I don’t usually recommend television shows, certainly not the current crop, or those with an agenda that have overtaken the TV networks in recent years. But, I have just finished viewing all five seasons of “The Wire” which originally aired on HBO from 2002 to 2008. When I watched the last episode the other evening, I found myself wishing that it could go on. That’s not something that I could say about any other TV show. I am just not a fan of popular television. But, “The Wire” was an exceptional program from several perspectives. If nothing else, it gave more black actors a job than anything since “The Green Pastures,” movie from 1936 which featured an all black cast.
“The Wire” is just realistic, nitty-gritty life in the big city, in its case, Baltimore. The cast could not be better chosen and, remarkably, there is not a bad actor in the whole group. I don’ t think a better casting job could have been done. When a program makes you forget that the actors are actors, then what you are seeing and hearing are really talented professionals. And in “The Wire” they are all real, from the youngest to the oldest.
This program is now available in Blu-Ray and also on HBO streaming, if you have a Roku service that provides it. I watched it on streaming Amazon. When the last episode faded to black, I felt like I had lost insight into a group of friends who were doing their jobs while I looked in. And, true to its form, it did not have the usual happy “ride off into the sunset” ending that most episodic and long-running series have. While it tied up loose ends, they were not rosy ends but in keeping with the usual and somewhat cynical tone of the show, they were totally realistic. I highly recommend that you watch “The Wire” in any form that you choose. It is what television shows should be, and seldom are – it was honest.