I've spent this winter break trying to get into some acclaimed TV series and even trying to watch some that I used to think were great. I tried "West World," "Game of Thrones," "How I Met Your Mother," and "Black Mirror," shows that I used to think were good, even great. For some reason, however, they just weren't the same. They didn't have the same fire they used to.
I realized this is because ever since I started watching "The Wire" in September I have seen the light. It is God's gift to the Earth, and you are sadly mistaken if you think any show is better. Watching clips of some of the best scenes on YouTube has given me all the purpose I need in my life.
Here are the best 13 shows ever on TV, with an incredible amount of spoilers:
1. The Wire
It's only the best show. Ever.
Stringer Bell has no chill.
2. The Wire
Surprised? You shouldn't be, because "The Wire" is the best show ever.
Stephen King called Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, "
3. The Wire
The story of Wallace getting shot by his best friends, Bodie and Poot,
Also, do you recognize the actor? It's none other than a young Michael B. Jordan, playing one of his first principal roles. We also have "The Wire" to thank for the rise of now legendary actors Michael K. Williams and Idris Elba. I saw the movie "Molly's Game," the other day, where Idris Elba played a lawyer to Molly Bloom. However, I could only see the actor as Stringer Bell, as if Mark Hamill did anything other than Luke Skywalker.
4. The Wire
I have a blasphemous confession to make: I didn't like "The Wire" that much at first. There were too many characters to remember, and it was pretty difficult to figure out what was going on. But my friends kept raving about how "The Wire" was the best show ever, halfway through season 1, something clicked. Omar killed Stinkum and wounded Wee-Bey, and then I started seeing the light.
5. The Wire
The only show that has been spoken to even match "The Wire" in greatness is "Breaking Bad." But ostensibly, what "Breaking Bad" achieves in its entirety, "The Wire" is able to achieve in one season.
Ostensibly, "Breaking Bad" is a show about the decline of a middle-aged, middle-class white man who sees has seen his life reduced to mediocrity due to social and economic change. He resorts to crime to support his family and make his living and gets too caught up in it.
"The Wire" did that before "Breaking Bad" was a thing in season 2, highlighting the efforts of Frank Sobotka trying to keep his stevedores' union afloat. A lot of critics give season 2 a bad rep as an attempt to appeal to a broader, more white audience, but seen in the light Trump era, David Simon all of a sudden seems like a genius and prophet.
6. The Wire
Another reason why "The Wire" is such a good show is the duality between the various institutions it depicts. Stringer Bell and James McNulty might be on opposing forces of the War on Drugs, but both are rivals because they are both willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want.
Stringer orders the unneeded deaths of Wallace and D'Angelo just to be careful and
Whatever the perspective is, each individual that works for these institutions is somehow betrayed. They serve as pawns on a chess board, and it doesn't matter what side they work for; at the end of the day, the game is rigged.
7. The Wire
When I talk about "The Wire" (and I do a lot), I actually struggle to tell what it's about. First of all, if you gave me 10 minutes of uninterrupted speech, I probably could, but it's simply such an ambitious show that does so much that it can't be summed up in a sentence.
David Simon, the executive producer, does it pretty well.
"It's really about the American city, and about how we live together. It's about how institutions have an effect on individuals. Whether one is a cop, a longshoreman, a drug dealer, a politician, a judge or a lawyer, all are ultimately compromised and must contend with whatever institution to which they are committed."
8. The Wire
Maybe season 5 wasn't the best of the show, but it showed the cyclical nature of the game. Our beloved characters are replaced by a new age as everyone else either dies or moves on: Michael becomes Omar, Randy becomes Prop Joe, Dukie becomes Bubbles, Slim Charles becomes Avon, and Sydnor becomes McNulty. How well these people usher in a new era would require a sequel (looking at you, David Simon).
9. The Wire
"The Wire" has a lot of strengths and a lot of selling points. But perhaps the best is its characters. Each character has his or her demons and flaws, but "The Wire" shows a human side to each of them. Our favorite police detectives are alcoholics and adulterers, but we love them regardless. The asshole bosses are sometimes funny. Even Wee-Bey, the person directly responsible for the majority of murders in season 1, makes the audience laugh with his love of fish and his undying loyalty to Avon and Stringer. The complexity of each character only grows with each episode and each season, and we start to identify with the characters we start to see ourselves in, from drug dealer to police to politician.
Also, "The Wire" has a lot of strength in keeping its characters growing and changing. Prez is seen as the worst of police brutality in the beginning to becoming an incredible teacher for Randy and Dukie. Carver similarly undergoes a transformation from a cop that likes to bust and beat up corner kids to a community-oriented police sergeant who goes on to know the name of every kid. McNulty stops the womanizing and drinking for a season to allow other characters, like the kids, to shine through. Bodie, at the end of season 4, stands up for what's right once disgusted with the brutality of the Marlo Stanfield organization.
In the process of watching "The Wire" through its entirety, you grow to "know" these characters, grow attached to them and almost feel as if you're in it together with them.
10. The Wire
Omar is a badass. He shows that every man must have a code - even someone who robs drug dealers for a living. His perjured witness testimony singlehandedly gets Bird life in prison. Even when he's lying, Omar comes off as an authentic and honest man. His critique of the unscrupulous lawyer, Levy, is perhaps the best moment of the show.
"I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase. It's all in the game, though, right? "
11. The Wire
"The Wire" is a show that is, in fact, so authentic, that drug dealers in New York watched the show and used the tactics used by the Barksdale organization to avoid police surveillance.
"Believe it or not, these guys copy 'The Wire,"' said the sergeant, who is assigned to the Organized Crime Investigation Division. "They were constantly dumping their phones. It made our job so much harder."
12. The Wire
I'll admit that the one critique of "The Wire" that I take seriously is that it's a critics' show, often dismantling the ills of an institution after institution, but never giving a solution. People can call it liberal propaganda, but it's great TV that largely criticizes other mainstream liberals. "The Wire" shows us everything that's bad and everything that's wrong with the War on Drugs, and how it ruins the lives of users, dealers, and police themselves.
But does it offer an alternative? Only in one case, it does. In season 3, Bunny Colvin, a police major in West Baltimore, offers free drug zones, where drug dealing and using are not punished, but allowed, with workers from a public health school providing medical treatment. Crime rates and murders go down substantially in "Hamsterdam," but to Simon's credit - he doesn't present "Hamsterdam" as an end-all be-all panacea. Users still die. Prostitution and disease grow more rampant.
But is it better than the traditional way of doing things? Is it realistic? That's something we still don't know.
13. The Wire
Has that convinced you to watch "The Wire" yet? I hope so, but like it or not, "The Wire" is a show that will definitely challenge your way of thinking and your perception of individuals and institutions. You can watch it ten years from now, and it will still be relevant, or watch it for the third time and see things you didn't see before. That's what makes it the best show ever.