The Wire is one of those programmes where the increasing number of people who seem to passionately recommend it are simply not wrong. For buried underneath a mountain of praise, and talk of it being one of the finest television shows of all time, is a staggering piece of work, one that slowly but surely takes a look at the many facets of the drugs trade, centred in the city of Baltimore.
Series by series, we spend time with the cops, the dealers, the media, local politicians, the education system and more, as The Wire gives each careful treatment, and a three-dimensional portrayal. It also paints a picture of a city in real trouble, with Baltimore one of The Wire’s uncredited stars. But where the show really delivers is in the characters it creates and moulds, and the very real troubles and challenges each of them must face. The show’s detailed strokes are even more compelling than the broader picture it paints.
Enhanced by a series of non-showy performances in front of the camera, and some immaculate writing behind, The Wire really is that proverbial real deal. It’s genuinely unpredictable (characters of all sizes find themselves ruthlessly bumped off when you least expect them to), fearless in its tackling of certain subjects, and is that very masterpiece that an increasing army of champions of The Wire suggest it is. The five series contained here are genuinely American television at its very finest, right through to the final scene. Mesmerising television. --Simon Brew
Note: This DVD is designed to be played at an aspect ratio of 4:3.
The Wire Complete Box Set comes packaged in a black sleeve featuring all 60 episodes re-mastered on 24 discs. With special features including audio commentaries with writer/creator David Simon, director Clarke Johnson and writer George Pelacanos, Q&A sessions with the cast and crew and an hour long "behind the scenes" documentary.
One of television's most critically acclaimed programmes, The Wire addresses the seedy side of Baltimore’s finest looking into money, drugs, politics and murder. Told from the point of view of both the police and their targets, the series captures a universe of subterfuge and surveillance, where easy distinctions between good and evil, and crime and punishment, are challenged at every turn. A study on urban life in one of America’s toughest cities, each season of The Wire has focused on a different aspect of Baltimore, starting with the police force and the drug trade, then moving on to City Hall, the education system and concluding with the media.