Season 1 of the Wire came to an end this week on the BBC. People have been going around saying this is one of the best TV shows ever. That's is a load of BS. It is THE BEST TV Show ever.
Despite the BBC for some unfathomable reason scheduling it at midnight, the show has been madly addictive not just for me, but for about 600,000 other hardy folk, who have tuned in for each showing. A fantastic viewership for that time of the night and on BBC2 as well.
The show has everything, the character and plot development is superb. It is telling that despite an above-average sized main cast, you still feel a strong connect with all the strands involving the various characters.
You see the bleakness of "the game", the euphemism for the world of drug dealing infesting the Housing Projects of Baltimore that has entrapped Avon Barksdale, Stringer Bell, D'Angelo Barksdale, Wee-Bey, Poots, Bodie, the tragic Wallace and others. The frustration, corruption and machinations that engulf the Baltimore police force, McNulty, Kima, Bunk, Lieutenant Daniels and the rest of the cops.
You see glimpses of the how tragically officialdom is disconnected from the realities of crime and policing on the street, as it chases statistics, closure rates and photo opportunities for the media.
You would be sorely mistaken if you think this is some sort of police procedural drama or a Cops and Robbers thriller. The Wire doesn't do simply analogies, it explores the complexity of all the characters, it delves into why there is very rarely black and white, but only endless shades of grey.
The tragic story of Wallace epitomises what The Wire is about. Born in to drug infested world of the Baltimore projects he knows no world outside "the game". He has no moral reservations about "the game" itself, in his moral code "the game" is a given the only questions are how "the game" is played.
He is the witness to a particularly brutal murder and he begins to question the rules of "the game" he is abiding by. A fatal mistake, the life he lives tolerates only absolute loyalty, and when the loyalty is under question tragedy swiftly follows. It is the tragedy of Wallace that gives us two of the most powerful scenes in season 1 of the Wire.
The murder of Wallace by "his boys" Poot and Bodie on the orders of Stringer Bell.
D'Angelo who had tired to warn Wallace of the danger his doubts would put him in confronts Stringer Bell over Wallace's death
The season 1 of The Wire has delivered in spades and with four more seasons to go, it going to be a great Spring TV-wise. BBC has taken a break for snooker (typical!) but The Wire will be back for season 2 on the 4th of May.