Brilliantly scripted, authentic urban drama
David Simons precursorto The Greatest TV Show Of All Time lacks some of The Wires epic sweep, but shares its compelling mix of mordant humour, righteous anger and unquestionable authenticity. The cops versus gangsters archetype is ignored, the drama instead focusing on an extended West Baltimore family, their lives ravaged by habitual drug use. Being intimately involved with the characters and catching glimpses of their humanity makes their predicament even more heartbreaking. The dialogue, never less than amazing, takes on a poetic quality at times, particularly in a stunning scene which compares junkiedom in the projects to a self-inflicted holocaust. Wire devotees will also spot several familiar faces, notably Clarke Peters (aka The Wires Lester) as Fat Curt, an addict too long in the game.