The Wire

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Satur­day, 10.45am, Box Sets (116)

This was the se­ries that changed the rules of tele­vi­sion sto­ry­telling in 2002, the ground­break­ing Bal­ti­more cop drama un­en­cum­bered by net­work lim­i­ta­tions, fol­low­ing on from creator David Si­mon’s ear­lier in­no­va­tive show Homi­cide: Life on the Streets. It brought an­other slice of messy and un­set­tling Amer­i­can life to an au­di­ence that took a while to find it — when they did, it be­came the in­spi­ra­tional model for drama in the 21st cen­tury. The vis­ual style is highly evoca­tive, cin­e­matic and un­set­tling, with the nar­ra­tive com­plex­ity we now ex­pect of pre­mium TV drama: mul­ti­ple sto­ry­lines and flawed char­ac­ters, ex­tended story arcs, and a re­fined but vis­ceral sense of the real. Over five se­ries it built up a de­tailed, lay­ered pic­ture of a col­laps­ing rust-belt Amer­i­can city. Box Sets has the en­tire first se­ries.

Michael K. Wil­liams as Omar in The Wire

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