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Review: THE WIRE 1.1 - The Target

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Wire started with this pilot 10 years ago, ran for 5 seasons and I managed to not catch one single episode, how?  I don’t know.  I have heard plenty about the show which focuses on Baltimore but, seen through the eyes of its police officers and drug dealers.  One thing which really drew me to start watching this show is the fact it stars Idris Elba, the powerhouse actor behind BBC’s Luther, and two of this years most anticipated movies Prometheus and Pacific Rim.

Some kid called Snot Boogie has been shot, the cops need to know who it is, pan to a court scene featuring some guy named D’Angelo (Lawrence Gillard Jr), he is standing trial for Snot’s murder but walks free when the key witness decides to change her testimony.  Cue, Idris Elba sitting in the back of the court room, he plays Russell “Stringer” Bell the second in command of Baltimore’s lucrative and extremely violent drug trade, Stringer plays second to only one man D’Angelos uncle Aaron Barksdale (Wood Harris).  Released from court D’Angelo learns of new plans the pair have for him, a move away from his lucrative spot at the tower to the more inner estate neighbourhood a few block away.

I felt like I was introduced to so many people during this first episode that I’m still really not sure who everyone is and what part they are supposed to be playing, I figured out the lead cop James McNulty (Dominic West), and of course the three drug dealers mentioned
above with a little more of their background friends.  Is it wrong that I enjoyed the scenes with the drug dealers more than the ones with the cops?  I felt like every time we were focused on the cops I was in some sort of court room / police station drama, the type of show that I wouldn’t usually watch but, for me the gangster parts run the episode and The Wire reminded me of a movie I saw as a teenager named New Jersey Drive minus the car jackings.

The Wire is widely considered as one of the best TV shows of all time, from what I have seen so far I can’t quite agree with that just yet, maybe I’m 10 years to late on it.  I would like to see more of Idris Elba (I’m sure we will), I presume at some point he takes over as the kingpin of Baltimore, at least I hope he does anyway.  I found this very hard going and difficult to follow but from what I have heard this is the type of show which really requires your attention.

I would have to say that after everything I have heard about The Wire I’m inclined to watch more than one episode of the show so I will be checking it out again, I just hope to see more of Elba and his drug dealing street gang.
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