Plot Summary: Baltimore drug scene, seen through the eyes of drug dealers, and law enforcement.
Creator: David Simon
Stars: Dominic West, John Doman, Deirdre Lovejoy
Serious Jest: (Must Own) This is, quite simply, one of the best television shows ever done. It dramatizes real Baltimore issues, using characters based on real Baltimore people, but the topics are universal. Each season has its own spin, and you can trace the rise of technology throughout this critical period in world history.
From afar, the series appears depressing: drug dealers and users, overworked and underfunded police officers, politicians (doesn’t even need an adjective), underequipped educators, and newspapers on the brink of becoming obsolete. But it’s much more than just a bleeding-heart expose on how bleak our Nation’s urban centers are; there are very entertaining stories here, with great multiple plotlines.
The actors skillfully bring out a superb script, which is extremely impressive given that, according to IMDB, many of the minor characters are played by real-life police officers, politicians and former criminals. In fact, many of the former criminals who act on the show were previously arrested by the real-life cops who act on the show! There are too many great performances to list every one, but my favorites are (in no particular order): Jamie Hector as Marlo Stanfield, a real Machavellian motherf*cker; West as James ‘Jimmy’ McNulty, an anti-hero who drinks and whores like a pirate; Michael K. Williams as Omar Little, basically a gay Robin Hood who robs drug dealers; Idris Elba as Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell, thug businessman; Chad L. Coleman as Dennis ‘Cutty’ Wise, an unlikely people’s champion; Gbenga Akinnagbe as Chris Partlow and Felicia Pearson as Felicia ‘Snoop’ Pearson, the hood-assassin versions of Batman and Robin; and Aidan Gillen as Thomas ‘Tommy’ Carcetti, an aggressive politician who desperately tries to toe the line between his ideals and his ambitions.
I couldn’t think of how this series could have been better until I read on IMDB: “The writers/producers briefly considered doing a sixth season about the influx of Latinos into Baltimore. But none of them knew enough about Baltimore’s Latino population to write about it so the idea was dropped.” Damn, that would have been great.