There are only two episodes left of the best written, most well-acted, realistic, and complex show in my lifetime and as The Wire is leaving us it is doing so with a bang.
David Simon, the author and former police reporter who created the Baltimore-based show, created a masterpiece that always got a lot more critical acclaim than it did viewers. Which I attribute to the fact that there are no real good or bad guys in the show and most of its characters whether they be street dealers, kingpins, cops, politicians, kids, or reporters are all painted in shades of grey.
The show also has always had a strong educational component to it for those who are paying attention. Lessons can be learned and windows are opened to nuances that many observers have not previously had access to. For those not interested in that there is still just an entertaining show to watch.
The Wire, in reality, was probably never a good fit for TV, even premium cable TV like HBO, and was more suited for independent film ( or even being written as an epic novel) so in retrospect it is amazing it made it five-seasons and was able to carve out a loyal niche audience.
In order to become the kind of ratings champ it needed to be to go longer it would have made the cops into saints, dealers into diabolical villains, and politicians either into martyrs of the faith or crooks. It would have also had to tell stories less nuanced and more quickly. And, lets face it, even with the finest cast of African-American actors in American TV history, for many the show is just too black.
As far as my thoughts on the final season of The Wire go I will say that there have been some things I have liked, and a few I have not liked, but that it is finishing with a huge bang and the last few episodes have been off the chain.
I have said all along that if Omar ( Michael K. Williams) does not get killed than The Wire is not real; because no on does that much robbing and killing and does not eventually get popped himself. Furthermore, I always found the character of Omar to be a little unrealistic. On the hunt for Marlo Stanfield this season and taking on his muscle after Marlow’s muscle killed his blinded uncle Omar once again dropped bodies left and right in Baltimore and struck fear into the hearts of corner boys and stash house squatters. Eventually though, Omar got what was coming to him, and I believe that how he got killed was very appropriate and real. Omar, the most feared man in Baltimore, was dropped with one shot in the head while buying a pack of Newport’s in a Korean deli by a young junior ( Kenard) on the corners of about 12 years of age. A little boy dropped the baddest stick-up man in Baltimore, and that was real, because a gun is a great equalizer, and some of the hardest have been dropped by some of the weakest with a gun. It also shows that some of the worst killers, who will kill for the helluva it, are the youngest.