• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 2, 2002
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
User Score
9.6

Universal acclaim- based on 754 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 754

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User Reviews

  1. DorianS
    Jan 3, 2007
    10
    The most powerful, most heartbreaking, most intelligent, most empathic, most humanistic, most truthful television series that I have ever watched. The writing on all four seasons of "The Wire" is consistently first rate, with dozens of memorable characters brought to life by the superlative cast. Complex and convoluted (yet never boring) this series demands your complete attention when The most powerful, most heartbreaking, most intelligent, most empathic, most humanistic, most truthful television series that I have ever watched. The writing on all four seasons of "The Wire" is consistently first rate, with dozens of memorable characters brought to life by the superlative cast. Complex and convoluted (yet never boring) this series demands your complete attention when watching (something that will come quite easily as anyone who has watched this show can attest to), and rewards your investment of time in spades... Collapse
  2. AlexandrosL.
    Oct 5, 2007
    10
    Simon has transferred in his play the Balzac's core conception of the plot in which the characters while they seem to act on their own through a Darwinian battle, in fact they are pawns overwhelmed by the dominant forces of the society. A true masterpiece. Art.
  3. SamA
    Jan 9, 2007
    10
    Josh B put it very well, it is a show about something, and it does an excellent job of not making the "hood" or being a gangsta look romantic. It is real and effective. Living in the poorest city in America, Cleveland, I can relate to everything this show explains. Best show on TV
  4. DR
    Sep 6, 2006
    10
    This show is truely the best ever, yes it might sound cliche to say that about this show, but its so true. The first episode of every season is like a new first chapter, so of course its a little confusing at first, but thats the beauty of this show is that it demands your attention and you get rewarded ten fold once you get into it. I loved the season 4 opener, It starts off a year after This show is truely the best ever, yes it might sound cliche to say that about this show, but its so true. The first episode of every season is like a new first chapter, so of course its a little confusing at first, but thats the beauty of this show is that it demands your attention and you get rewarded ten fold once you get into it. I loved the season 4 opener, It starts off a year after the last season and is just awesome to see all the characters we have come to love over the years. My favorite show no doubt. Expand
  5. JoshB
    Jan 8, 2007
    10
    Seinfeld was the "show about nothing." This just might be the only show ever that can legitimately be called a "show about something." The Wire reveals every other show for the superficial pap that it is.
  6. MartinM
    Mar 3, 2007
    10
    The Wire is the best TV ever created.
  7. MattH
    Jun 8, 2007
    10
    True dat. I'm from the UK and was tipped off on this. Unlike a lot of the 'top drawer' TV out there now this just gets better and better with each series. Apparently The Wire was written like a novel and series 5 will be the conclusion. How can anything ever better it?
  8. Dave
    Sep 1, 2007
    10
    If Dostoyevsky was still alive - he would be writing for this show.
  9. AnnemarieK.
    Oct 17, 2008
    10
    Fantastic, a brilliant drama that gets to the heart of the issues surrounding drugs and crime.
  10. SatoshiK.
    Jan 4, 2008
    10
    "The Wire" is a diamond, no other show even comes close.
  11. CaddyC
    Jan 5, 2008
    10
    The Wire is hands down the greatest televsion series of all time. The Sopranos didn't even come close. Anyone who argues this point obviously knows very little about acting, scripting, editing or directing. This is perfection.
  12. DavidA.
    Sep 16, 2008
    10
    One word: BRILLIANT
  13. CharlesGill
    Nov 28, 2009
    10
    The Best Show ever. Too bad there were no follow up on were some of the characters ended up. I hate this show ended I want more
  14. TomH
    Oct 10, 2006
    10
    I have watched this show from the beginning and I can only say that it is the best television show on today. The writing is first rate and the acting is even better. The stories will make you go through every emotion you have.
  15. duanebraun
    Nov 26, 2006
    10
    this show is awaome and so realistic.my favorite show
  16. DorianP
    Dec 6, 2006
    10
    Best Show ever I cant even think o f a movie I like more.
  17. StefanP
    Sep 10, 2006
    10
    best show i have ever seen. goddamnit, i want to have intercourse with the people who conceptualized this program. it is the sweetest show ever created in the history of modern media. i motherfucking love the wire. god bless baltimore. titties. this show is titties.
  18. KevinW
    Sep 21, 2006
    10
    I love the wire but you almost have to watch it from the first season. Unlike most shows "The Wire" isn't about the characters or the plot. The show is about Baltimore and "the game." So you have to watch it for that, but it makes the show even more enjoyable. Your favorite character who seems to be the spotlight of the show may be dead by the next episode and that just keeps you on I love the wire but you almost have to watch it from the first season. Unlike most shows "The Wire" isn't about the characters or the plot. The show is about Baltimore and "the game." So you have to watch it for that, but it makes the show even more enjoyable. Your favorite character who seems to be the spotlight of the show may be dead by the next episode and that just keeps you on your toes. Expand
  19. maryh
    Sep 21, 2006
    10
    This is a show that requires patience and brains; all B story and a 13 episode story arc - unthinkable on "regular" channels. Characters with flaws, soul, issues and, best of all, great acting and incredible writing.
  20. LarToryaH
    Sep 25, 2006
    10
    love this show it's the best thing on tv
  21. bigking
    Sep 29, 2006
    10
    This is currently the best show on the air, period. Hard to think how they could improve it, except by making more episodes
  22. CO
    Sep 7, 2006
    10
    I want to find something flawed in this show, but I just can't Perfect.
  23. KJ
    Sep 7, 2006
    10
    For what the show asks of you, which is simply that you watch, the rewards are unbelievable. The Wire is funny, dark and thought-provoking all at once, and David Simon & Ed Burns are first and foremost incredible storytellers. Some of the reviews tend to make watching The Wire sound like homework, but while the show may be a bit complicated to explain, above all else it's totally For what the show asks of you, which is simply that you watch, the rewards are unbelievable. The Wire is funny, dark and thought-provoking all at once, and David Simon & Ed Burns are first and foremost incredible storytellers. Some of the reviews tend to make watching The Wire sound like homework, but while the show may be a bit complicated to explain, above all else it's totally entertaining. It's fascinating television. Expand
  24. JT
    Sep 7, 2006
    10
    Glad to see this show get its due. Such a sad tale for those 4 boys. Expect to get your heart broken. The wire is what TV should be.
  25. adamg
    Sep 7, 2006
    10
    Televison perfection at it's finest.
  26. GG
    Sep 8, 2006
    10
    I love this show!
  27. WasetR
    Sep 9, 2006
    10
    For me, television could go away forever, as long as on Sunday nights, it came back on to show The Wire. This show is the greatest show ever in the history of television and I tell everyone I know and everyone I meet that very same thing.
  28. C.E.
    Sep 9, 2006
    10
    Great show. I watched all three season (37 episodes) in four days. Can't wait to see the fourth season.
  29. MarcD.
    Sep 9, 2006
    10
    The first episode was everything I expected it to be. And outstanding foundation for another good season. The first season in the Home Depot-type store is priceless. There is simply a level of authenticity in The Wire that no other show on TV can get close to. Only Homicide: LOTS is in the same ballpark. Why the Emmy folks and all those other organizations that complain about the lack of The first episode was everything I expected it to be. And outstanding foundation for another good season. The first season in the Home Depot-type store is priceless. There is simply a level of authenticity in The Wire that no other show on TV can get close to. Only Homicide: LOTS is in the same ballpark. Why the Emmy folks and all those other organizations that complain about the lack of quality roles for African American actors seem to ignore this show is beyond me. Expand
  30. Matt
    Jan 18, 2007
    10
    Greatest show on tv period. It requires max attention but the payoffs are worth it.
  31. LanaS.
    Nov 9, 2007
    10
    Brilliant writing, impressive directing, and spectacular acting. The greatest thing on television, period.
  32. DianaB
    Jan 27, 2007
    10
    I love this show and can't wait for the next season to start, what is taking so long.
  33. ZakiyaD
    Jan 3, 2007
    10
    I love the television show THE WIRE so much and just started 2 watch in mid of season 2 and have kept watching the television show ever since. My favorite character is Namond! real funny and charming
  34. RN
    Jan 6, 2007
    10
    The most important piece of televison there has ever been. I've derived no greater feeling from following "The Wire" for the last 4 seasons. It's shows life, as true as it can happen. This show presents the tragedy of our current system; ignoring and failing the people, putting everything to profit and the cold protection of that profit. "The Wire" had impacted my life so The most important piece of televison there has ever been. I've derived no greater feeling from following "The Wire" for the last 4 seasons. It's shows life, as true as it can happen. This show presents the tragedy of our current system; ignoring and failing the people, putting everything to profit and the cold protection of that profit. "The Wire" had impacted my life so strongly with its story. I beg you now to start watching. By some miracle it has been picked up for its 5th and final season, which should start late 2007. Expand
  35. BarrettD
    Jan 7, 2007
    10
    The absolute best show I've seen in my life
  36. levar
    Feb 11, 2007
    10
    I,am from Baltimore!This is as real as it will ever get. The names have been changed but the people of Baltimore,(BALIMERE)no them well.
  37. Tom
    Feb 10, 2007
    10
    The best show ever, and hardly anyone knows about it.
  38. EthanS
    Feb 18, 2007
    10
    This show could only be created in a place like Baltimore. Hollywood would screw it up. Manhattan, too. Those places are theme parks; this is the story of a real city and its problems.
  39. nig
    Mar 1, 2007
    10
    For you people saying this show is black explotation have obviously never seen it. It is a well written and directed drama about cops trying to hold a city together that is falling apart. It is trying to document the struggle of inner city baltimore and what it's like trying to survive. So far it's the only show that does that justice.
  40. JLali
    Apr 20, 2007
    10
    one of the best shows on cable period
  41. BlahM.
    May 22, 2007
    10
    I watch pretty much every show on TV that's worth watching, and this is undeniably the best. As true-to-life as TV can get, with far more reality than any "reality" show. Waiting for the fifth season to begin is torture, which will only get worse as I realize the hole The Wire will leave when it's gone.
  42. TomN.
    May 30, 2007
    10
    BEST TV EVER!! Like watching a quality book...
  43. David
    May 30, 2007
    10
    let's hope that some day this show will reach the mass audience it deserves.
  44. TomasI
    Jun 29, 2007
    10
    Absolutely fantastic!
  45. KenL.
    Jun 9, 2007
    10
    The Wire is so good it's scary.
  46. SeanL
    Jul 15, 2007
    10
    The only television program of any importance ever made.
  47. LolaS
    Jul 19, 2007
    10
    I LOVE this show! Season 4 was phenomenal! It just draws you in and the suspense is so strong. I can't wait for season 5.
  48. RobertB.
    Jul 31, 2007
    10
    The only major "flaw" this show has is that it doesn't appeal to what people have been conditioned to expect. It's too intelligent, too authentic, too deep, too harsh and too sad.
  49. NandaK
    Jul 8, 2007
    10
    Simply the best show on TV; more than that, it is a piece of work that holds its own if you would like to compare it to other great works of literature -- Shakespeare included!
  50. HaniY.
    Aug 13, 2007
    10
    Season 4 of The Wire happens to be the most emotional and the finest season so far. This is the most hard-hitting police drama ever to come to TV. The Wire makes every other show inferior and hopefully it will get the Emmys the show deserved for a long time now.
  51. Julian
    Aug 1, 2007
    10
    Best not-a-cop-show ever. Period.
  52. TerjeD.
    Sep 4, 2007
    10
    Best show ever... no other show even close !
  53. TiaL.
    Sep 6, 2007
    10
    I am from the urban city and this show is so true. Whoever created this must have grown up in this same situation to have captured such likeliness.
  54. JamesOM.
    Oct 16, 2008
    10
    Outstanding..addictive with a capital A. The most intense absorbing series I have ever seen..I hope it goes on for ever cause I will go into withdrawal when it finishes.
  55. DerryF
    Nov 9, 2008
    10
    The Wire is the finest piece of media I've ever encountered; the ambition and bravery of the writers shines through every scene. What's the best thing about The Wire? Omar Little - his appearances are worth every second of plot movement.
  56. HarryB.
    Feb 27, 2008
    10
    All in the game.
  57. JoshW.
    Feb 8, 2008
    10
    It is the best show ever. End of story.
  58. PhilP.
    Mar 17, 2008
    10
    The "Ulysses" of television. Difficult, but ultimately rewarding beyond words!
  59. BobR
    May 11, 2008
    10
    This is the best television show that I have ever watched. I agree with others on this site that it occasionally approaches great literature with wonderful character building, revealing detail, and even symbolism. The nuanced approach to its realistic depiction of our cities is mind boggling.
  60. RobertC.
    Aug 18, 2008
    10
    I've been following this show since season one. It is quite simply the most satisfying television experience I've ever had. Simply flawless.
  61. malcolmA.
    Aug 29, 2008
    10
    Sublime virtues are all but forsaken When the reality of this society comes crashing in!
  62. edk.
    Sep 23, 2008
    10
    I am a white 55 year old Canadian. I have only started watching this show on DVD, due to the critical buzz. It is without doubt, the greatest achievement in tv history. Utterly compelling, brilliant writing and acting, America as it is with all of its warts and hopes. I cannot believe that this show has not been given its due, outside of the critics. I have to believe that the vast I am a white 55 year old Canadian. I have only started watching this show on DVD, due to the critical buzz. It is without doubt, the greatest achievement in tv history. Utterly compelling, brilliant writing and acting, America as it is with all of its warts and hopes. I cannot believe that this show has not been given its due, outside of the critics. I have to believe that the vast majority of the public is not able to watch something so real and true, and esp. with the majority of the cast being afro-american. This show is so well done that within the first episode, we forget color and just see people we can feel awe, pity, hope for. A magnificent achievement. Expand
  63. WilliamT
    Oct 10, 2009
    10
    The appropriately named show is the best TV show I've ever seen. Just as the cameras and wire taps allow the police to secretly monitor the criminals, so too is the audience allowed to view such a gritty world colored in shades of gray. The show's plot, characters, dialogue, and setting make for such a unique show that I was completely taken by surprise. The 4th season just blew The appropriately named show is the best TV show I've ever seen. Just as the cameras and wire taps allow the police to secretly monitor the criminals, so too is the audience allowed to view such a gritty world colored in shades of gray. The show's plot, characters, dialogue, and setting make for such a unique show that I was completely taken by surprise. The 4th season just blew me away completely. The focus on inner-city schools and the students' lives definitely made the season heavy, but in an extremely good way. The 4th season is definitely my favorite. Expand
  64. JohnPf
    Jan 15, 2009
    10
    Without a doubt, the finest show on television. I went from modestly enjoying it during the first season, to being in awe in the fourth. Its a work of art.
  65. HarryD
    Dec 6, 2009
    10
    After finishing season 4 I feel like I just got out of a fight. I'm coming down from the adrenaline, slightly depressed, but somehow better off for it.
  66. CraigS.
    Jan 9, 2009
    10
    Never has a police drama had such developed and interesting characters. The series has the touch of a craftsman aging from series to series, constantly building on the immersion - without resorting to ill placed "surprise!" moments, and plot twists that detract from the realism. The beauty of the story, in my opinion, is how slowly they introduce Baltimore and its residents to the viewer. Never has a police drama had such developed and interesting characters. The series has the touch of a craftsman aging from series to series, constantly building on the immersion - without resorting to ill placed "surprise!" moments, and plot twists that detract from the realism. The beauty of the story, in my opinion, is how slowly they introduce Baltimore and its residents to the viewer. It's very rare that a non-period drama will actually leave the audience to feel the story out for themselves, instead of pointing to characters and saying "sympathise with this man" or "condemn this act". Educated and accurate drama for the viewer fed up of superman-cop shows. Expand
  67. PeterW.
    Feb 1, 2009
    10
    just watch it!!!!!
  68. AbhinavR
    May 3, 2009
    10
    After watching every season of The Wire, Season 4 has to be my favourite. Although it started out a bit slow, by the "2.5th" episode, I was captivated. I didn't have high hopes for this season because of the lack of Barksdale characters but the introduction of the school system and political campaigning was enough to make this the best season of any show ever. If somebody could only After watching every season of The Wire, Season 4 has to be my favourite. Although it started out a bit slow, by the "2.5th" episode, I was captivated. I didn't have high hopes for this season because of the lack of Barksdale characters but the introduction of the school system and political campaigning was enough to make this the best season of any show ever. If somebody could only watch one TV show, I would highly recommend The Wire. Expand
  69. JamesR
    Sep 11, 2009
    10
    nothing will ever come close .
  70. RobertM
    Jan 24, 2010
    10
    I would not trade any movie, televisoin series, show, or even literateture works for the wire. It is the best show I've ever seen, and then some. It will spoil every other show, movie or series after you've seen it because nothing will ever be as good. Season 4 is the best of 5.
  71. jamesc
    Oct 15, 2006
    10
    The best and deepest drama on TV. The acting and writing is great.
  72. AOD
    Oct 18, 2006
    10
    "The Wire" is the best show in television history, period.
  73. DemetriusP
    Dec 10, 2006
    10
    By far, the BEST show on HBO! The Soprano's cannot hold a match to The Wire. The acting is 10x better, the plot is so...intense.... It's a shame this show doesn't get the notice it deserves
  74. tomp
    Oct 20, 2006
    10
    The best show on televison. Maybe one of the best show ever on tv. Enjoy it while it lasts
  75. raymondb
    Dec 13, 2006
    10
    I've been numb ever since watching the last show, (tivo) last night. I just can't put into words the emotional rollercoster this show takes me through. At times I wish I could just reach into my TV and help these kids some way, some how. I live just outside of Baltimore and its incredible to me how THE WIRE parellels real life in bodymore....
  76. Toshi
    Dec 15, 2006
    10
    Probably the greatest television show ever.
  77. GD
    Dec 17, 2006
    10
    The greatest show on television...ever!
  78. JaredK
    Oct 2, 2006
    10
    As usual, The Wire is proving to be the best show on television this season. The first episode, was strong but felt slightly off kilter. But this has been true of every season so far. Likely it's due to the massive cast changes and the two year layoff between seasons three and four. However, each of the next three episodes that I've seen has gotten progressively stronger, more As usual, The Wire is proving to be the best show on television this season. The first episode, was strong but felt slightly off kilter. But this has been true of every season so far. Likely it's due to the massive cast changes and the two year layoff between seasons three and four. However, each of the next three episodes that I've seen has gotten progressively stronger, more tense, better paced. Already I feel invested in the five main new characters. The Wire is just a monumentally compelling, expertly crafted show that deserves a wider audience. Expand
  79. lu
    Dec 20, 2006
    10
    Best show ever.
  80. alanf
    Dec 27, 2006
    10
    the best
  81. DanM
    Dec 31, 2006
    10
    The best show ever created.
  82. [Anonymous]
    Dec 30, 2006
    10
    I do not exaggertae when I say this is the best show I have ever had the pleasure of sitting down in front of. So addictive I consumed the entire season in ONE SITTING.
  83. RonC
    Dec 4, 2006
    10
    Incredible. Season 4 has elevetated this show to legenadary status. It has always been good, but taken together the four seasons equal, and probably surpass anything that has ever been put on television before. If I had to guess as to why it has never become a ratings star for HBO it would have to be that yes, I do live in a racist country. (Or a dumb one that doesn't have the Incredible. Season 4 has elevetated this show to legenadary status. It has always been good, but taken together the four seasons equal, and probably surpass anything that has ever been put on television before. If I had to guess as to why it has never become a ratings star for HBO it would have to be that yes, I do live in a racist country. (Or a dumb one that doesn't have the attention span it takes to follow the multiple plot lines... ) Expand
  84. TONYB
    Oct 25, 2006
    10
    One of the best television series I have ever seen. NO SCRATCH THAT. This is the best television series I have ever seen.
  85. TWilliams
    Dec 7, 2006
    10
    The most riveting show in TV history
  86. PaulP
    Dec 8, 2006
    10
    GOAT, the greatest of all times, no doubt. There will never be another show like The Wire, you feel me?
  87. JimmyV
    Oct 9, 2006
    10
    Best show on TV. When will The Wire start winning the awards it truly deserves?
  88. Mike
    Sep 10, 2006
    10
    This is the best television show ever made. Makes other shows like "24" look like public access television.
  89. JohnJ
    Sep 11, 2006
    10
    Simply the best.
  90. Domingo
    Sep 13, 2006
    10
    This is the best show on television. It has the depth of a book played out every week on TV. We don't deserve to be treated this well.
  91. MichaelD
    Sep 14, 2006
    10
    The wire is the smartest and most ambitious show on television today. Its continual portrayal of the intricacies and hypocrisy of both crime and justice encourage discussion and gently nudge the necessary realization that too much of America is sad, ugly and more complicated that any of us care to know. I enjoy every minute; it almost justifies my obscene cable bill.
  92. EmmanuelD
    Sep 17, 2006
    10
    The Wire is one of the best show ever to be on HBO. Only if the Emmy
  93. Alastair
    Sep 22, 2006
    10
    Unimpeachably brilliant. The best television show ever made.
  94. jerryb
    Sep 23, 2006
    10
    Best show ever.... I can't say much cause it'll take too long... bottom line you have to watch it from season 1 on to appreciate it..
  95. Christine
    Sep 24, 2006
    10
    The Wire has been the best thing on TV since its first season. How can it be that it took so long for it to be recognized (it doesn't seem to be listed in Metacritic's "Best of 2005)? Increidbly smart writing, acting, producing and editing. I dred the story coming to an end after next year.
  96. brian
    Sep 27, 2006
    10
    I am obsessed with "The Wire". Only started watching a few weeks ago and have almost made it up to the current season (thanks to dvds of season 1-3)... Nothing else is like it, although it jumps off from "Homicide" and "The Corner", Baltimore shows that explored similar ground. It's not just TV... it's THE WIRE! Ya feel me? ps, if you're just starting as a Wire-o-phile, I am obsessed with "The Wire". Only started watching a few weeks ago and have almost made it up to the current season (thanks to dvds of season 1-3)... Nothing else is like it, although it jumps off from "Homicide" and "The Corner", Baltimore shows that explored similar ground. It's not just TV... it's THE WIRE! Ya feel me? ps, if you're just starting as a Wire-o-phile, turn on the subtitles Expand
  97. C.Cotton
    Sep 27, 2006
    10
    The Wire sets the bar for crime dramas. This is the show I go to when I need to see what great acting and great writing is all about. After watching the first few episodes of this season I was able to review all the other shows on my list and start chopping some of them off my list just because most can't campare to this drama.
  98. JeremyH
    Sep 28, 2006
    10
    Best show on television. Well written and perfectly casted...no television drama can touch it with a ten foot poll...or shotgun, whichever you prefer
  99. GregA
    Sep 5, 2006
    10
    The greatest show ever. Period.
  100. DonyG
    Sep 6, 2006
    10
    This is the best show in television history. That's not an exaggeration. Tell your friends about it. 3 episodes and you're hooked. Guaranteed. If they don't give it a fifth season everyone at HBO should be arrested and then fired.
Metascore
98

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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 100
    This is TV as great modern literature, a shattering and heartbreaking urban epic about a city (Baltimore) rotting from within.