Baltimore PD.  Season 4 focused on a group of Middle-School kids in the hood, their experience in school, and other more difficult classrooms.  Season 5 brought the newspaper room into focus and revisited the political angle, while focusing on the truth and consequences of playing the system. 

Through all of it, and despite, as the Mrs. always points out, the depressing nature of much of the story, The Wire never fails to be compelling.  You will find characters to identify with and despise and pull for (in spite of themselves).  And it’s tough to watch just one episode.  So as the new Fall TV Season kicks off, Beemsville says go with a proven product.  Highly recommended.

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