7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Wire: Season 2 (DVD)
I just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of praise here. The Wire is by far the best TV series I've ever seen. The writing is simply masterly, allowing the audience to easily follow about three dozen characters and at least three different (yet tightly interwoven) plotlines. The dialogue is funny, clever, and moving while still remaining realistic. The characters are memorable, complicated, and interesting without being implausibly bizarre or phonily quirky. The acting is superb and completely convincing, right down to the smallest role. (In fact, it's often the minor characters who haunt my memories--I still can't forget Wallace's heartwrenching last scene, or D's either.)
I've seen all three seasons of The Wire now and it maintains a remarkable consistency throughout. No rambling or dumbing down at all. Season Two expands the social/geographical range of Season One (Police headquarters and the black ghetto) to include the decaying working-class white neighborhoods and Baltimore's moribund shipping industry. Season Three will get into City Hall and one gutsy cop's decision to end the War on Drugs.
Although I have enjoyed other HBO series, such as The Sopranos and Deadwood, I often feel they sacrifice a certain amount of credibility by forcing their characters into situations that are just too contrived, with resolutions that are just too convenient. I also detect a fair amount of padding in these shows. There's none of that in The Wire. Every detail feels authentic--as it probably is, since the writers David Simon and Ed Burns are, respectively, a seasoned Baltimore crime reporter and a twenty-year veteran of the Baltimore Police Department. And every detail grows out of something already established and leads to a satisfying payoff later on. The Wire is tight. It won't insult your intelligence, and it rewards close attention and repeated viewings--which makes DVD the ideal medium for watching it.