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Rinaldo

Comparing the Seasons: Ain't No Nostalgia to This Shit Here

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Which season do you think was best? Each has its own flavor, and of course its own rendition of "Down in the Hole" during the credits.

Or were they all equally good for you?

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Responding to my own question:

For me, all five seasons were of high quality; it never really had a slump. But if I must rank them, the fifth & last comes off weakest. Not because of McNulty's crazy scheme -- it's out there, but so were Hamsterdam and other season stories, and it has its serious consequences that aren't shrugged off. But the newspaper stuff just wasn't as fully imagined and nuanced as the "worlds" for the other seasons. Those characters weren't as rich or surprising as the dockmen or the students had been when they were introduced in seasons 2 and 4, and their stories seemed contrived for more simplistic "lessons" about how the world is changing, rather than unfolding in an illusion of reality. And I don't think (contrary to a reason I see sometimes given) that this is fallout from a shorter-than-usual season; it wasn't that much shorter in terms of time, and the time just wasn't filled as interestingly or completely. Still, it's all relative: there was still a lot that was top-quality Wire in this last year, the structure held up, and the final episode (including the last and best of the summation montages) brought it home beautifully. No complaints here.

My favorite? Hard to choose between 1 (it got me started, and induced that first amazement at the scope of what I was experiencing) and 4 (what a risk, to entrust your new story to four kids, and how stunningly well it paid off). Make it a tie. 

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While I didn't get to watch the show in real time (I'm so sorry, David Simon!), my husband and I enjoyed slow-binge-watching this top-notch quality drama over a four-month period. 

Where to begin?  I don't think a TV show has ever made me cry as hard as the fourth season finale did.  I came to care so much for all the characters, especially the kids, that what happened to Randy, Michael, and Duquan broke my heart.  To take four unknown child actors and let them develop and evolve organically was a very gutsy move on TPTB's part.  What a satisfying payoff they got in the end!  So, yes, season 4 I rank highest.

I may be in the minority here, but I was thoroughly mesmerized by the characters of season 2 as well.  It took time at first to get used to the environment/characters so different from those in season 1, but once I got into it, it felt magical.  I also like how self-contained the season is.

Seasons 1 and 3 are about the same for me, what with the focus on the Barksdale/Stanfield organizations.

Season 5 was not as bad as some have made it out to be.  I'd braced for much worse, so I was pleasantly surprised.  The crazy plots did not bother me one bit (as Rinaldo says above, Hamsterdam was equally outrageous), but the Baltimore Sun storyline didn't seem as nuanced as some others, perhaps because Simon himself has admitted to the fact that he felt very strongly about the subject matter.  But the final montage just about makes up for whatever was lacking in season 5.  I don't think I'd ever seen, nor will I ever see as satisfying a finale as The Wire's.

So it's season 4, 2, 3=1, and 5 -- in that order -- for me.  I'd love to hear what everyone else has to say!

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I'll mention (expanding on something Ujio said) that while I'm not really someone who cries at TV or movies -- I may be thoroughly affected, but it just doesn't manifest that way -- there are two scenes in The Wire that invariably make me cry, even if I'm just talking (or even thinking hard) about them. One is sad, one joyful.

The first one: Randy's reaction to Sgt. Carver in the hospital. I just wasn't ready for that. (It hits me so hard, I will sometimes watch Suburgatory now, just to see Maestro Harrell playing someone happy and prosperous. I think, he made it after all!! Yes, I'm a dork.)

And on the flip side: Bubbles nonchalantly loping up the basement stairs to join his family at dinner. (The tears are coming even as I type this.) That, my friends, is five seasons of groundwork and development paying off profoundly.

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As a teacher and a mother, season 4 was brilliant, compelling and very thought provoking. I also loved season 2 Ujio - watching it so much later, I knew a couple of the key players from other shows (Andy Bellefleur! Pornstache!) but completely forgot that and became engrossed in their world. Season 5 wasn't as much of a problem for me as it was for others, perhaps because I wasn't aware that it wasn't received that well at the time.

So for me 4, 2, 3, 5, 1. But seriously, I loved them all. I regret taking so long to watch but doubt I would have appreciated it as much back in the day.

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For me it is absolutely Season 2.  I am thrilled to see it mentioned as a favorite on here because normally people cite it as tied with Season 5 as the worst.  I don't know why this one resonated as much as it did, but the dockworkers were just such fully formed characters.  They were struggling, working class people that I recognized from the sort of economically depressed area I grew up in (though as far as I know, the people in my town never got tangentially involved in white slavery!).  As much as I loved the Barksdale crew, their background was never anything I felt like a could relate to as it was just so far outside of what I have known. 

I know none of this probably make sense, but trust me, it does in my head :)

Edited by ChlcGirl
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As much as I wish I, too, could say I watched it in The Day, I've caught up with it a few years ago during an unemployment stint & marathoned through all seasons, gobbling them up. Now that I've rewatched 'em a number of times, #1 is still great and really holds up well: police be police and gangstas be runnin. When I first watched #2, I really didn't like it: too foreign-to-me and too few characters seemed redeeming, but now? It's my second-fav season. I'm not down with 3-5; sorry to say I felt the school situation took us too far away from the known elements for my liking and the political stuff is not my bag. That said, I'd take it over just about any other show, any season, any day. 

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It would take me too long to decide which season is my favorite. I can safely say Season 5 wasn't it.

Just chimed in to co- sign on Middle Ground being one of the best episodes. It has my favorite scene with Stringer and Avon on the balcony together for the last time. Both know they betrayed the other and you can feel the uneasiness and maybe shame between them. They both did what they felt they had to do but damned if it didnt sting a bit.

It's just business. "Us"

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My most favorite show ever and I am proud to say that I watched it from Day 1 and drug many friends/family and coworkers into my obsession. To this day, I will stop everything and lecture how The Wire was the greatest television show ever made. I even did a driving tour of shooting locations that I researched and put together in my GPS (I DO NOT recommend this, nor do the police of Baltimore ;) ).

 

I almost feel like saying which season was my favorite is like picking my favorite child but I can say I will forever love Season 1 for completely getting me hooked on a cop/drug dealer show. I know a few cops who are less than perfect so I thought it was brave that they were showing the cops with warts and all. The parallel between the two worlds boggles the mind because we live in a world of good guys and bad guys in most tv shows.

 

Also, season 1 was a huge season for my boy Bodie... forever my favorite character. I nicknamed my dog after him. My heart broke for him because he was someone I could know, someone that did bad things but wasn't a bad person.

 

Season 2... this is when I drug my husband into my madness. He was like, "What are you watching?" probably bc I don't seem like a docks-loving kind of girl yet here I was glued to this story. Lots of people dissed season 2 and I think I understand why... they were expecting season 2 to pick up where season one left off. So was I.. that's how TV generally works. But suddenly we had all of these new people and barely saw Barksdale's crew it felt like and people resisted. We didn't realize at the time that DS was telling a story not just about cops and dealers but about the decline of a great American city. In the full series, it fits in perfectly but at the time it was a jarring departure. And anyway, without it we wouldn't know Ziggy, or his duck or so many other great characters. (Fun fact: Boris likes my dog pictures on Twitter!)

 

Can't hate any season with the kids because OMG, what amazing acting (from kids!) and what heartbreaking stories. I know some inner city teachers and the struggle is real. Maybe the newspaper people could have been better fleshed out. I really didn't have anyone to root for or against in that bunch but they told an interesting facet of the story. And as a designer, the whole "Print is dead" thing hits home. I guess I would say they were the weakest arc but The Wire's weakest arc is better than most show's strongest ones.

 

The politicians storyline was needed. Everything in the series begs the question, "Why doesn't anyone help these people?" but then you see that the world of politics was just as flawed, filled with just as many "bad guys" as the other institutions. And then you kind of realize why great cities run into the ground. There's a cancer in the whole of the city.

 

Omar and Bubbles... what can you say? Amazing characters that made you think IMO. Omar was a bad guy, no doubt, but we rooted for him. Bubbles was a bum, but OMG how your heart breaks for his fight for a better life, again and again.

 

Marlo and his crew came in at the end and went up against our OGs from the Barksdale crew and brought a whole new side to the story. And great characters like Snoop.

 

Dammmnnnn, I miss good tv!

Edited by Dougal · Reason: Added linebreaks between paragraphs for legibility.
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For me, all five seasons were of high quality; it never really had a slump. But if I must rank them, the fifth & last comes off weakest. Not because of McNulty's crazy scheme -- it's out there, but so were Hamsterdam and other season stories, and it has its serious consequences that aren't shrugged off. But the newspaper stuff just wasn't as fully imagined and nuanced as the "worlds" for the other seasons. Those characters weren't as rich or surprising as the dockmen or the students had been when they were introduced in seasons 2 and 4, and their stories seemed contrived for more simplistic "lessons" about how the world is changing, rather than unfolding in an illusion of reality. 

I had the same problem with season 5 and the newspaper people I mean David Simon always talked about how one of the major themes of the show was how generally good people who were good at their job would get screwed over by their system, as if the system was some kind of Greek god. With most of the characters (McNulty, Bunk, Lester, Sobotka, Bunny, teacher Prez hell even Carcetti) they actually showed you how they were good at their jobs. But with the guys at the newspaper they just kept telling you how Gus and the other old timers were great newspaper men without actually showing.

 

Plus I swear if Gus spent half of the time he spent complaining about management or trying to bust Templeton's fake story, actually doing his job (helping gather stories, or training the young reporters to take over once the old ones were gone) then the Baltimore Sun of the show would have probably been an awesome paper. Hell maybe he wouldn't have missed all the huge local stories if he had spent more time doing his job. I mean the fact that they didn't cover Omar's death to me is a huge sign. Even if you totally eliminate who Omar was, the fact that a little kid shoots and murders an adult in a store, in front of witnesses in broad daylight  and it doesn't make the newspaper seems like a huge error to me. I mean even in Baltimore that has to be news.

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Season Four emerged as my favorite, which I found surprising because I enjoyed the Barksdale storyline played out in Seasons 1-3.   But the Season Four finale cinched it.   They probably should have ended the series right there. 

 

I feel we got short shrift in Season 5, literally because the season was two episodes shorter than previous seasons, but also because I feel the show cut corners on storytelling to pursue David Simon's vendetta against the Baltimore Sun.   The McNulty fake serial killer storyline stretched credibility and stole its resolution from the movie Night Shift, just as I suspected it would (Night Shift spoiler follows).   No way were McNulty and Lester going to jail.

 

In Night Shift, city morgue workers Henry Winkler and Michael Keaton run an escort service out of the morgue; they get caught, but the whole affair is buried by a mayor trying to avoid an embarrassment in an election year.

 

Season 5 also disappointed me because it dragged Jimmy McNulty back into the gutter again.   When we left off in Season 4, he was in a good place.   To go from there to drunkenly balling a whore on the hood of a car in the space of just a few episodes seems cheap. 

 

That's not to say Season 5 didn't have memorable moments.   McNulty's phone call as the fake serial killer was extremely funny.    The idea of entombing the bodies of Marlo's hits in the vacant houses was chilling.   I still smile when I think of Kima sitting on her window ledge, reciting the Bawlmer version of Good Night, Moon ("Good night po-po's, good night hoppers, good night scammers ...).  And Bugs wasn't the only one tearing up as he, Michael and Dukie had to say goodbye to the little family they'd made. 

 

Regarding Omar, I will say only this: having him shot from behind by a child was a vile Kenard.

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I love the show as a whole (Season 5 being my least favorite, but it contains my favorite scene in the entire series...Bubbles got to go upstairs *tear*), but for me Season 4 is the most re-watchable. The first 3 seasons for me took some time to really get into the storyline. Season 4, I was sucked in from jump. The kids were awesome, and Bodie somehow wormed his way into my heart (then got blown away).

Edited by spaceytraci1208
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It's my favorite series of all time, and I loved all the seasons, but I would go with 3-4-1-2-5 if pressed. I think of 5 as a coda of sorts, all the other seasons being fully worked out movements. I enjoy 5 as a wrapping-up of stories we had lived with for a long time -- Bubbles, McNulty/Beadie, Omar , all the rest-- more than I do for the elements that were entirely new. But those were not that bad, and we did get McNulty's Quantico profliing, Lester being totally on board with the serial-killer fraud, and other great moments out of those stories. I also appreciated callbacks such as the reappearance of a couple of characters from the dock story of three seasons earlier, even more worn down by the years. And of course, the saga of Deedee came full circle (from upscale-restaurant hostess to nervous Hamsterdam first-timer to cigarette-buying hooker to recovering addict). The show just could no longer better its own highs; it was still damn fine television. I wish it had gone on another year. That proposed "immigration-themed season" might have been fascinating.  

 

Favorite theme songs are a little different: 3-2-5-1-4. I wish I had a full recording of the Neville Brothers' version; I love its swampy, rattling ambiance. Following that, I have to give it up for the author, even though Waits's vocal approach is not for everyone. Earle's cover is "cool," in the laid-back, easy sense, and it's nice to hear it from a real cast member. The one by the Blind Boys seemed great until I heard the later ones. I liked the idea of having actual Baltimore youth performing the one for a youth-themed season, but I didn't think the result was very good. It's the only one I always skipped after the first episode when I watched the series on DVD.  

Edited by Simon Boccanegra
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And of course, the saga of Deedee came full circle (from upscale-restaurant hostess to nervous Hamsterdam first-timer to cigarette-buying hooker to recovering addict).

Wow! I have seen this series at least a billion times and I remember each time we visit DeeDee except as a hostess?? Was that when D'Angelo and Brianna go to the harbor? Now I gave to go rewatch the first season.

Good eye!

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Oops, I may be wrong. I only see the later three episodes on the actress's IMDb credits, as well as on the character's Wire Wiki page. That was the scene I was thinking of, though. Is she in "The Pager," uncredited? I have not seen S1 in some time, and I'm afraid if I pop the DVD in, the only employee they interact with at the restaurant will be a 40-year-old man.  

 

Whether we saw her three or four times, though, it was still a touch I liked, because it worked whether you were noticing and thinking of the scenes as linked up or not.  

Edited by Simon Boccanegra

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Also, season 1 was a huge season for my boy Bodie... forever my favorite character.

 

Mine too.  He ties the show together for me, even more than Bubs.  He seemed so aware -- like he was thinking and learning, adapting. 

 

I rank the series 2, 3, 1, 4, 5. 

 

I didn't watch in real time either, until season five.  We had HBO when the series started, and flipping channels I tuned in on a scene with Kima and Cheryl.  I rolled my eyes and thought "Okay HBO, another sex-filled edgy show, I get it, never mind." 

 

I don't remember why I gave it another try.  Might have been all the good reviews -- it certainly wasn't awards, because the show never got any.  Anyway, I put the S1 DVD on my Amazon wish list and one of my kids got it for me.  That hooked me, that first scene with McNulty and the dead Snotboogie, and the kid saying "This America man." 

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Might have been all the good reviews -- it certainly wasn't awards, because the show never got any. 

 

Did anyone else catch the Parks and Recreation this season where  they visit the William Henry Harrison museum? In the exhibit titled If William Henry Harrison had worn a coat [and not subsequently died of pneumonia one month into his presidency] the museum imagines how the world would have been different [and, presumably, better] ... and they show a what-if newspaper headline that ran THE WIRE SWEEPS THE EMMYS. Cracked me up.

 

ETA: Found a screen shot. Scroll down the page a bit.

Edited by Reishe
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Did anyone else catch the Parks and Recreation this season where  they visit the William Henry Harrison museum? In the exhibit titled If William Henry Harrison had worn a coat [and not subsequently died of pneumonia one month into his presidency] the museum imagines how the world would have been different [and, presumably, better] ... and they show a what-if newspaper headline that ran THE WIRE SWEEPS THE EMMYS. Cracked me up.

 

I watch Parks and Rec.  How did I miss that??  I finished my first watch of The Wire last month.  Season 4 is definitely my favorite.  Second favorite would be season 1 because it drew me into the Wire world.  I'm equally divided on 3 and 5.  My least favorite story was the docks in season 2.  I wasn't that invested in the dock characters, but there was still plenty to love about season 2.  

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I'd probably say 1-4-3-2-5, with 5 falling way short of the others.

The serial killer scheme was a bit out there, but I had a bigger problem with what I thought were other unrealistic plot points.

1) I had a hard time believing the Greek would be willing to work with Marlo. Too much risk dealing with a punk like him.

2) I didn't buy that the New Day Co-op members didn't just kill Marlo somewhere along the way.

3) I didn't buy that Beadie put up with McNulty's crap for so long.

4) The whole resolution to Lester's Levy recording was absurd. Levy had no cards at all. Rhonda had him dead to rights. His extortion charges against her were bull as she had him on tape and all he had was his totally worthless word against hers. He would have thrown Marlo and his entire crew under the bus.

5) I don't believe for a minute that Kima would rat out McNulty and Lester.

6) While I liked the resolution of it, I thought Snoop was way too transparent in her plot against Michael. "Don't bring your gun." Yeah, that's not suspicious at all.

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I don't disagree much with that ranking, and I do think that season 5 falls short (though not, to split hairs, "way short") of the others -- but my reservations are mostly about the relatively one-dimensional treatment of the press as the season's thematic spine, far less nuanced than what we saw about politics and education and attempts at reform in earlier seasons. There's a case to be made against what journalism is becoming or has become, but it's not exactly "people make up stuff and nobody cares." As to the list of points, I might go along with some, but not

 

3) I didn't buy that Beadie put up with McNulty's crap for so long.

5) I don't believe for a minute that Kima would rat out McNulty and Lester.

Those both seemed just right to me. People do put up with a lot -- sometimes too much, of course -- from people they've made a commitment to. I know it was partly just a real-life practicality issue that kept Beadie mostly offscreen (Amy Ryan's availability was limited), but this tracked with what I see in life. People don't behave in model ways; goodness knows we see enough evidence of that in other plot lines on this series. 

 

And Kima turning in McNulty and Lester... that was what redeemed the whole fake-serial-killer plot line for me, and I was silently begging her to do it when she found out. Some have objected to Lester throwing his lot in with McNulty on this (the "out of character" complaint), but I bought that someone who'd been around and seen as much bureaucratic senselessness as Lester had over the years, and who was within sight of his pension, would just think the hell with it and go all in. But not everyone would, however fond of them she might be in general. The pair were in fact betraying their public trust (they knew it), and somebody had to say so. Even McNulty agreed in the end. 

Edited by Rinaldo
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5) I don't believe for a minute that Kima would rat out McNulty and Lester.

 

I didn't like that either, but I think the writers had tried to establish her as a by-the-book detective.  In S1, after she was shot, she refused to finger her shooter.  Bunk pointed to the guy they knew had shot her, but she hadn't gotten a good look at the guy.  She had to do it "the hard way".  There were a couple of other hints too, but they've escaped me now. 

 

 

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I didn't like that either, but I think the writers had tried to establish her as a by-the-book detective. In S1, after she was shot, she refused to finger her shooter. Bunk pointed to the guy they knew had shot her, but she hadn't gotten a good look at the guy. She had to do it "the hard way". There were a couple of other hints too, but they've escaped me now.

Good point about Kima and the photo array. Still, I think ratting on 2 fellow officers, especially ones she was close to, is a very, different thing and something she would never do.

Maybe she was getting even with Jimmy for sending her to Ikea. :)

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But the newspaper stuff just wasn't as fully imagined and nuanced as the "worlds" for the other seasons. Those characters weren't as rich or surprising as the dockmen or the students had been when they were introduced in seasons 2 and 4, and their stories seemed contrived for more simplistic "lessons" about how the world is changing, rather than unfolding in an illusion of reality.

I just finished a full re-watch and I've been thinking on this as well. And I agree that the weak pillar here was the newspaper arc. I think Simon was too close to this one; as much as I liked Gus, he ended up being a Mary Sue--did this guy have any flaws? Or were we just not given enough of his story to discover them? I agree that the Sun cast of characters didn't feel three-dimensional, and I never felt the weight of the pressure on Scotty to fabricate in the same way I felt the weight on Frank Sabotka or Michael or Dennis or Carcetti. And we knew just what the school principal and superintendent, Rawls and Burrell and Daniels and, heaven help me, even Valchek were up against--they had the mayor et al, the hierarchy making inhuman demands on them, and the sh#t rolled downhill from there; I just never got that feeling about the cardboard, self-deluded management at the Sun.

That said, the whole concept of a newspaper as a setting for the drama is harder to portray. It's harder to delve into the work of writing in a visual medium, when half the job is researching and writing. Also, the newspaper is no longer the monolithic source of information that it used to be; already by the time The Wire aired people were getting information from tv and the emerging internet, so the idea that the media was one of the institutions caught up by/responsible for/failing the public about the city's collapse would probably have been better served by focusing on the local tv news station.

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I feel as though I've walked on coals or something, now that I've finished the series and can look in on this discussion.  Great to see so many different opinions.

 

I would say 1-4-2-5-3.  

 

Starting at the bottom: Season 3 did not grab me.  I simply wasn't interested in Stringer's business (except for the way he ran the meetings in the funeral home).  I never bought into Avon's easy return, nor was I invested in Cutty's homecoming and his turning over a new leaf.  Carcetti was minor and an annoyance, and as much as I liked Bunny and the subplot of Hamsterdam, I couldn't take that plot seriously.  From the moment Hamsterdam began, I was waiting for it to topple over and take people with it.

 

Season 5: I definitely agree, the newspaper characters were basically one-dimensional and, aside from Gus, I thought the actors were several levels below Wire standards.  I'd disagree that even the worst Wire is better than other shows.  As far as the news side goes, I feel like I've seen better (performances) on many, many other tv shows.  

 

However, I enjoyed the intricate plotting and, let's face it, I loved seeing all the old faces as the stories tied up (implausibly) on the police and government side, more plausibly on the DA and drug dealers' side.  After a couple of seasons' break, the players in the drug world finally became interesting again.  My absolute favorite part of S5 was when the one guy shot the other guy (!!), while they were trying to raise the money to buy Marlo's connect, and it was for no other reason except in retaliation for Proposition Joe.  And then, this guy I'd never seen before starts to complain about the money that was lost.  I never saw any of that coming, and it was a great little summation of the drug world.  These pieces were enough to put Season 5 over Season 3, for me.

 

Season 1 blew my mind: I have to rank it first.  I liked Season 2 a lot, after I got used to it.  In terms of storytelling, I think Seasons 1 and 2 are in a different league than the rest.

 

I have very mixed feelings about Season 4.  The kids' and Prez's performances were excellent throughout. I really enjoyed them, and I think the chemistry between this particular teacher and these particular students was outstanding  That part of the story was very well acted.  However, all the underlying themes of the school setting were almost too consistent and coherent ... and expected.  So, while I loved a lot of Season 4, it didn't have anywhere near the same impact as Season 1, 

 

Season 4 also had the vacants story working against it, in some sense.  I thought it was a great story.  But I couldn't exactly enjoy it, because it was filled with so many horrifying moments.  Also, aside from Snoop, (who provided many of those horrifying moments), the main characters (Marlo and Chris) seemed super bland.  

 

On the positive side again, Season 4 had Bubbles and Prez and Carver really shining individually, plus all the fine young talent.  Bravo, and that is what gives Season 4 the edge over Season 2 (which I really liked, but have discussed elsewhere).  

 

Unlike most other shows which, when I'm done with them, I'm done, I can imagine re-watching the entire series of The Wire, and soon-ish.  I think I will enjoy ranking and re-ranking aspects of this show for a long time to come.

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I loved all the seasons.  I especially liked Season 2 with the Sobotkas and the Greek.  Season 3 and Stringer Bell, and Good Lord, Hamsterdam.  Season 1 just for the detailed examination of the police work and the wire tapping.  Season 4 obviously had the most heart with the school story arc.  Just finished season 5 and I thought it was great.  I had read a lot that it wasn't quite as good as the other seasons but I thought it was very strong.  Because they had two fewer episodes they couldn't meander off into a lot of side arcs on characters' lives, but having just the ten made it much more tightly focused.  There was never a dull moment or a wasted scene. The corruption in The Sun very much mirrored the corruption in the police department and the school system, with the editors sweeping Templeton's obviously phony reporting under the rug and demoting those who tried to expose it because the paper was losing money and Templeton's stories were increasing circulation.  Much like the police department falsifying crime stats and the school system manipulating test scores.  I also thought they did a great job of bringing closure to the many characters while at the same time tying together many of the show's themes.  In the final scenes, you can see the whole cycle starting all over again, both on the streets, in the police department, and in the political arena, just with different players or older players in new roles.  It wasn't the epic western showdown finish of Breaking Bad or the make a grown man cry finale of Six Feet Under, but it was a great end to a tremendous series.

Edited by Dobian
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Here's a question - whose stories (by which I probably mean character evolution, but you might mean something different) did you like best?
 

Mine would be (in order):

 

1) Bubbles

2) Michael

3) D'Angelo

4) Prez

5) Carter

 

with honorary mentions for Lieutenant Daniels and Kima.  And maybe even Herc (although I didn't like where he started or ended up).

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The characters I was always happy to spend time with:

 

1.  Bubbles

2.  Bodie

3.  Omar

4.  Frank Sobotka

5.  Lester

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Just finished the series. It's pretty clear from reading the posts ( and my complete love of the series ) a t least one more go round is required. I don't know if it was the best season, but season 4 affected me the most.

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I just finished binging this today, and I've gotta say, there are few shows that I was  so sad to see come to an end.   My son binged it last year and raved about it, so I put it on my to-watch list and finally got around to it.  It took me about a month to get through season 1, and while I thought it was decent, I didn't see the fuss, but then about halfway through season 2, something captured me, and I watched all the remaining episodes in under a month.  Most of the characters were so well developed and richly portrayed. 

 

I was largely unfamiliar with most of the actors, but I did recognize a few from Oz and a couple others from elsewhere, but Aiden Gillian really surprised me.  I only knew him as Littlefinger on Game of Thrones, and I was amazed at his range.  I don't think I would have recognized him as being the same actor if I hadn't seen his name in the credits (I especially loved his scene when he found out the homeless serial killer was fake). 

 

So many thoughts about this show and these actors, but most of these have already been posted, so no need to be redundant.  My favorite seasons in order would be 4, 2, 3, 1 and 5, but I definitely liked them all without hesitation.

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So many thoughts about this show and these actors, but most of these have already been posted, so no need to be redundant.

Oh, go ahead, feel free to add your comments!  I doubt they will be redundant, and even if they were, I'd be happy to read them.

 

Just finished the series. It's pretty clear from reading the posts ( and my complete love of the series ) a t least one more go round is required.

Please post when you get around to a rewatch!  One thing that's nice about this show is I have no doubts that it will be as powerful (and, unfortunately, as relevant), if I rewatch the show in 1, 10, or 25 years.  I don't think I've ever finished another show and thought, "so many of those characters were so human".

 

I think, if I rewatched, I'd try to pay more attention to the ways the stories are written.  Although I probably would forget and be blown away by the acting again, instead.

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I love The Wire one of my all time favorite shows.

My seasons being ranked from favorite to least would be 1-3-2-4-5

I loved the first season because it was about the Barksdale crew they were my favorites on the show excluding String and I liked the police.

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All 5 seasons are beyond exceptional, which is a rare thing with TV drama these days. 

Have only just completed the show for a 2nd time, and will no doubt complete a 3rd before the year is out. It is hugely infectious, and given the subject matter for each season, coupled with the vast array of characters in each in each, it is incredibly difficult to give a judgement on which season is best.

However, for the moment at least, I would put season 1 first, primarily because it sets the foundations for the entire Wire Empire: the characters, the environment, the city itself, the despair, the senseless deaths and violence et al. This is a season that gives fair warning to its viewings that this show is not like your happy-clappy formulaic network crime shows. 

Next up for me, was season 3, and the politics, the money, the power, the influence and all that corruption! Season 1 focused mostly on the drugs; season 3 focused on the money, and I loved every episode!

Next would be season 2. Not everyone's favourite, and was always going to be difficult to continue from the excellence of S1.  I guess a lot of viewers were expecting a direct continuation of S1, and truth it does; but the emphasis is shifted to ordinary working class people, while the gangster story arc was put on the back burner, even though it was still interlinked.

Season 4, is next on my list. The school kids and teacher storyline was awesome, but for whatever reason I wasn't bowled over with some of the writing. 

The much maligned S5 - I found it difficult to have any empathy with the journalists. As McNulty once said in S1 "You're just a bunch of empty suits!" And that's more or less how I felt about the reporters in 5. And neither did I like McNulty seemingly going off the rails with some crazy serial killer case.

On its own S5 is brilliant; but compare it to the other seasons, it just falls short of true greatness. 

I suspect my choices will change the next time I do a Wire marathon :)

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