I think it is fair to say that The Wire is the best long-form drama that has ever broadcast on television. Tied for second place would be I, Clavdivs, Battlestar Galactica and, of course, The Sopranos.
Now, just because The Wire is the best, doesn’t mean it is the most fun to watch. I’d definitely put all three of the other shows mentioned ahead of The Wire for strict pleasurable entertainment. But no other show is as well crafted, well written, well acted. There are no loose ends, stray parts, underdeveloped storylines. The Sopranos is a free-for-all mess, compared to the tightly bound book that is The Wire.
Of all the Seasons, I think #4, with the young uns, got to me the most, although #3, with Hamsterdam, probably gave me most to think about. #2, with the Stevedores, was the closest this came to flat-out “entertainment.”
Season 5 gave me the most stress. I literally lost sleep over McNulty & Freamon’s serial killer ruse. Also, the further decline of Carcetti made me want to strangle someone. And while I would never call the place I work a news organization, finding the similarities between my place of employ and the shenanigans at the Sun did nothing to quell my acid reflux.
I’m so effing glad I’m done with this show. It’s an emotional roller coaster. Bubbles’ final meeting speech makes my eyes well-up just thinking about it. And don’t even get me started on Duquan. In the hole, in the hole, indeed.