I’ve written a blog about binge-watching before, and I’ve embarked upon another marathon. This time, my choice is The Wire. Although it never won any major TV awards (a la The Sopranos or Breaking Bad) and it pulled only so-so ratings, I’ve seen it appear over and over again on critics’ Top TV Shows EVER Lists.
The series aired from 2002-2008, and I wasn’t watching much TV at that time. I remember a few friends talking about it—how it rang with authenticity and great plotting and incredible acting.. I Googled and found it was created and most of the shows were written by an author who was a former police reporter, David Simon. That interested me quite a bit. I’d also discovered actor Idris Elba in Luther and knew he was in it, so I put watching The Wire on my rather lengthy To Do List.
Then HBO decided to make it simple for me. Starting Christmas Day, it aired all 5 seasons—1 season a day, 5 days in a row. So my DVR had 60 hours stacked up on it in the blink of an eye. I figured this was a good time of year to start since so many repeats are on at the moment.
I’d heard each season features a different aspect of Baltimore, and Season 1 focused on the illegal drug trade. I’ll admit it was confusing at first. The cast is huge (think Game of Thrones), and the viewer is dropped into the middle of things with little explanation. Many of the actors are character actors whom you don’t recognize, so it’s not like you can keep track and think, “Oh, the big drug lord is Johnny Depp and the corrupt cop is Denzel Washington and the ADA is Julia Roberts.” Nope, you have to stick with it.
I found it to be like peeling layers of an onion. It was so complex, so compelling.
And I was hooked.
I’ve finished the 12 episodes of Season 1. Characters I liked were killed off or transferred. I’m curious as to which ones will survive in the coming seasons (that revolve around Baltimore’s seaport system and their school system). I also found that Lance Reddick from my Fringe-watching days and The Affair’s Dominc West were major players and enjoyed their work tremendously.
I’m ready to sink my teeth into Season 2-5 now. That is, until I got my Amazon Prime email yesterday. I binged on the first season of The Americans and loved it. I’ve been waiting for the second season to come on Prime, especially since the third season starts in a few weeks on FX. Wouldn’t you know it? They finally put Season 2 up. So my new mission in life? Get that 2nd season watched ASAP.
Then I can go back and savor The Wire.