Googling ‘The Wire’

A year since the masterpiece of American television stopped airing on HBO, it lives on via DVD box sets and wiki. What will take its place?


I can hear ringing in my ears.

Red tops! Red tops! Got that WMD!

This constant feeling of emptiness and willingness to do anything to get a fix. Wait. Am I delirious? This must be what withdrawal feels like.

All this coming from someone who just finished watching The Wire DVD box set. I can only imagine how hard it’s been for tried-and-true Wireheads, as today marks one year since TV stood still and HBO’s The Wire officially went dead.

The show mastered the “Baldamore” twang, the grittiness of the city. Corner boys and crackheads, politicians and the press, this show ran the gamut of life in Charm City.

Describe The Wire in one word? Smart. It didn’t knock you over the head with “this is this” and “he is this.” There weren’t explanations of the heavy jargon or unfolding plot, just full-speed ahead; if you missed it, too bad. Catch it on the replay.

It was so smart, subtle and quick that I wikied every single character, every single season, just to relive the show’s brilliance. After being glued to my computer screen for hours, Googling The Wire turned into an obsession. I wanted to know the back stories, the plot lines that were just too damn smart for me to understand.

Go ahead and try it. Google Randy Wagstaff. It’ll help you cope with the withdrawal symptoms, a coping mechanism, if you will. (Did you know that Cheese—Prop Joe’s nephew—was Randy’s father?)

It was a slow path to my addiction. The first couple of episodes didn’t get me hooked, but after listening to D’Angelo explain chess, with its pawns and kings, to Wallace and Bodie, I couldn’t get enough. In the second season, there’s a confrontation between Omar and Brother Mouzone that stands out among the muck of the port. “I keeps one in the chamber in case you ponderin’.”