HBO's The Wire

CAUTION| Contains major spoilers for HBO's The Wire |CAUTION

Nobody wins.

It’s strange to watch a series that stretches five seasons, only to have it end where it began. And not in a cool time travel way either. The corners are still infested with dealers. The top dogs are still free and simple-minded cops are still in charge. I know it’s probably a metaphor how the “gangsta” lifestyle is just a repeating cycle, but I walked away from this feeling worse than I felt before. I guess I’ll just have to appreciate the journey more than the destination on this one. 

After never seeing it, I watched the whole series in the last two weeks. It starts a bit slow, but eventually you start to see the DNA a lot of the serialized shows we enjoy now (Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Mr. Robot) were spawned from. The Wire doesn’t seem as tightly written as some of the newer shows, though. Some storylines seem unnecessary, meandering or overly convoluted, but I have to give them props for handling a huge ever-expanding cast so well. This show really is a hall of fame of future stars. Idris Elba, Wood Harris and Michael Kenneth Williams bring a sincerity to their roles that propels this show to the heights it reached. Some lesser-known actors like Jamie Hector, J.D. Williams, Tristan Wilds and Felicia Pearson also portray multi-dimensional characters that you can’t help but be fascinated by. It does a great job of carrying stories through multiple seasons. Younger background kids grow over the course of the seasons to become relatable out main characters. I had characters I hated with a passion, but then ended up rooting for them as they came against worse ones that followed.

Oh, and the worst people in the show?

The cops. Easily.

Responsible for multiple witnesses getting killed. Several innocent bystanders (and other cops) dying in avoidable gunfights. They allow MOST of the drugs in the show to still be sold. All types of tampering and outright racism. Lester and Daniels are respectable, but even that’s tarnished by the end.

People complain about George R.R. Martin killing his popular characters. David SImon has made an art of getting you to like a character right before putting a bullet in their brain and making you watch. Good people die, too much. 

R.I.P. Wallace