The Wire – Season One

I know, I’m a little behind the times, but I don’t watch any current dramatic, comedic, or reality TV. Period. If I turn the TV on, it’s sports. It’s that simple. I’m not out of touch though. Notice, I said current. I do watch old stuff on DVD, Netflix, or downloaded from iTunes. Every movie or TV show that I watch starting January 2011 will be listed here in the film category (for lack of a better name, I know it’s all digital). Every one.

I’ve been hearing about The Wire for a long time, mostly from a guy at one of my clients. The seriousness with which he suggested this show was compelling. He’d be like, “The Wire, now that’s the best show on TV.” And that comma, after he said “The Wire,” was a long comma. It was like he was giving the title some breathing room because it was so deserving to stand alone on the mountaintop of TV greatness. Chilling.

So I grabbed it (Seasons 1-4) at a silent auction a few year’s ago and I’m finally getting to the business of watching it.

It is friggin’ awesome. It’s a cop show + that takes place in Baltimore. I say + (pronounced plus) because it actually spends about equal time between cops, lawyers, and drug dealers. It spans the cop genre by including homicide, narcotics, beat cops, and even the FBI a little. It spans the drug dealer genre by including the distributors, the managers, the enforcers, and the junkies. And it goes beyond the illegal activities to dig into the personal and private lives of both the criminals and law enforcement.┬áIt’s an hour long soap opera style show and Season One lasts thirteen episodes.

Season One is about a special task force trying to bust a very successful drug dealer (Avon Barksdale) in the Baltimore projects. The police task force is a group of stars and misfits from various departments who are able to convince a judge to let them put wire taps on Barksdale’s crew. The cast of characters is incredible. Absolutely incredible.

The characters are so compelling that I’ve fallen into that trap of relating their character traits to things in my life. I’ll ask, what would McNulty do? How can I bring Kima’s passion to this gig? And I notice others doing this. Heck, you can’t tell me that Jason Whitlock (a huge fan of The Wire) didn’t find some inspiration in McNulty’s “disdain for authority” when he left the Kansas City Star last year. Another example, I was at a friend’s house the other night and he casually referenced a character. I’m telling you, they suck you in.

Season One ends with a big bust of much of Barksdale’s crew. Stringer is now running the show while Barksdale is in prison. McNulty got transferred out of homicide and is working harbor patrol. Kima looks like she’ll recover from the bullet wound and I think Lt. Daniels is back in narcotics. Freamon is working homicide and I think he is partnering up with Bunk. I’m not sure what happened to DeAngelo, I couldn’t tell if he went into witness protection or prison. I’m getting Season Two rolling soon.