Television really doesn’t come much better than this. Criminally ignored by far, far too many people, The Wire has proven itself to be that rarest of things: an intelligent, clever, character-driven show, that’s lasted more than one season.
This boxset brings together all the episodes from the maiden series of The Wire, spread across thirteen episodes. Yet those episodes, unlike many in the police genre where the show spends a good deal of its time, are dedicated to just one case. Furthermore, it follows both sides of the case. Thus, there’s the Baltimore police department, with its statistics to manage, its internal politics to manage and its chain of command to respect, set against a highly organised drug gang, who too have more than their fair share of problems.
The Wire is a slow burn show, taking time to delicate put its pieces in place. Rarely do you get a dramatic end to an episode, and it’s not afraid to humanise and blur the lines between good and bad. But, bluntly, there’s nothing--not even The Sopranos--that US TV has broadcast in the last ten years that can hold a torch to it. This first series is genuinely outstanding television, and really deserves your attention. And the good news? Excellent as it is, this first series isn’t even the best that The Wire has to offer…--Simon Brew