• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 2, 2002
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
The Wire Image
Metascore
95

Universal acclaim - based on 17 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 265 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In chronicling a multi-generational family business dealing illegal drugs and the efforts of the Baltimore police to curb their trade, this series draws parallels between these organizations and the men and women on either side of the battle.The words of Gary W. Potter, Professor of CriminalIn chronicling a multi-generational family business dealing illegal drugs and the efforts of the Baltimore police to curb their trade, this series draws parallels between these organizations and the men and women on either side of the battle.The words of Gary W. Potter, Professor of Criminal Justice and Police Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, in writing about the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s, can also be used to illuminate some of the central premises of the show:"There is precious little difference between those people who society designates as respectable and law abiding and those people society castigates as hoodlums and thugs. The world of corporate finance and corporate capital is as criminogenic and probably more criminogenic than any poverty-wracked slum neighborhood. The distinctions drawn between business, politics, and organized crime are at best artificial and in reality irrelevant. Rather than being dysfunctions, corporate crime, white-collar crime, organized crime, and political corruption are mainstays of American political-economic life."Tim Goodman, the television critic for The San Francisco Chronicle, summed the show up perfectly when he wrote: "This show is precisely the reason you pay for HBO."In New York's Newsday, Diane Werts says: "Most TV crime series aspire to John Grisham's level. 'The Wire' aspires to Dostoevsky's."Season ThemesSeason One centers around a family of drug dealers and the innerworkings of their empire. It also follows the detectives who are trying to catch the high members of the empire. Season Two steps away from the drug trade (while still mentioning characters from the previous season) to a case of dead prostitutes which turns into a look at the corruption surrounding the Port. Season Three investigates politics and finishes the main stories that were left open in season one. Season Four focuses on four middle school students and their journeys through the public school system and continues to address the politics of an inner-city and the issues of an election. Season Five is rumored to be about the media's role in Baltimore. Season Five will be the show's final season.Theme MusicIn the Season One opening credits, the Blind Boys of Alabama did Tom Waits's "Way Down in the Hole". The Season Two opening credits feature Waits's version of the song. According to creator David Simon, "It was our way of saying: This is the same show (song) but this year, the tale itself (singer, tonality) will be different." The Neville Brothers's version of the song opens Season Three. The theme which plays over the end credits was composed by the show's music supervisor, Blake Leyh.

    International AiringsAustralia -- Monday at 12:00 p.m. on Ch.9. Currently airing Season 3.
    New Zealand -- Wednesday at 11:40 p.m. on TV2, beginning December 15, 2004.
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  • Genre(s): Drama
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    What Simon is doing with "The Wire" - besides crafting arguably the most realistic cop show ever - is taking the narrative style of books and translating it to television. ... By itself, it raises TV's collective IQ at least a few points. [29 May 2003]
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    It's flat-out brilliant. [1 Jun 2003]
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    The Wire, while brilliant,is not exactly user-friendly. Attention is required, but the series more than repays the time and effort invested.
  4. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jul 18, 2013
    100
    One of the best series anywhere. [8 Jun 2003]
  5. Reviewed by: Noel Holston
    Jul 18, 2013
    90
    Be forewarned that opener is dense, quick- moving and largely absent the sort of explanatory dialogue that dramatic series typically use to ensure that we have our bearings. Even viewers who savored each installment of the original series may feel disoriented. Newcomers may feel as though they're watching a foreign-language film without subtitles. My advice is to videotape it, re-watch and have faith. The coherence quotient goes up by the hour, and patience will be rewarded. [30 May 2003]
  6. Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Jul 18, 2013
    90
    An immensely satisfying - and immensely complicated - police drama. [31 May 2003]
  7. Reviewed by: Tony Norman
    Jul 18, 2013
    80
    There's something inspiring about series creator David Simon's trusting his audience enough to tell a complex story about the elusive motives of cops, drug dealers and longshoremen without shortchanging his characters' humanity in the process. [31 May 2003]

See all 17 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. Jun 28, 2012
    10
    Yet another brilliant season of the greatest TV drama of all time. The story of the middle class being screwed over by the city they helped toYet another brilliant season of the greatest TV drama of all time. The story of the middle class being screwed over by the city they helped to built was tragic and powerful, with some splendid new characters and the usual dramatic gut-punches one grows to expect from 'The Wire'. PS: Valchek is a d*** Expand
  2. Aug 19, 2013
    10
    The second season follows the edge of perfection. A brilliant story and script, as in the first season. You know watching this season why theThe second season follows the edge of perfection. A brilliant story and script, as in the first season. You know watching this season why the people consider The Wire, as one of the best series ever. Expand
  3. Sep 9, 2014
    10
    Season 2 of the wire moves from the inner city to the docks, but continues to show the story of institutional inertia crushing out theSeason 2 of the wire moves from the inner city to the docks, but continues to show the story of institutional inertia crushing out the individual on a regular basis. It's well into the Tragedy section of the Comedy/Tragedy scale, and it's very well done. Expand
  4. Nov 22, 2011
    10
    This season of The Wire delivers a message which is all too appropriate today. In the words of Frank Sobotka: "You know what the problem is?This season of The Wire delivers a message which is all too appropriate today. In the words of Frank Sobotka: "You know what the problem is? We used to make **** in this country, build ****. Now, we just put our hand in the next guy's pocket." An incredible, thought-provoking portrait of the betrayal of America's working class by the country they built. Expand
  5. May 24, 2013
    10
    The Second, 12 episode, Season of the critically acclaimed 'The Wire' picks up proceedings not long after the events of year one with theThe Second, 12 episode, Season of the critically acclaimed 'The Wire' picks up proceedings not long after the events of year one with the investigative team lead by Daniels now disbanded. Rather than jumping straight back into the aftermath of the Barksdale drug empire (which becomes more of a background story this time around) the writers instead choose to introduce the viewer to another social group found in the city of Baltimore, namely the dock workers that are struggling to make ends meet in modern times. When thirteen bodies are found in an unclaimed container another unpredictable and intriguing case starts to unfold.

    All credit must go to the writers and cast who are able to effortlessly craft another fascinating tale despite a completely new focus and the introduction of a whole host of extra characters. As with Season One the line between the supposed good guys and bad guys remains blurred as the show takes the time to fully explore the motivations of its entire cast and it is this that makes The Wire far more than just another cop show.
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  6. Mar 11, 2014
    9
    En los primeros capitulo pueden ser algo lentos, pero conforme avanza la serie se vuelve cada vez genial, personajes nuevos como FrankEn los primeros capitulo pueden ser algo lentos, pero conforme avanza la serie se vuelve cada vez genial, personajes nuevos como Frank Sobotka, Nick Sobotka o la temible organizacion criminal de los griegos le dieron a la serie un toque diferente con respecto a la primera temporada que ya habiamos visto a los traficantes, en este caso esta temporada era el caso de treces mujeres muertas y que conectaba con los estibadores del puerto de Baltimore. Esos ultimos capitulos fueron brillantes. Expand
  7. Jul 24, 2012
    7
    Normally to call a season of a show a 7 out of 10 is incredible, but following one of the best seasons of a show I have ever seen it was a bitNormally to call a season of a show a 7 out of 10 is incredible, but following one of the best seasons of a show I have ever seen it was a bit of a disappointment. Bottom line is that the dock worker plot just did not work for me. Their was not one of these characters that I rooted for or felt the least bit invested in. Still love all the cop work, and there was enough Stringer and Barksdale to wet my appetite for next year, I would have just liked more of it. Here is hoping next year is more season 1 and less 2. Expand

See all 17 User Reviews

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