Kris and I have been re-watching The Wire. I believe it’s the best television show ever produced. It’s epic. It’s powerful. It’s moving.

The Wire explores the world of crime and corruption in Baltimore, Maryland, looking at things not just from the cops’ eyes, but also from the eyes of the criminals. Creator David Simon does a fantastic job of drawing parallels, showing how honor and family are important in the criminal world, and how the “good guys” can be just as amoral and conniving as those that most people would condemn.

The fourth season was released on DVD yesterday. Though we’re not ready to watch it, we squatted on the first disc at Netflix. We’ll hold it until we’re ready to view. Mean? Perhaps, but I’d rather do that than have to wait. We’ll finish the second season this weekend, and then do the third over the following week. We’ll be watching the fourth season by Christmas.

Meanwhile, here are some bonus prequel episodes, which have been posted to YouTube. In the first one, we meet a young Proposition Joe (played by a woefully inept boy who must have been cast just for looks):

Warning: Plenty of foul language ahead.

Young Proposition Joe (1962)

Young Omar (1985)

When Bunk Met McNulty (2000)

Though these clips are fun for those who watch and love the show, they’re not really representative of the show itself. The show is simply amazing.

Not everyone agrees. Andrew and Courtney tried to give it a go based on our recommendations, but they found it unwatchable. There is a lot of swearing and violence — it’s a stark show that doesn’t flinch from reality — but I think it’s worth it. The first season takes four or five episodes to get rolling, but once it does, it’s amazing…

Finally, here’s a promo for season five, which begins next month on HBO.

Too bad Kris and I won’t be watching that for at least another year.

4 Replies to “The Wire: Prequels”

  1. Nikchick says:

    Couldn’t agree more about The Wire. Chris and I love that show and are very much looking forward to the fifth and final arc when the new season starts.

  2. JenK says:

    I think you have more DVDs at once from Netflix than we do…. 😉

  3. Will says:

    While this does not really apply to The Wire, I know you like to watch TV on the PC. That being said, have you signed up for the Hulu beta yet? I finally got my invitation and I have to say that it is fairly cool. Full episodes of Arrested Development, The Office, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica (figured you might like this), Master and Commander (I thought you were also into this as well) and a ton of other programs. If you had not heard about it, figured you might find it of interest. enjoy!

  4. Lauren says:

    Funny, I am working on a [stage] show in Baltimore this week and I had a discussion about The Wire with another person there – who has been day-playing a cop sometimes. (He used to be a state trooper until we was injured; now due to his acting and technical experience, he either plays a cop or advises for Baltimore film crews). He was telling on-set stories last night.

    I’ve never seen The Wire, but your opinion reflects others’ admiration of the show – but it was cancelled. Yet Snoop Dogg is getting his own TV show, as did Flava Flav before him. Ha.

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