I only have a few episodes left in this amazing series, and I'm so sad that I'll soon have to bid the world it created goodbye. Not because it's a beautiful world--on the contrary, it's pretty horrific. But it's honest, complex, and fascinating in a way few other TV shows are or have ever been.
It takes place in Baltimore, MD (Bodymore, Murderland), and it focuses mainly on the drug trade, street life, and the cops who police it (with diversions into education, politics, and media that round out the show and the city). Far from demonizing one side or the other, it shows the complex interplay between the gangsters who rule the streets and the cops who go after them, and how they are two sides to one coin. There are good eggs and bad eggs on both sides. Both sides have their cultures, their rules, their relationships, their priorities, their prides and their shames.
I've never been in to cop shows--CSI, NYPD, Law and Order, all of that. The female cops are always sexy minxes and the dialogue is ridiculous and the story lines far-fetched. I never care about the characters or relationships. This show is very, very different.
No one on it is perfect. There are junkies, drug lords, alcoholic cops with good hearts, asshole cops with anger management issues and terrible judgment, gangsters you want to hug, and others you want to see put away for life. The detective work and interplay with the justice system, politics, and media are fascinating and ring very true to life. I can honestly say I've learned a lot about how a city is run based on watching this show. The writing is so vivid and realistic, I spent the first few episodes having to press pause every now and then just to figure out what was just said--both the street lingo and the cop talk are that true to life.
This show is gritty, eye-opening, addictive, and honest. I feel that it has come the closest to an honest depiction of the complexities of life in a poor, crime-ridden city that any show ever has. I highly, highly recommend it.
I'd also like to solicit suggestions for what show to embark on after this. I've only got a few episodes left in the series and I'm going to go into withdrawal if I don't have something else lined up right quick.
Other shows I've loved include Six Feet Under and Slings and Arrows. I tried Dexter and hated it (minxy sex kitten copette and misogynistic writing). Tried Lost and couldn't get past the first half of season one. Think I might be interested in Big Love.
I just really like having a 5 or 6-season show to be immersed in at any given time. I like spending that much time with the characters, to see where they go, where the story goes. It's like reading a nice, long, juicy novel, as opposed to a short story.
I can't wait for Treme to come out (by the same makers of The Wire, but set in post-Katrina New Orleans).
Anyone else have a series they love?