Review: The Wire: The Complete Series

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The Wire: The Complete Series

HBO Home Video
Street: 06.02

The Wire is not your average police procedural about hero cops and inhuman criminal acts. This show is about real human beings trying their best to deal with their given circumstances, whether they’re trying to carve out a life from the violence and crime of the Baltimore Projects or navigating the bureaucratic hell of a corrupt police department. The writing alone is worth the cost of admission, but there are subtle shots and actor performances that sink their hooks into you early and don’t let go. While this Blu-ray set doesn’t have a whole ton of special features, the superb image quality is a welcome improvement for this often dark series. The occasional commentaries reveal layers of meaning and process behind the series, and David Simon himself even lends his voice to quite a few of them. I especially enjoyed “The Last Word,” which discusses the shifting world of technology in news journalism, a central theme in the fifth and final season. Simply put, The Wire is television poetry. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, HBO’s Blu-ray edition recreates and improves upon this groundbreaking show. –Henry Glasheen