• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 2, 2002
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. The breadth and ambition of "The Wire" are unrivaled and that taken cumulatively over the course of a season -- any season -- it's an astonishing display of writing, acting and storytelling that must be considered alongside the best literature and filmmaking in the modern era.
  2. 100
    One of the finest TV shows ever made.
  3. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    David Simon and his writers... aren't out to change the world; the slippery slope of civilization is already in place on The Wire and Simon is just out to document how each and every person survives. Or doesn't, as this season quite devastatingly proves.
  4. The best series on TV, period. [15 Sep 2006, p.63]
  5. 100
    A vibrant, masterful work of art, HBO’s novelistic urban saga The Wire is the best show on television.
  6. 100
    If you have only one hour a week for television, give it to "The Wire."
  7. This season of “The Wire” will knock the breath out of you.
  8. If there ever was a series that makes HBO a necessity, "The Wire" is it.
  9. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    This is TV as great modern literature, a shattering and heartbreaking urban epic about a city (Baltimore) rotting from within.
  10. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    When television history is written, little else will rival "The Wire," a series of such extraordinary depth and ambition that it is, perhaps inevitably, savored only by an appreciative few.
  11. 100
    So is "The Wire" as good as ever? Perhaps even better.
  12. 100
    To me, what allows “The Wire” to surpass “The Sopranos” in the pantheon of greatest American TV shows is its ambition and its anger.
  13. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    A critic for this paper once declared "The Wire" "the greatest dramatic series ever produced for television" and as the fourth season gets under way Sunday night, there's no reason to quibble with that assessment.
  14. 100
    Yes, it's tough to trace the relationships between various ranks within the police department and the city and state governments, but that doesn't mean this is an incredibly serious drama it takes a degree in literature to understand. "The Wire" is funny and odd and sad and, above all, engrossing.
  15. The best show on television.
  16. 100
    Brilliant, scathing, sprawling, The Wire has turned our indifference to urban decay into a TV achievement of the highest order.
  17. If you stick with it, you will be rewarded with some of the most compelling, provocative drama ever produced for television.
  18. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    They have done what many well-intentioned socially minded writers have tried and failed at: written a story that is about social systems, in all their complexity, yet made it human, funny and most important of all, rivetingly entertaining.
  19. Reviewed by: Tony Norman
    "The Wire" is as complex a picaresque as one is likely to find this side of Dickens.
  20. 88
    Despite high praise, there are two serious problems: (a) The first new episode is crazy confusing, and (b) over the course of the first batch of episodes, the story lines don't develop quickly enough.
  21. It just might be the kids, the ones who grow up too soon in the hard world of "The Wire," who steal opening night.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 604 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 2 out of 255
  1. Oct 22, 2010
    Season 4 of the Wire is the best season of any television series. Period. While the Wire has always been a great TV show, with more authenticity, in-depth writing, complex characters, superb acting and gripping storytelling in one episode than most shows produce over their entire span. The first three seasons are all amazing, and the storylines from the previous seasons continue to grow in the fourth season, but they cannot in any way prepare you for the sublime and heartbreaking new storyline following four youth, the school system, and the corner. I can't use enough superlatives to describe this season: Perfect! Riveting! Flawless! The apex of art, entertainment and social commentary on TV (and perhaps any medium)!!!!

    If you find the first few episodes disorienting, don't worry, it will all make sense â
    Full Review »
  2. Mar 3, 2012
    I've watched many, many television shows, and I can confidently affirm that The Wire is by far the greatest achievement in the history of TV. I won't bother typing up a long and well thought-out review because I'm sure the previous users have done a fair enough job of describing this show, but I will say this: no other television series compares to The Wire, and it will be a long time before another one does. Full Review »
  3. Mar 27, 2014
    Temporada cuatro de The Wire es increible, introduce a cuatro jovenes que estan en su etapa escolar y como ver como algunos caen y otros ceden es a la vez devastadora y emocional, tambien introduce el sistema educativo y como las instituciones manipulan tal sistema con tal de lograr sus objetivos y despojando a sus estudiantes, su humanidad. Es la temporada perfecta para una serie perfecta. Full Review »