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Lunch » Tags » Tv Shows » Reviews » The Wire: The Complete First Season » User review

Engrossing television -- rich characterizations, complex and exciting storytelling, strong visual sense

  • Dec 18, 2008
  • by
This is great stuff. I can't really add to what others have said here, except to say that this is definitely a series to watch. It's got everything you'd want from a crime drama like CSI, but much more. The characters are interesting: nobody fits an easy stereotype, and no one is simply a good guy or a bad guy. There are several overlapping story arcs, but they all fit together in a complex puzzle. There are hints of many much larger storylines that could be followed up on, but aren't -- it has the feel of a world, the world of Baltimore, unfolding on its own, and we happen to be given a glimpse of some of the interconnected lives of a few investigators and the ones they are investigating. But their lives are set against a backdrop of politicians, lawyers, a changing climate in America after 9/11, and much more.

I'd heard so many good things about this series but never had a chance to see it -- now that I've seen season one and am halfway through season two, I am hooked and will be watching through to the end. There's something about television done right that enables an experience you can't get from film -- stories that begin and end and of other stories that pick up where they leave off; a real sense of character growth that doesn't feel artificial, contrived to fit into a 2 hour window; also the feeling for continuity in character and places, of something unfolding over time. This is television done right, and it is rare and exciting to see it. Definitely a show to watch (if you aren't put off by the heavy language, some sexuality, heavy drug-related content, and violence - this is R rated television).

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More The Wire: The Complete First S... reviews
review by . October 11, 2006
Unlike the Amzon.com editorial review I don't think the wire hooks you after the first episode, actually I think it's like that with both the first and second season. The beginning episodes actually may turn some people off of it but you have to keep watching. Everybody starts out swearing way too much, I mean they can't go three regular words without swearing and your trying to figure out why the cast looks so dumb and why you can barely understand them. You have to push yourself through the first …
review by . May 05, 2005
I don't like to spend my time in front of the tv-set just to be entertained.   This series, which I was unable to watch over here in Europe before the dvd-set came out, is simply awesome. It doesn't want to entertain. It wants you to think of what our cities have become and what each and everyone of us could or should do to prevent it from getting worse.  The first set is about a drug-related murder case in Baltimore in which the police, while trying to solve it, discover a huge …
About the reviewer
Nathan Andersen ()
Ranked #68
I teach philosophy at Eckerd College, in Saint Petersburg, Florida.      I run an award-winning International Cinema series in Tampa Bay (www.eckerd.edu/ic), and am co-director of … more
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About this tv show


After one episode ofThe Wireyou'll be hooked. After three, you'll be astonished by the precision of its storytelling. After viewing all 13 episodes of the HBO series' remarkable first season, you'll be cheering a bona-fide American masterpiece. Series creator David Simon was a veteran crime reporter fromThe Baltimore Sunwho cowrote thebookthat inspired TV'sHomicide, and cowriter Ed Burns was a Baltimore cop, lending impeccable street-cred to an inner-city Baltimore saga (and companion piece toThe Corner) that Simon aptly describes as "a visual novel" and "a treatise on institutions and individuals" as opposed to a conventional good-vs.-evil police procedural. Owing a creative debt to the novels of Richard Price (especiallyClockers), the series opens as maverick Detective Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West, in a star-making role) is tapping into a vast network of drugs and death around southwest Baltimore's deteriorating housing projects. With a mandate to get results ASAP, a haphazard team is assembled to join McNulty's increasingly complex investigation, built upon countless hours of electronic surveillance.

The show's split-perspective plotting is so richly layered, so breathtakingly authentic and based on finely drawn characters brought to life by a perfect ensemble cast, that it defies concise description. Simon, Burns, and their cowriters control every intricate aspect of the unfolding epic; directors are top-drawer (including Clark Johnson, helmer of The Shield's finest ...

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Genre: Television, Drama
Studio: HBO Home Video
DVD Release Date: October 12, 2004

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