If I am being honest here, I was not going to pick this show. When the idea of the TV show draft was being kicked around, Hans and I had a sidebar discussion on this. I told him that I wanted him to get the higher draft position so I would not even have to think about writing this write up. He said let’s just see what happens. I said one last time that I would not have the time to fully do the write up justice, but other things in life happened, so here we are.
The Wire was a show that ran for 5 seasons on HBO. The show was the idea of David Simon and based on the experiences of writing partner Ed Burns, who was a former homicide detective and school teacher.
The show was set in Baltimore, and it had a large ensemble cast, like most shows that are truly groundbreaking, this show was not highly watched or critically reviewed in its inaugural season. During its run it received only average ratings, and it never won any major television awards. The show is commended for its themes, its realistic portrayal of urban life, and its uncanny look into society and politics. This show is now remembered as one of the greatest, and in my not so humble opinion, the greatest show in television history.
Simon had worked on NBC with Homicide: Life on the Street, based on his book, but NBC executives did not like the show’s pessimism. I guess they do not venture out into the real world very much. Simon had worked with HBO on the miniseries the Corner, and had a very favorable relationship with HBO.
If you have seen the Corner, and also the HBO show Oz, you might recognize a lot of the same actors from both in the Wire.
The write up about the Wire from Wikipedia is top notch. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_wire
I had originally planned a bit more in depth write up of this show, but when I saw how many people had not watched the Sopranos, an earlier pick, I did not want to say too much to reveal spoilers.
I was talking with a colleague not long ago about this show, and about two weeks later he came up to me and says man I can believe how much of this show I had forgotten, but it is still the best show I have ever watched.
I will wind this down with this – and I do not know which came first – I like Idris Elba as an actor. At my age I don’t fanboi out or have hero’s etc, but I am fond of saying this is someone that I would have a drink with or just hang out with and chat, and Idris Elba is one of those.
On the internet series First We Feast with Sean Evans (a cool idea and great thing to watch if you have never seen it. I don’t know how many seasons they have done of this one, but MANY celebs have done the show and their reactions to eating hot wings are epic) Idris talks with Sean Evans about getting the role on the Wire.
Starting at the 15:36 mark, Idris talks about getting the role and how he was told not to tell them he was from London.
Anyway, Idris Elba plays the character Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell. This is my favorite character in the series. Bell is a part of the drug trade, but he envisions himself leaving that all behind in order to become a legitimate businessman. It is amazing to watch him categorize his day, he is worried about supply chain issues, while calmly ordering a hit on someone, then going right back to the supply issues. Fantastic acting, and like I said I don’t know if I liked Stringer Bell because it was Idris Elba, or vice versa.
Plus, it gave us this awesome meme:
I have not even scratched the surface of how in depth and fantastic this show was. I am sure that there are plenty reading this saying dude you missed half of the show etc. I know. But no matter what your favorite part is, there is plenty in this show to talk about. I hope you can enjoy it as much as I did.
It is a long commitment to watch 60+ hours of a show, but I guarantee you will not be disappointed in the viewing.
I know this is one of Hans favorite shows and I will absolutely watch the series one of these days. I loved the Oz series and good to know some of the Oz people are in this. I just finished watching Ray Donovan through 7 seasons and I know how close someone gets to the characters after sticking with them that long. Idris Elba is a favorite of mine not even seeing The Wire. I liked him in Pacific Rim, Prometheus, and Concrete Cowboys.
While I was/am a major Sopranos fan, I did miss The Wire! I know I have to watch it because everyone says it’s fantastic. Thanks for giving me extra motivation 🙂
I vaguely recognize the name of the series. I’ve spent about 20 years without access to HBO. There is much I haven’t seen.
I watched this a few years ago on Han’s reccomendation in 2018… great show and yes it’s time to revisit it.
I’ve certainly heard lots of accolades for it but have yet to see one. Maybe I will though since so many do love it