The Wire - The Complete Fourth Season
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Product Description

With the fall of Barksdale and the ascent of young Marlo Stanfield as West Baltimore's drug king the detail continues to "follow the money" up the political ladder in the midst of a mayoral election that pits the black incumbent Clarence Royce against an ambitious white councilman Tommy Carcetti. The theme of urban education is explored through four new characters ? Michael Lee Namond Brice Randy Wagstaff and "Dukie" Weems as they traverse adolescence in the stunted drug-saturated streets of West Baltimore. The world that awaits these boys and the American commitment to equal opportunity are depicted brilliantly in the edgy all too realistic Season 4 of The Wire.Running Time: 780 min.Format: DVD MOVIE Genre: TELEVISION/HBO UPC: 026359392726 Manufacturer No: 93927

Even if you missed the first three seasons (the character guides and thorough episode recaps on HBO's website are recommended), and with only one season left, it's not too late to get in under The Wire. In fact, season 4 is an accessible introduction for those who know The Wire only by its street cred as arguably the very best show on television. For them especially, this season will be, as befitting its theme, a real education. Without resorting to melodramatics that other ratings-challenged series employ to gain that frustratingly elusive audience, The Wire shakes things up this season in a way that is true to the series and its characters. A major character, Dominic West's McNulty, plays a minor role as a contented street cop and family man, while a former supporting player, Jim True-Frost's Roland Pryzbylewski, goes to the head of the class as a new eighth grade teacher at beleaguered Edward Tilghman Middle School. It may take a couple of episodes to orient yourself to the Baltimore backrooms, squad rooms, classrooms, and street corners where The Wire's intense dramas play out, and new viewers may miss something in character nuance, but they will easily grasp the big picture. A politically motivated shake-up sends Major Crimes detectives Freamon (Clarke Peters) and Greggs (Sonja Sohn) to Homicide. The gloves come off in the mayoral race between black incumbent Clarence Royce (Glynn Turman) and idealistic white challenger Tommy Carcetti (Aidan Gillen). Gang leader Marlo (Jamie Hector) quietly and deliberately becomes the city's new drug kingpin, managing to subvert all surveillance efforts. Meanwhile, while "Prez" tries to reach his students, four highly at-risk kids will be drawn into the drug trade.

Mere synopsis does not do The Wire justice. The series deftly juggles its myriad storylines and characters, all of whom make an impression, from Marlo's cold-blooded enforcers, Snoop (Felicia Pearson) and Chris (Gbenga Akinnagbe), to boxing instructor "Cutty" (Chad L. Coleman), determined to keep his young charges off the corners. There is not a false note in the performances or the writing. Richard Price (Clockers) and Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) again contributed episodes. That this series has only been nominated for only one Emmy (for writing) is a travesty. As engrossing as the finest novels and in a class by itself, this isn't television; it's The Wire. --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews:

  • Great show. DVD extras?
    I have become a big fan of The Wire, but the extras on the DVD are lacking. Ths disc 3 commentary for Episode 10 is terrible. It's the kids (Jermaine Crawford [Dukie], Maestro Harrell [Randy], Tristan Wilds [Michael] Juito McCullum [Namond]) with Robert Chew [Prop Joe]. Now, first, they're just kids so they deserve some slack, but holy cow, couldn't the people putting this thing together do a better job of orchestrating how the commentary is presented? Clearly, these kids are given no direction as to how to comment. Poor Robert Chew seems there for na reason at all as he has little to no opportunity to insert any useful commentary amid the adolescent banter of the other 4, although he does make the big mistake of providing a spoiler, which really pissed me off. This is Episode 10 dammit. It's the third disc of the season; don't give away plot developments from later episodes. Comment on the episode at hand. For the most part, the 4 kids act as though they are at their high school lunch table. The conversation is meaningless and self-interested. Not their fault, but shouldn't be on the disc nevertheless. Poor job here. The show is tremendous and deserves better extras for the DVD edition. ...more info
  • One of the best shows on television
    The Wire is just fantastic from Series 1 to Series 4 this show does not let up. It is brilliantly written, fantastically thought out and has brilliant characters. Do yourself a favor and get into it - you won't be disappointed !!!!...more info
  • Great season of a great show.
    If you're reading this, the chances are that you have already seen seasons 1-3 of The Wire.
    This, after all of the seasons, is still my favorite.
    After the subplots of the docks in season 2, the politics in season 3, this switches focus to the inner city schools. It's an incredible season....more info
  • this is the best television show ever
    Nothing else is even close. It's probably better than any book or movie of the last 20 years. I can't recommend it enough. ...more info
  • The Wire
    Excellent...keeps you wanting more after every episode and leaves you shocked after you watched it. Cant believe we have to wait another year to the next and last one! We dont get it on TV in the UK :(...more info
  • Good Purchase
    The package of DVD's arrived within the time frame and was a good purchase. Would buy again....more info
  • After three years, this season is yet another disappointment from Simon and Co.
    The Wire in its forth season suffers from both new and recurring problems from past seasons. While the forth season can be a smart docudrama with its numerous nuances of reality and the references to past seasons, it still fails to be a effective TV show; completely lacking dramatic effect. A educational drama, yes, but not great Tv show, not by a long shot.
    In this latest season of HBO's The Wire, David Simon and Co. try to follow the footsteps of the past seasons into the schools and largely fail. Why?
    First off, the Wire main case of the the school's ails is flawed and doesn't have the same dramatic execution of last season's legalization of drugs. Additionally the "hidden bodies" case that is exposed at the end of the season, does not match up to the great intrigue of past season's single investigations. Also, the school story is simply too complicated of a story to cover in a single TV season.
    Secondly, as with the last seasons, the show never really delivers the satisfying emotional punch of a hit TV show which is sad considering this is the forth season of the show. Admittedly, dealing with kids provided plenty of heart wrenching moments, but they were far too few and between the usual babble of inner city politics and talking fare the show is notorious for.
    Finally, if there was one thing I did love about the forth season of the Wire it was the new kids that single handedly carried the whole season; I just wish I loved the show nearly as much.
    ...more info
  • Sopranos fan? Buy the Wire NOW
    This season of the Wire is writing, acting and execution at its best. The cast is absolutely incredible. The inner city is revealed, every crevice, ever shadow is wide open to the viewer. This really demonstrates the lives on inner city children, their day-to-day, how inner city kids are used by the school systems and then discarded, it also brings to light that these kids aren't any different. They are still kids, but what they are having to deal with on a daily basis would change any one of us. This series of episodes is riveting television. What was most interesting to me was also the politics of the police department and the school system. It is absolutely corrupt, at a level that I would never have suspected. This series stands with the Sopranos on every level. If you haven't seen the Wire, buy this volume and begin your journey. Each season is a complete story line, so you can begin anywhere. Believe me when I tell you after seeing this season, you will want to own them all. ...more info
  • No Doubt!
    The Wire, meaning the drug lords of the ghetto get their throwaway cell phones tapped. Much like Deadwood, the revisionism of the old West, Baltimore, a microcosm of modern urban myth gets its star turn. McNaulty, Bunk, the cops and DA's on one side, dance with the defunct Barkesdale's and the emerging Marlowe gang in an embrace of odd comradeship. The young white pol, Tommy Carcetti , wins the mayoral race over the Black huckster, Royce only to get his eyes opened, the city is in chaos and he has no chance to put his idealistic ideas in play.

    Over the last seasons, the drug problem in the black community is shown realistically, the young street hoppers, cash bulging in their street clothes, they end up corpses soon enough along with the zombie-like addicts. Episodes of quasi-drug legalization in Season 3 actually reduce crime, a HBO experiment that says hey folks, violence will decrease, but your junkies are going to die. Well, they are anyhow, but that's what our moral leaders cannot face.

    Oh, Omar, the gay murder machine, living between hell and devastation, what greater character and acting in all of television, no doubt.
    ...more info
  • Better understadings of the ailing, dysfunctional and complicated American urban systems
    I stayed a little more than a year in Baltimore as a [foreign] postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins Hospital between the period of 1993-1994. Back then I just used to commute from the suburb to the campus without knowing what's happening in the inner city area as depicted in this TV show. Of course I heard about drug problems and prevalent drug-related violences as in every American urban region. When I first watched episodes of the 1st season of the Wire, I immediately realized how narrow-sided and superficial my view of the city has been. As the series went on, I became to feel that America still has hope and promises, judging based on the fact that this kind of masterpiece TV seires could be produced to illuminate people in the real world. This drama also seemed to have succeeded in revealing the broadest spectrum of African-American characters. I wonder why not-so-many American viewers watched [initially] this epic, and I think hopefully as many people in the world as possible should watch this series to appreciate the reality of human society in general. ...more info
  • Fantastic condition!

    My product arrived in a timely manner and it was in great shape, no scratches, no skips! ...more info
  • The wire Season 4
    I love this show, Sorry to see it end. The sad part, you can actually see a lot of this happening in some big city....more info
  • maybe the best wire season so far?
    another great wire season! maybe the best one so far?
    a must buy for fans...more info
  • There isn't enough stars to rate THE Wire!
    The Wire is the best television drama ever! A recent "study" ranked it fourth below such shows as The Sopranos and Lost! Ridiculous. The Wire is too real for some people, but it's the best portrail of what it happening in American cities everywhere....more info
  • Excellent Entertainment
    The Wire Fourth Season is great entertainment. Based on real gritty and grimey streetlife and politics....more info
  • The real thing
    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
  • Good DVD release of a great show
    The fourth season of The Wire brings together many familiar elements from previous seasons: politics, police work, and the harsh realities of inner city drug trade. The main focus, however, is on the educational system and the lives of four teenages boys growing up in the ghetto.

    I won't dwelve too deeply into the show's subject matter, since anyone not already familiar with The Wire should watch the previous seasons first anyway. Suffice to say that this is powerful, intelligent and gripping drama - the best show on television right now, and a strong contender for the all-time hall of fame.

    The DVD was good quality throughout. English subtitles are a nice bonus (even though some of them were a bit off the mark). I also enjoyed the two included documentaries, but wouldn't have objected to having even more extra features. However, these are minor flaws in an otherwise excellent package....more info
  • World's best TV show ever
    ?The Wire? is simply the world's best TV show ever. It makes ?Sopranos? look like a Disney-version of mafia life in comparison. ?The Wire? is as real as it gets....more info
  • Best show on TV?
    Brilliant...again. Thought-provoking, realistic, funny: I love this show. As well as all those things Season 4 builds tension towards Season 5, the final chapter. Will Marlow get his? He deserves it - that dude is C.O.L.D....more info
  • The Wire does it again.....
    About 2 months ago, I finished my business school applications and decided to reward myself (for finishing, not for getting into the schools). I had heard that The Wire was a critically acclaimed series, though not a lot of people I knew had watched it. I watched the first season...then the second, third, and fourth all within about a month and a half time period. Season 4 takes a good, hard look at a controversial and disturbing problem within America--the doldrums in which our inner-city school systems currently reside. After watching certain episodes, I felt hopeless...certainly, David Simon's main concern is not to make his viewers feel like all is well in this world. Moreover, I've yet to watch a series besides Sopranos that draws you so close to the characters. Season 2 aside, I've never felt once that any of the characters in the series were actors. They all seem real to me. The Wire--and especially Season 4--is an emotional rollercoaster that leaves your head spinning at times, but boy is it worth watching. ...more info
  • One of the most realistic shows on television.
    After coming away from the amazing third season of Ed Burns's 'The Wire', one can't help but approach the fourth with skepticism. The bar was, in actuality, lifted yet again as this fantastically well casted and acted show continues to keep me burning through the episodes....more info
  • Operatic, grand, phenomenal storytelling...
    'The Wire' is one of the few true TV shows about what makes America, AMERICA. It is about the failure of institutions and - more specifically - the ramnifications for the people those institutions have failed. Government, law enforcement, family, and now... education, in the season that made me quite literally sit up, put my head in my hands, pause the show, and try and put into words (unsuccessfully) just how great it is.

    And while the fourth season is an OK place for new viewers to jump in, longtime viewers will find this to be the most rewarding of the show's run thus far. Not only has the major crimes unit, the heart of the series, been scattered across the police department, but so, essentially, has the remainder of the Barksdale crew. Marlo Stanfield and his crew, however, are making their play to become kings of the corner, and they're so efficient in their methods that the cops have yet to put a body on 'em.

    But the heart of this season is the struggle for four young boys in the Baltimore city school system. One of them has a connection to the Barksdales. Another, Randy Wagstaff, has - I think, anyway - a connection to Prop Joe's people, as he shares a surname with Calvin 'Cheese' Wagstaff, Joe's nephew. Their stories play out and, naturally, dovetail with those of other characters, as it seems only 'The Wire' can make happen.

    To see the journey that nearly all of the 'Wire' characters go on this season is truly amazing, and as so often happens in real life, heartbreaking. There are no easy answers; they are no angels or devils... only humans wading through gray in a world that wants them to be black and white.

    I'm three episodes into the fifth season - which adds a new failing institution, the media - and I can already see the strings being pulled taut as the series prepares to wrap up.

    DO NOT miss out on this show. It isn't just, as creator David Simon says, 'about the America that America forgot.' It's also about the America that did the forgettting, and it's the greatest show on TV, bar none. (And I LOVE 'The Shield,' so that's saying quite a bit)...more info
  • Some of the best TV in recent years
    The fourth season is not a disappointment. The gripping story and well developed characters of the early seasons continue in season 4. I won't give away any details of what happens, but it is just as good as the first three seasons....more info
  • Excellent Series Continues With Season 4
    The Wire Season 4 did not disappoint. It was more of the same. If you liked the last three seasons don't stop now.

    t made the winter of 08 much more bearable as the cold kept us indoors and the writers left us hanging without any entertainment. If you havn't watched the complete series of The Wire you are missing out.

    The series is a very believable look into politics, crime, law enforcement, success, failure, survival, and just plain life in general. I'd highly recommend it to anyone....more info
  • So dark..............
    The fourth season of The Wire is different to the other seasons as they have gotten away from the wire tap angles and are now straight out drama.

    The series exposed the problems with Baltimore's schools and the political pressures that come from dealing with the citys issues.

    There is no melodrama in this series and there is no glossing over of issues. People looking for an answer can look someplace else as the series does not give answers, it just poses questions.

    Great, great series....more info
  • Good season
    I thought season 5 was ok, not as good as 2 and 3, but it does set up going into the new season 6, sure to be a great final season!...more info
  • Gripping and powerful!
    The Wire portrays so vividly part of America that I think most people would rather ignore or pretend that it does not exist! The writing and acting are excellent!

    It makes me think that issues happening in some areas across America do not only have local effects, but they also have state and national effects. It challenges me: what can I do to help?
    ...more info
  • Dark and penetrating
    This is perhaps the strongest of the four seasons of this outstanding series I have seen so far. It is unremittingly dark and honest; it has grown way beyond entertainment to become a penetrating and withering examination of what's worst about U.S. society.
    This time, the authors take us into the Baltimore school system. We get to know a few of the students, their parents as well as teachers and administrators. These are kids who come from the meanest streets of the city -- their parents are dope fiends or felons. They are foul-mouthed, undisciplined, lack motivation and are unsocialized. In one of the most insightful moments of the entire series, one of the characters comments, "They aren't educating themselves for our world. They're developing the survival skills they need for their world."
    One of the students we meet is Michael: his mother is a heroin addict who gives away her own kids' food money to buy drugs. She has shacked up with an abusive man. Michael struggles to protect himself and his young half brother. By the end of the season, he has turned to drug dealers for protection and has become a cold-blooded killer.
    Another kid makes the mistake of confiding in a policeman. His house is fire-bombed, his mother grievously injured and he winds up in a group foster home being beaten up as a snitch by his roommates.
    A third kid is given a chance of escaping this grim reality when he's adopted by a former police officer. His natural mother's only ambition for her son is for him to become a successful street corner drug dealer and soldier for a trafficking gang.
    Since the first season, the dealers on the corners have changed. The Avon Barksdale gang in the first series could be bloody killers but it was all in the pursuit of business -- it was part of what they all call "the game." They had a certain code of honor. But the gang that now controls the streets are cold-blooded murderers who kill without compunction. They have no code and recognize no restraints.
    This multi-faceted series recognizes that the drug trade flourishes in neglected black ghettos where social order has completely broken down. In this series, it shows how this failure, which is a collective failure of all of us in America, poisons the lives of children, consigning them to fruitless, cruel lives, leaving them with the choice of embracing the drugs trade and becoming killers or defying it and risking death....more info
  • One Of The Best
    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 four seasons - 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 Four. ...more info
  • brilliant!
    i don't write this review for people who have seen previous season(s).
    they already know.
    the fourth season is actually the best part of this fabulous show.
    HBO can be proud of the result.
    what else? yes, season five of course! i can't wait any longer......more info