The Wire (Season 1)

If the world were fair, The Wire should have got the high praise it rightfully deserves. This police-crime series created by David Simon centers around a dedicated team of police detectives trying to bust a drug distribution gang by using wiretaps in the city of Baltimore.

I have watched countless US-made TV series for 10+ years now, but none has depicted the gritty underside of an American city as well as The Wire does. David Simon is an author and a police reporter and the potent fusion of his experiences explodes onscreen in 1-hour episodes that are intelligent, thoroughly engaging and edge-of-the-seat gripping. The Indian viewer is pleasantly surprised to witness the sickening bureaucracy, politics, rivalry and skullduggery that seems to permeate the various departments of the police. The understaffed and overworked police force is not helped by the hurdles that corrupt politicians keep throwing at their work. At the other end of this cat-and-mouse game are the drug dealers. Despite being barely educated, they are able to maintain a well oiled and efficient drug distribution network. Structured much like a terrorist cell network, they communicates using simple codes transmitted over pagers and payphones. The formation of the police detective team and their discovery of the workings of the drug network form the meat of Season 1.

You are unlikely to spot any familiar face in The Wire. David Simon has woven a tapestry of deep and complex characters by drawing from a super-talented cast of no-name actors. Backed by excellent plot and dialogue, the African-American cast which play the drug dealers are especially memorable. I found the character D’Angelo Barksdale to be my favorite. The Wire (Season 1) is easily one of the finest creations made for TV. Do not miss it for the world! 🙂

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