Speaking of brilliant police shows, let’s not forget The Wire, one of the most extraordinary shows in TV history and one of the best. It’s another HBO show and it’s created by David Simon. The Wire’s five seasons (2002 - 2008) each highlight one facet of life in Baltimore: the drug trade, the seaport system, the city government, the school system and the print news media. The Wire has a huge ensemble cast, highlighted by Dominic West as detective Jimmy McNulty, Wendell Pierce as detective ’Bunk’ Moreland, Sonja John as detective ‘Kima’ Greggs and Lance Reddick as Lt. Cedric Daniels. But there are many many more, most of whom are not police officers. All of the acting is excellent.
What makes The Wire unique are the remarkable realism of the show (including distinct language), the incredible intelligent writing and the accurate and sympathetic social and political commentary. By the end, you get a fair idea about what life is like in Baltimore. It’s not a pretty picture.
The first season of The Wire, about the drug trade, was my least favourite, though it contained one of my favourite scenes in the history of television (featured in the photo above).
The Wire isn’t the easiest of shows to get into, due to its slow style, difficult language and complex plots, but this is television at its finest, so it gets my highest recommendation for those who can handle raw crime dramas like this. ****. My mug is up.