Nothing crushes ambition and productivity quite like receiving the fifth season of The Wire from Netflix. If you haven’t seen any of it, I envy you. Your future could potentially have that many more enjoyable hours. I’d like to forget the whole series and start all over again.
I tore through every season of the Sopranos — excellent writing, superb acting, great end to the series. I’ve watched the entire run of Deadwood twice, and own all three seasons so I can watch it again someday. But I don’t think there has ever been a better work of fiction or non-fiction that portrays the problems of modern urban life than The Wire. The schools, the streets, City Hall, the media and the police all take their lumps, and the answers are as elusive as they are in real life. Every character is multidimensional, all motives are suspect and every time hope is extinguished somewhere in the streets of Baltimore, a little spark reignites down the block.
I’m not even going to talk about the plot — there are a thousand plots in The Wire, hundreds of characters, dozens of themes, a single consistent voice in the series. We’re all in this together, and somehow, life goes on.