Overthinking The Wire

Recently, our love for HBO’s program, The Wire, prompted us to write a post called “I Will Sell You The Wire. Please follow the link if you haven’t already.

In that post, we attempted to convey the great quality and complexity that characterizes all five seasons of the show. Whether or not we succeeded, we have no way of knowing. Regardless, for all the effort we put into our recommendation, the post itself felt somewhat inadequate.

This is not meant to sound self-deprecating, for the primary source of this inadequacy is the inability of a single blog post to deal with the sheer volume of things that could (and should) be said about what is arguably the greatest television series of all time.

With this minor failure in mind, we have decided to begin commenting on The Wire one episode at a time. Hoping to offer a somewhat unique take on the program, we did not wish to focus on plot summaries, character bios, etc. We wanted to delve deeper, to bring to the surface the subtle and sometimes unnoticed complexities that make The Wire so great.

When we first conceived of this idea, it felt a little unrealistic. Could we, while avoiding plot summaries, be able to find enough to say about each episode to warrant its own post?

The answer, which became immediately apparent as we began the process, was yes. Not only would each episode provide us with enough to fill a post, more often than not we would have to leave things out to prevent each post from becoming unreadably dense.

In closing, it is not our intention to try to tell you what’s what in The Wire. You may well disagree vehemently with our comments or interpretations. A subject as complex as The Wire invites interpretation, interpretation invites discussion, discussion leasds to growth. Feel free to make your objections known.

Below we will list the episodes as we comment on them. As stated earlier, the posts are not meant to be plot summaries, but they may nevertheless contain spoilers. For that reason, they are meant to be read only by those who have already seen the episode being dealt with.

Season 1:

Season 2:


Update: While these essays will continue to appear online for free, the 13 essays on Season 1 are available in a snazzy new e-book from Amazon. Check it out and feel free to show your support if you’re interested!

On The Wire: Thirteen essays on The Wire, Season 1

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