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The Wire: Complete HBO Season 1-5 [DVD]
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Note: This DVD is designed to be played at an aspect ratio of 4:3.
The Wire Complete Box Set comes packaged in a black sleeve featuring all 60 episodes re-mastered on 24 discs. With special features including audio commentaries with writer/creator David Simon, director Clarke Johnson and writer George Pelacanos, Q&A sessions with the cast and crew and an hour long "behind the scenes" documentary.
One of television's most critically acclaimed programmes, The Wire addresses the seedy side of Baltimore’s finest looking into money, drugs, politics and murder. Told from the point of view of both the police and their targets, the series captures a universe of subterfuge and surveillance, where easy distinctions between good and evil, and crime and punishment, are challenged at every turn. A study on urban life in one of America’s toughest cities, each season of The Wire has focused on a different aspect of Baltimore, starting with the police force and the drug trade, then moving on to City Hall, the education system and concluding with the media.
The Wire is one of those programmes where the increasing number of people who seem to passionately recommend it are simply not wrong. For buried underneath a mountain of praise, and talk of it being one of the finest television shows of all time, is a staggering piece of work, one that slowly but surely takes a look at the many facets of the drugs trade, centred in the city of Baltimore.Series by series, we spend time with the cops, the dealers, the media, local politicians, the education system and more, as The Wire gives each careful treatment, and a three-dimensional portrayal. It also paints a picture of a city in real trouble, with Baltimore one of The Wire’s uncredited stars. But where the show really delivers is in the characters it creates and moulds, and the very real troubles and challenges each of them must face. The show’s detailed strokes are even more compelling than the broader picture it paints. Enhanced by a series of non-showy performances in front of the camera, and some immaculate writing behind, The Wire really is that proverbial real deal. It’s genuinely unpredictable (characters of all sizes find themselves ruthlessly bumped off when you least expect them to), fearless in its tackling of certain subjects, and is that very masterpiece that an increasing army of champions of The Wire suggest it is. The five series contained here are genuinely American television at its very finest, right through to the final scene. Mesmerising television. --Simon Brew
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Top Customer Reviews
Even that description omits numerous other characters, plot threads and entanglements. More importantly than the Dickensian scope, The Wire has such a vivid sense of authenticity: much is shot on location in Baltimore, Maryland aka Bodymore, Murderland, that its depiction of life in an urban ghetto, the images of whole blocks of derelict slums, shattered lives, the poor and the desperate seem reminiscent of footage of Baghdad, post-U.S. invasion.
This authenticity might be derived from the fact the programme has two principal creators, David Simon, who worked for many years as a police reporter for The Baltimore Sun newspaper and Ed Burns who is a former homicide detective who worked extended drug surveillance cases. Such is The Wire's authenticity, that one real-life dealer from Baltimore commented in an interview that the only unrealistic thing about The Wire is that no m*f* in it watches The Wire!
The Wire is another phenomenal HBO drama.Read more ›
In a programme of great, great characters (the list is endless, Omar, Avon, D'Angelo, Bubbles, Daniels, Bunk, Rawls - not exactly likeable but certainly brilliant, and of course Stinger Bell) Jimmy McNulty rises just about to the top - quite simply one of the best and most enjoyable characters you are likely to see.
'Multi-layered' is one of those descriptions that you read and often it doesn't mean that much, but is some critics attempt to sound intelligent, but in this case the definition is spot on. This can be viewed on so many levels and each series brings something different. The story regarding Bubbles in itself is a masterpiece, they could take out all his scenes from across the 5 series and put them into a film, and it would win oscars across the board. To an extent Omar's story runs parallel, and whilst this doesn't pull on the heart strings in quite the same way, it is still exceptional.
My only slight criticism would be the level dips slightly in my opinion in series 2 (although people do disagree with that, so maybe is just how I see it and how I loved the storyline and characters of series 1 and 3) but 3,4 and 5 are exceptional. In a very, very (very) sad way by the end these characters felt like your friends, and it was pretty emotional that last episode montage.Read more ›
Each series takes on a different "theme" or institution; in the first series it examines the workings of the drug trade and the police in Baltimore. "Bodymore Murderland" says the graffiti.
From the very outset this show is palpably different, the characters are complex with good and bad sides. The lines of what is good and isn't are blurred you don't root forthe cops. The casting is inspired and the characters plausible due in no small measure to the fact that they are either Baltimore characters or an amalgam of a number of characters. Bunk and Bubs really existed.
Series two moves into the crumbling docks and deals with the economics and the death of the port in this once great and proud harbour town.
Series three centres upon town hall and the corruption and the importance of demographics in deciding who runs the town.
Series four goes into the public education system - where the parallels between the statistics over real results in the education system and the police resonate with much of what is going on in the UK.
Series five closes this great drama by examining the role of the press and its effects upon perception in the city - where what goes in the front page is not the most important story. The death of honest investigative reporting in favour of sensationalism. The heart breaking series closing montage demonstrates that life goes on. There are no fairytale endings. Life goes on.
The storylines and characters are inventive and brave. This series is made for DVD it's complex and rewards the patient and intelligent.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the first time we have seen The Wire and we are thoroughly enjoying itPublished 3 days ago by Barbara L
From some guy on Twitter:
[Uncontacted Amazonian Tribe Member]: Hey, have you seen The Wire?
I have tried to be honest about this series but I gave up by the end of episode one. I appreciate that the plot can be slow to start with in order to establish characters,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mrs. J. Roberts
Excellent customer service....would definitely use again in the future.Published 1 month ago by Rachel C
When DVDS are played on a a laptop there is a flickering at the top of the screen that is totally distracting and as I only opened the box set a month after purchasing I can't... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mr leeson