The Wire - The Complete First Season
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Product Description

From David Simon creator and co-writer of HBO's triple Emmy-winning mini-series The Corner this unvarnished highly realistic HBO series follows a single sprawling drug and murder investigation in Baltimore. 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.Running Time: 780 min.System Requirements:Running Time 780 MinFormat: DVD MOVIE Genre: DRAMA Rating: NR UPC: 026359887321 Manufacturer No: 98873

After one episode of The Wire you'll be hooked. After three, you'll be astonished by the precision of its storytelling. After viewing all 13 episodes of the HBO series' remarkable first season, you'll be cheering a bona-fide American masterpiece. Series creator David Simon was a veteran crime reporter from The Baltimore Sun who cowrote the book that inspired TV's Homicide, and cowriter Ed Burns was a Baltimore cop, lending impeccable street-cred to an inner-city Baltimore saga (and companion piece to The Corner) that Simon aptly describes as "a visual novel" and "a treatise on institutions and individuals" as opposed to a conventional good-vs.-evil police procedural. Owing a creative debt to the novels of Richard Price (especially Clockers), the series opens as maverick Detective Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West, in a star-making role) is tapping into a vast network of drugs and death around southwest Baltimore's deteriorating housing projects. With a mandate to get results ASAP, a haphazard team is assembled to join McNulty's increasingly complex investigation, built upon countless hours of electronic surveillance.

The show's split-perspective plotting is so richly layered, so breathtakingly authentic and based on finely drawn characters brought to life by a perfect ensemble cast, that it defies concise description. Simon, Burns, and their cowriters control every intricate aspect of the unfolding epic; directors are top-drawer (including Clark Johnson, helmer of The Shield's finest episodes), but they are servants to the story, resulting in a TV series like no other: unpredictable, complicated, and demanding the viewer's rapt attention, The Wire is "an angry show" (in Simon's words) that refuses to comfort with easy answers to deep-rooted societal problems. Moral gray zones proliferate in a universe where ruthless killers have a logical code, and where the cops are just as ambiguous as their targets. That ambiguity extends to the ending as well; season 1 leaves several issues unresolved, leaving you begging for the even more impressive developments that await in season 2. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • Engrossing television -- rich characterizations, complex and exciting storytelling, strong visual sense
    This is great stuff. I can't really add to what others have said here, except to say that this is definitely a series to watch. It's got everything you'd want from a crime drama like CSI, but much more. The characters are interesting: nobody fits an easy stereotype, and no one is simply a good guy or a bad guy. There are several overlapping story arcs, but they all fit together in a complex puzzle. There are hints of many much larger storylines that could be followed up on, but aren't -- it has the feel of a world, the world of Baltimore, unfolding on its own, and we happen to be given a glimpse of some of the interconnected lives of a few investigators and the ones they are investigating. But their lives are set against a backdrop of politicians, lawyers, a changing climate in America after 9/11, and much more.

    I'd heard so many good things about this series but never had a chance to see it -- now that I've seen season one and am halfway through season two, I am hooked and will be watching through to the end. There's something about television done right that enables an experience you can't get from film -- stories that begin and end and of other stories that pick up where they leave off; a real sense of character growth that doesn't feel artificial, contrived to fit into a 2 hour window; also the feeling for continuity in character and places, of something unfolding over time. This is television done right, and it is rare and exciting to see it. Definitely a show to watch (if you aren't put off by the heavy language, some sexuality, heavy drug-related content, and violence - this is R rated television). ...more info
  • One of the best and brightest.......
    I rank it up there as one of the best series ever - really no weak points to be seen anywhere on this show. The attention to detail is what has really impressed me during the first season - it's amazing how they have captured the overall atmosphere of Baltimore, Maryland, and the D.C. area from every perspective. This is a truly special show it should not be missed - especially season one....more info
  • Best Show on Television
    We kept hearing people talk about this show and how great it was but I wasn't interested in another cop show about drugs. The first episode was okay but by the end of the second episode I was hooked. It's so well written and the acting is brilliant. My husband and I are now on the third season and it hasn't lost it's edge. I highly recommend it. ...more info
  • Sometimes...just sometimes, a series is done perfectly
    And this is the case, all other reviews said all the good things about this series, so I will not repeat them...well, no too much.

    Before I bought this series ( I did it because the package with the whole 5 seasons was on sale on Amazon, and because the good reviews it received ) I never saw an episode of the wire.

    I can tell you that, that I was hooked since the first few minutes, when McNulty speaks with a street kid on a homicide scene, "..This is America, man"... That was good.

    Intelligent, realistic, not your usual cop story, very well acted ( Dominic West's best performance ).

    This series is so good, I finished the first season like 3 weeks ago, and I haven't seen the second just yet, because, just like a junky from this series, I don't want to see them too quickly, I don't want something this good to finish too soon.

    Buy it, take your time to see the details, watch it several times if you need to, enjoy it! This is as good as entertainment gets!!...more info
  • Justifies the Invention of Television
    The Wire is the type of show that can easily encourage hyperbole in its reviews. The show centers on the drug trade in the city of Baltimore and takes you inside this world effortlessly and completely by offering not just the perspective of the police trying to eliminate drug trafficking but that of the users, the dealers, the smugglers, the pushers and the criminal bosses as well.
    The writing can't be beat, every scene is well crafted, written and acted and the show manages to get across any number of salient points without ever seeming preachy or ever forgetting that its primary job is to tell the most riveting tales possible.
    As a writer I have to mention the uncanny command of dialogue that the writers employ. By your second or third episode you'll find yourself following along with conversations that are almost spoken in their own language, from street talk to the terminology used in police stations to the phrases tossed around in political circles. Everything is captured in perfect dialogue and delivered by actors who make it seem like they've been speaking these dialects for years.
    If The Wire isn't the best show to ever air on television than it is most certainly the best show to air this millennium. Well worth checking out....more info
  • Is this it? What is all the hype about?
    I got the Wire because I thought I was missing the boat on 'the best show on TV'. Well...I must be missing something because after watching 5 episodes I don't get it. I kept thinking it was going to get better..not that it was bad...it just wasn't that interesting. The only reason I kept watching was to see Idris Elba who plays Stringer Bell cause he is a cutie! Other than that, I have no reason or intention of watching any more episodes of the Wire....more info
  • I'm a believer.
    I got the first season on DVD a few weeks ago and now, just like they said, I'm hooked. The Wire isn't just another show. This is like Shakespeare. (Someone else pointed out that Bubbles is totally a characater Shakespeare could have written.)

    David Simon says they revel in 'detail' and it's made for DVD in that you can catch things going on in the background when you watch it again. It's slower than other cop shows and you don't have the bad guy getting caught every week. It's gritty, the characters are well rounded, it's doesn't have that jerky, show offy camera style that was fashionable in the genre a while back. Each show has many different stories going on in it. It looks like they film in actual projects, jails, bars, police offices. They pay attention and you can tell.

    I agree with all the other people, this is the best show ever. Actors, writers, directors, photographers, and everyone else I don't know about, did this right....more info
  • Amazing!
    The Wire, Season 2, continues the video novel of the first season. No offense to The Sopranos, but this is the best American television show ever made. ...more info
  • Extremely dissatisfied customer
    I never received my product. I disputed the charge with my credit card company. They reimbursed my card the charge Healingmind had already applied. Healingmind never returned my e-mail. When I went to check the status of my order, I saw two pages of complaints from other customers who were experiencing similar situations: already charged, no product delivery, and no response to e-mails. I hope Amazon takes these people off as a supplier of products. They are doing only harm to the reputation of Amazon....more info
  • My dog ate Season One!
    Wow! What a great series! Years ago I had watched a couple of episodes in the middle, but lost interest because I didn't fully understand everything that was going on. What a difference it makes to see the series from the beginning!

    We got hooked after the first episode. In the past 2 months, we've gone thru all 4 seasons of The Wire, borrowing my daughter's DVD collection. Now we're catching up with Season 5 on-demand. The Wire is one of those rare shows that starts out great and continues to build and develop.

    Oh yeah. My dog ate the disks from Season One.
    Bad dog! Bad!
    But I got a good deal on replacing them by buying with a new Amazon credit card....more info
  • "The" Series to watch for good law enforcement drama!!
    I am in the business - I run a Tac Squad. Normally, I stay away from this kind of show telling folks that if I wanted a slice of real life, I would go sit on a street corner. Well... I found my exception. This first season caught me hook, line, and sinker. The dialogue is not far off from what I hear on the streets 6 years and a couple of thousand miles away. The networks, lookouts, interviews, interactions between agencies - all of it is dead on (except for the drinkin, carousing, etc...!!!). If you ever wondered what the guys in the blue jeans and raid jackets really do - this is as close as you can get to a ride-along!!

    I highly recommend this series - at least the first season - I start season two tomorrow!!

    All the best,

    Jay...more info
  • Astounding
    Wow. This show once you get watching you cannot stop. It is truly like a great book on screen. You cannot stop watching. David Simon has true gift for writing and developing not only the stories themselves but also highlighting the underlying politics and corruption in the underworlds he depicts. ...more info
  • Superb drama, compelling characters, utterly realistic
    After years of putting it off, I finally rented the first season of "The Wire" and after one episode I was hooked.
    As a reporter for Reuters who wrote a book about the U.S. prison system Gates of Injustice: The Crisis in America's Prisons (Prentice Hall Paperback) I spent a lot of time in Baltimore's meaner streets and I can testify that this series is totally realistic and convincing.
    Beyond that, what impressed me most is the nuanced, adult approach the writers take to their characters. No-one is perfect and few are perfectly evil. For instance, we first see D'Angelo, one of the central characters, on trial for a murder he plainly committed. Later, he confesses to killing another innocent person. But D'Angelo has a heart and a conscience.
    On the police side, we see one cop commit an act of wanton brutality. He is depicted as more than a little stupid. But later he is revealed to have a talent breaking codes and figuring out complicated paper trails.
    The "hero" is a dedicated detective but a poor husband and father, an occasional drunk and terrible son of a bitch.
    One enduring theme is the way drug money corrupts all who touch it -- not just the poor users but also the dealers, the police, lawyers and politicians. Drug money greases the skids of society in this series.
    I can't wait for the next four seasons....more info
  • Either you'll love it or hate it...
    My girlfriend hates this show because it is truthful and portrays a very sad reality of inner city drugs, crime, and politics. For the same reasons, and others, I think it's one of the best shows ever put on television. I agree with most of the other positive reviews, so I won't be repetitive here....more info
  • extremely dull show
    I have watched 6 episodes of Season 1 and have desperately tried to get into The Wire. Despite the hype, and all the trendies saying what a mahhvellous show it is, actually it is pretty dull. Boring characters, little conflict, confusing scripts, same stuff repeated ad nauseam. Frankly, the lives of petty drug dealers in Baltimore don't do it for me, and not do the cops who are a pretty unattractive bunch with few dramatic qualities. I know that Prison Break was appallingly acted but at least it had a story line. The Wire is like an improvisation at one of those let it all hang out stage schools which never produces particularly great actors....more info
  • A must-watch
    I was raised in Baltimore, and live nearby. This series is the real story, a truly Dickensian story, of any large American city. Do not expect to be entertained by it. But if you're voting in 2008 for a candidate who says that he or she watches The Wire, be confident they're better equipped to fix what's wrong with the wealthiest nation in the world that nonetheless has produced some of the world's worst ghettoes. But for an accident of birth, these stories could be any of ours....more info
  • The Wire - Season one
    This one took a little longer than I expected, but it came, and it was in great condition. like it came straight from the store!!!...more info
  • I'll say it too: the best show on television
    Last night, I watched the last episode of the last season of The Wire. I was truly sad that the show had ended. No more McNulty, Bunk, Prop Joe, Bubbles and, yes, even Marlo. After five seasons I feel like I know these people.

    Other reviewers have commented eloquently on how good this show is. I guess I'll just add that if you're into multi-character shows with long plot arcs, like Lost or Battlestar: Galactica, take a step up and try Season 1 of The Wire. I love those shows, but The Wire is in a different league. You have to be willing to pay attention and invest the time as the multiple, intertwined plots and realistic characterizations unfold, and you won't be spoon-fed a shocking plot twist and/or cliffhanger each week. But you will not see a better television show....more info
  • Amazing Show!!!
    Ok so I'm huge fan of HBO and their programing. They have made so many shows that I love (Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Rome,etc). So about year ago I saw season 1 of the Wire on special at my local circuit city. I didn't know much about it at the time, but read what it was about and it sounded interesting and knowing my track record with HBO I figured I couldn't go wrong. Man was I dissappointed I watched two episodes and was bored to tears. So after the finishing the second episode I put the dvd back in the box and tossed under a chair where it's been for the last six months. Anyway over the last six months I kept hearing how great the wire was blah blah, but chose to ignore it. But finally a few day I decided what the hell I'll give it another go. Man am I glad did. This show is absolutely amazing once things moving. Anyway I don't do reviews much but I decided to this just in case there is someone else like me who gave up after the first few episodes. You need to go back and give this another look. It is an absolutely amazing show!!!!...more info
  • Can't believe they cancelled this masterpiece
    I just finished the first season of the WIRE last week and all i have to say is WOW!!!!!. This is most realistic drama i have ever seen. The characters are deep, compelling and all flawed in some way. Wheather it is McNulty's manipulation of the system, Bunk's drinking, Daniel's ambition. Every character in this series has a depth to them that is rarely seen in a Television show. Gone is the unfallable courageous protagonist and or the evil super villain, In thier place lie good guys who aren't always so good and bad guys who aren't always that bad. This show is a masterpiece and should be treasured. granted this show is not for everone. the crime violence can be very graphic and if you just want to sit and watch a show without any thought or attention to detail than this is certainly not for you. This show is as rich in content and realism as any I've seen and is a must see for all Crime drama fans or any fan of a great story. I already purchased season 2 and 3 from AMAZON and cannnot wait to continue the journey. ...more info