On June 2nd 2002 HBO premiered a gritty series called “The Wire.” The show, depicting the violent, drug infested streets of Baltimore, Maryland (or Bodymore, Murdaland) became a cult classic.
With HBO already winning with “The Sopranos,” The Wire carved its own niche with the realistic story lines ripped straight from the streets, courtesy of head writer and former Baltimore homicide detective Ed Burns and police reporter David Simon. Speaking on issues of political corruption, the illegal drug trade, the school system, and the mainstream media in vivid detail the show became must see television every Sunday night.
“The Wire” was so on point that allegedly real criminals watched the show to see how they could get around police investigation. The show is credited for making stars out of virtually unknown talent like Wood Harris, JD Williams, Jamie Hector, and Idris Elba, who played Stringer Bell. The writers were not scared to kill off popular characters (a criticism of The Sopranos) as witnessed with the murder of the aforementioned Stringer Bell (which caused a mutiny among Elba’s female fans. Watch below (NSFW).
The show lasted five seasons and despite only receiving modest ratings and never winning major television awards, “The Wire” has been described by many critics as the greatest television series ever made and one of the most accomplished works of fiction of the 2000s. Agreed.