Top 50 Shows - Number 2

Category: By Rev/Views

I had a really hard time working out the top two shows, I decided very quickly which ones they actually were. But I've struggled to decide which order they should be in. It's incredibly close between these two shows. I'll explain the thoughts behind my final decision tomorrow.

Here's the second best show I've ever watched.

2. The Wire (2002 - 2008)

Complete at 5 Seasons with 60 Episodes.

Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty
Wendell Pierce as 'Bunk' Moreland
Lance Reddick as Cedric Daniels
Deirdre Lovejoy as Rhonda Pearlman
Sonja Sohn as 'Kima' Greggs
Domenick Lombardozzi as 'Herc'
Seth Gilliam as Ellis Carver
Clarke Peters as Lester Freamon
Andre Royo as Bubbles
Michael K. Williams as Omar Little
Jim True-Frost as Roland 'Prez' Pryzblewski
J.D. Williams as 'Bodie' Williams
Wood Harris as Avon Barksdale
Idris Elba as Russel 'Stringer' Bell
Robert Wisdom as Howard 'Bunny' Colvin

"It's all in the game."

The Wire comes from the mind of David Simon, a name previously mentioned as the inspiration behind and one of the writers for 'Homicide: Life on the Street'. It has some things in similar, both shows are set in Baltimore, Maryland and are crime dramas. But The Wire takes a rather unique approach to the show, showing the lives of not just the cops but also the pushers, masterminds and users. This is a rather unique take on storytelling as it provides the view points of the protagonists and antagonists at the same time. The criminals the cops are chasing after become more than just 'the bad guys'. Some of them you come to appreciate and like, others you root for, some you just can't wait to see them get caught. It gives a great deal of depth to both sides of the law, giving you an insight into the why as well as the who.

The Wire is storytelling at it's finest, watching the show is like reading a classical novel, in fact Dickensian is often used to describe the show. Which is high praise indeed. The story opens when Detective Jimmy McNulty - an Irish cop with a stick up his ass and a hard on for the brass - gets irate about a major player named Avon Barksdale's acquittal from trial after the star witness retracts her testimony due to coercion. He proceeds to go behind his superior's backs and gets a judge to order up a detail to deal with this. McNulty doesn't play well with authority you see. McNulty turns out to be the rock that starts the avalance and the show rolls from there. But, it has plenty of twists, turns and suprises along the way.

The Wire is mainly about social issues in Baltimore, each season is driven by a driving topic that sets the theme. But it's the characters, dialog and their actions that really make the show so enjoyable. Every character is a fully developed being, reacting like a real person the way you'd expect them to. No other show has come so close to portaying real life, no other show has hit realism this perfectly, no other show rivals The Wire in these areas.

But, The Wire is a show that demands from it's audience. You can't sit down and watch the show without engaging in it. If you attempt to watch it passively you'll get confused, lost or possibly even angry with it. Many people fail to get past the first few episodes, which is the problem that stopped The Wire from hitting the number one spot. It's not a show that can be classed as 'light watching'. The average viewer of the show tends to be very different from the average television viewer. They can appreciate and enjoy the slower pace, they're able to understand that the show isn't going to explain everything to them and hold their hand through the plot. Instead they're going to have to understand what's going on and why themselves.

This isn't what everyone wants from a television show, but for those viewers who are willing to sit down and work at it they'll have that wonderfull moment where everything clicks, where they see the beauty and brilliance in the show, where they sit back and just suddenly go "Wow, why isn't more television like this?"

The Wire is an acquired taste for sure; but for those who get used to it, it's one of the best. Do yourself a huge favour and watch the entire first season. Don't judge the show before you've seen all of the first season, too many people do and as such they just don't get it.

It's well worth "getting". : 9.1
imdb: 9.7


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