My month with The Wire

Today has been my first day back in the real world.
Yesterday was the first day I’ve gone in about three weeks without watching at least one episode of The Wire.
On Saturday, I flew the the last seven in the series.

I’m a fan. But I’m glad it’s over.

Most seem to think that season four was it’s best, but I really felt they left a lot of points on the field. It took much longer to develop out (even for The Wire’s standards) and in the end felt like it was a 23 episode season squeezed in to 13.

Season five was fine enough, but I had a couple of issues:

  • For one, they portrayed the Newspaper world a little too nostalgically. For a narrative so openly fascinated with the process of change over the course of the entire series, season five’s position on the print news industry ceratinly took the grumpy position of ‘stodgy curmudgeon’. Or to put it another way: I’m pretty sure not all young people want the quick-fast success path or are incompetent when it comes to mastering the fundamentals.

    Makes me wonder how much stuff on the police department side was similarly jilted.

  • Wardrobe. Why all of the sudden in the fifth season were people so perfectly color coordinated? Modern, checked dress shirts? Tailored suits and shirts? Come on. If you’re going to sex up McNulty for season five at least do it in HD.
  • For me, the turning point of the entire series was in episode 10 of season three (“Reformation“) when Major Colvin gave then Sergerant Carver a come to jesus speach.

    So I had a problem when season five ended without an on-screen acknowledgement of Carver’s change in ways. His street work from 3.10 on basically made everything else that happened possible. That’s obvious to the viewer. But there was never even a wink in Carver’s direction from Colvin the rest of the way. They had scenes together, but never did I get the feeling that Colvin knew what Carver was up to. And I’m left unsatisfied not knowing if Colvin really knows how much his leadership in that scene turned into real results.

    Full video of the speach is here:

A couple of final notes, this article addresses something I’ve asked myself throughout my month long initial tour through the series: What Do Real Thugs Think of The Wire? (

And finally, one of the best ways to remember the series is by its best moments. Here are most. Even a brilliant, mini montage of Clay Davis around the 8 minute mark.