The Wire: Season 2
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Wire, The: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
(HBO Dramatic Series) The most unvarnished, uncompromising and realistic police drama ever returns for another hard hitting season. McNolty has been demoted to harbor patrol, Daniels is in the police archive dungeon, Prez is chafing in the suburbs and Gregs is stuck behind a desk. Meanwhile, on the docks of the Baltimore harbor, the rank and file scrounge for work and the union bosses take illegitimate measures to reinvigorate business, but a horrific discovery is about to blow the whole port inside out. While the detail is on ice, a new case begins...]]>
It hardly seems possible, but The Wire's second season is even better than the first. The "visual novel" concept of this masterful HBO series is taken even further in a rich, labyrinthine plot revolving around the longshoremen of Baltimore's struggling cargo docks, where corruption, smuggling, and murder draw the attention of detective McNulty (Dominic West). What follows is a series of events which at first seem unrelated (including 13 bodies found in a cargo container), and then the ongoing effort to topple the drug empire of "Stringer" Bell (Idris Elba) and the imprisoned Avon Barksdale (Wood Harris), whose business is suffering from short supply, high demand, and disruption of distribution. The dutiful diligence of a Marine Police Patrol Officer and the moral outrage of the longshoremen's union leader are also factored into the suspicious goings-on at the loading docks, and what unfolds in these 12 episodes is an American crime epic easily on par with the Godfather saga. Yes, it's that good.
Detailed synopsis is pointless; The Wire must be seen, heard, and absorbed to fully appreciate the way in which over 40 characters are flawlessly incorporated into a sprawling but tightly disciplined plot that deals, in the larger sense, with the deindustrialization of America and the struggle of longshoremen in a changing economical climate. Offering a privileged and occasionally frightening glimpse of the inner workings of shipping ports and cargo transports, The Wire is also a detailed exposé of organized crime and blue-collar corruption, and an authentic, well-informed study of political maneuvering among police and city officials. There's not a single false note to be found in the cast, direction, or writing of this phenomenal series, hailed by many critics as "the best show on television." With all due respect to HBO's other excellent series, The Wire tops them all. --Jeff Shannon
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Top customer reviews
Incidentally, my favorite episode is S1:E4 where we learn Lester is "natural police".
"Justified" was a great show and took place in rural area while this was urban to the max. But don't think it is a Justified show. The Wire has everything and the stories are so well written and acted it takes your breath away. All of the characters are so realistic. Bunk--Kima -McNulty -Carver and Haupt --The ADA was great and so were Rawls and Daniels.are not soon forgotten. Watch it -don't miss this season or any of the shows
Yet, I give this drama 5 stars. That's because the story of the street life in season 1 is so well- written, it just pulls you right in like a Grisham novel. Can't put it down. It's something you've never seen, like life on another planet (Star Trek). And you can't forget it...you are influenced by it. I noticed I began to see some of that language beginning to creep into my own speech as I talked with my sister. Scary! Simon's "Homicide: Life on the Street" was nothing like this. I was around then and saw it first hand. Of course, both shows were "real" and the characters were memorable, but they were so different.
I've viewed both seasons 3 and 4 also, and noticed that things that were happening in season 1 were still developing in the ensuing seasons. Main characters I really liked (no spoiler alert) In season1 keep appearing, almost disappearing, REALLY disappearing, etc. I love the compassion in D'Angelo, as well as the style of Detective McNulty. And who was smarter and cagier than Stringer? I loved him. I also believe Greggs was a
powerful image for women.
I gave seasons 1 and 2 five stars even though season 2 was less interesting to me. It was cool as we moved from the streets to the water. Yet we still had the murders, but on a much larger scale (14 girls discovered dead "in a can"). No, no more young black kids standing on street corners pushing drugs, but ships coming in from all over the world carrying contraband...some human. Whites work on a much larger scale,it seems, but they're hunted down like the blacks here in season 2.
Putting 1 and 2 together, the drug trade" in the hole" and the dock workers on the water, were just as political...immoral, corrupt, and money- driven as the political spectrum above ground. We really see that in seasons 3 and 4. And did I say, I preferred the intro music to season 1?