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The Wire

The Wire poster
Air weekdate: Sunday
Genre: Crime, Drama
Channel: HBO
Status: Ended
9.5 (230 votes)
Dominic West Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty
Michael Kenneth Williams Michael Kenneth Williams as Omar Little
Wendell Pierce Wendell Pierce as Det. William 'Bunk' Moreland
Idris Elba Idris Elba as Stringer Bell
Sonja Sohn Sonja Sohn as Det. Shakima 'Kima' Greggs
Aidan Gillen Aidan Gillen as Councilman Thomas 'Tommy' Carcetti
Al Brown Al Brown as Dep. Comm. for Administration Stanislaus Valchek
Amy Ryan Amy Ryan as Officer Beatrice "Beadie" Russell
Andre Royo Andre Royo as Bubbles
Anwan Glover Anwan Glover as Slim Charles

Unlike most television crime dramas, which neatly introduce and then solve a case all in the space of one hour, HBO's THE WIRE follows one single drug and homicide investigation throughout the length of an entire season. Centered on the drug culture of inner-city Baltimore, the series' storyline unfolds from the points of view of both the criminals lording the streets and the police officers determined to bring them down.

The Wire season 1

The Wire season 1 poster

Police drama tells about one of the most criminal of U.S. cities – Baltimore, Maryland. Drugs, murder, cruelty and destroyed destinies prevail in this city. Baltimore police unit tries to use special tools for the wiretapping and hidden video brought to investigating crimes of organized criminal groups involved in illicit drug trafficking. Also, detectives have to deal with corruption and political motives own superiors.

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The Wire season 2

The Wire season 2 poster

The second season, along with its ongoing examination of the drug problem and it’s effect on the urban poor, examines the plight of the blue-collar urban working class as exemplified by stevedores in the city port, as some of them get caught up in smuggling drugs and other contraband inside the shipping containers that pass through their port. In a season-long subplot, the Barksdale organization continues it’s drug trafficking despite Avon’s imprisonment, with Stringer Bell assuming greater power.

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The Wire season 3

The Wire season 3 poster

In the third season, the focus returns to the street and the Barksdale organization. The scope, however, is expanded to include the city’s political scene. A new subplot is introduced to explore the potential positive effects of de facto “legalizing” the illegal drug trade, and incidentally prostitution, within the limited boundaries of a few uninhabited city blocks — referred to as Hamsterdam. The posited benefits, as in Amsterdam and other European cities, are reduced street crime city-wide and increased outreach of health and social services to at-risk populations.

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The Wire season 4

The Wire season 4 poster

The fourth season expanded its scope again to include an examination of the school system. Other major plots include the mayoral race that continues the political storyline begun in season three, and a closer look at Marlo Stanfield’s drug gang, which has grown to control most of western Baltimore’s trafficking. Dukie, Randy, Michael, and Namond, four boys from West Baltimore, they enter the eighth grade. At the same school, Prez has begun a new career as a math teacher. Despite mentorship from the more seasoned faculty, Namond, and later Michael, work as drug runners for Bodie, who has had middling success selling Proposition Joe’s product independently.

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The Wire season 5

The Wire season 5 poster

The fifth season focuses on the media and media consumption. The show features a fictional depiction of the newspaper The Baltimore Sun, and in fact elements of the plot are ripped-from-the-headlines events (such as the Jayson Blair New York Times scandal) and people at the Sun. The season deals with “what stories get told and what don’t and why it is that things stay the same.” Issues such as the quest for profit, the decrease in the number of reporters, and the end of aspiration for news quality would all be addressed, alongside the theme of homelessness.

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