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after seeing this on Screenwipe last night I'm going to give it a look - it looks like a great piece of TV. I'm just looking for opinions on it I guess.

Also for others in my shoes that are just going to jump in Amazon has the box sets for £25 atm.

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There are a few love-in threads for the show around here if you do a quick search. It's outstanding though, you should certainly give it a go. The only thing I would say is to make sure you're in the right frame of mind to watch it – you need to give it your full attention as it introduces so many important characters on both sides of the law early on that it can get confusing at times. Give it a chance to settle in though, and it's a corker.

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I love it dearly. It's not for everyone.

More Wire threads:

http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?showtopic=114461&hl=

http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?showtopic=104996&hl=

http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?showtopic=94051&hl=

http://www.rllmukforum.com/index.php?showtopic=74641&hl=

And from another thread

I currently believe that "The Wire" is the best drama series in the history of HBO, with the possible exception of Seasons 1 and 2 of the Sopranos. I further believe that it is one of the best cop shows of all time. You should watch it.

It's about a bunch of Baltimore police, who eventually get involved in long term surveillance operations against violent drug gangs. It's funny, impeccably researched (most of the stories are drawn from life), well acted, and is brilliantly plotted over its three seasons.

Why you might not like it: you need to pay attention as it introduces loads of characters really quickly and their talk is full of slang and jargon which takes time to tune into. It's downbeat and dour, with no guarantee of happy endings for anyone.

Anyone who reckons Lost is taking them on a road to nowhere should have a look at this. The writers have great stories to tell and serious ideas to discuss. Every detail is there for a reason. and every season builds to a climax as if the makers fear it might be the last one.

Watch it in order from Season 1. The episodes are not self contained, and would make little sense out of sequence.

I'm very keen to see this.

Is it very dour? I quite like what I've seen of the shield, but I've only seen 2 eps.

It is a bit dour but only appropriately so. It is quite a different beast to The Shield. Not so melodramatic. Far more layered and subtle. Much more complicated. Many Shield episodes stand alone too, where The Wire needs to be watched in whole seasons if not from the very beginning, in order.

Still, I am of the opinion that The Wire is the best TV I have ever watched at the moment. Monumentally good stuff if you like your serious sit down dramas.

It is dour, in that it features drug dealers murdering people in the projects of Baltimore, and the police who are after them being endlessly thwarted by their own beauracracy. It's frequently hilarious, but there aren't any concessions to a mainstream network audience, and as a result some people won't get into it. Hell, season 2 even starts by junking the glamorous milieu of the projects (for a while at least) in order to study the trials and tribulations of Polish stevedores at Baltimore docks, for goodness sake. It's a world away from CSI.

On HBO they realised that the funding model was such that you don't need to get everybody to like your show, like they do on advertising-funded network telly. The desire to have everyone possible watching in your timeslot leads to compromises and watering down of storylines that the writers felt hindered their previous show (Homicide: Life on the Street, where a drug dealer would only be allowed to get off scott free for three episodes, and then he had to meet a bloody demise in the fourth in order to satisfy an audience's expectations of justice) With HBO, people will subscribe if there are a couple of shows they really like. So you might like Sex and the City, but hate the Wire, but they get your money anyway.

As a result, The Wire is not for everyone. But if you get into it, you really get into it.

I've watched the first 5 episodes of season 1, and while it all feels very authentic, absolutely nothing has happened yet. I do like the team of fuckwits they've put together and it looks to be going somewhere truly great, but my gos its taking its time about it.

Please tell me the payoff is worth the build up.

Oh yeah Kerraig, it takes its own sweet time. I was expecting them to have a wire up on some phones in the first half hour and then move on to the next case in episode 2, but that's not how things worked in Baltimore when the police were working the real cases the writers were drawing on, and that's not the show they were looking to make. It's more like a satisfyingly long novel than a movie. All those characters and all the little pieces of the puzzle are almost all there for a reason, and those first few episodes are deliberately paced in that way. Things that happen in them are still having repercussions in seasons 2 and 3. My missus thought it was painfully slow at first, but now she's almost as enthusiastic about the show as I am.

It was a bit of a risk for them to make it like that, especially as reviewers (and audiences) expect the parameters of the show to be defined in the first episode.

There is a satisfying conclusion to each season, but the payoff is about more than a wham-bam climax. Hope it clicks for you. It's not for everyone, but I'm interested to hear what you all make of it.

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Season 3 is up for pre-order at Play for £32, which is very cheap for a new HBO release. Buy get!

Are you sure? I think they must have changed it since yesterday.

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Are you sure? I think they must have changed it since yesterday.

Yeah, it has changed. I hope my order goes through.

Edit: well, now it says it's due for release next year. God.

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If there's anyone on here from Norwich, Season 1 of The Wire is only £14.99 in the St Stephen's branch of WHSmith (upstairs). The box is a bit battered but not too badly.

(Dunno if it'll be that price in any other branches.)

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Season 4 begins on September 10th.

The qustion is: Do I have the patience to wait until the whole series has been aired or do I scrabble along, week by week, like some addict scrapping through the garbage for stuff to sell to make their next fix?

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I'm about halfway through season 1 of this, and it's utterly fantastic. As Graham says, it's like a live-action novel rather than a TV show. Each hour is more of a 'chapter' than an episode.

It makes episodic TV look out of date - the artificiality of having 25 neatly wrapped-up eps per year really grates on me now (not that there are many shows like that any more). But this goes one further, and completely ditches the episodic nature of TV.

Even 24 has to have a cliffhanger every 45 mins and characters awkwardly recapping the story to each other every now and then to help audiences keep up. No such luck on The Wire - you have to pay attention all the time.

I ordered this after seeing (and loving) Miami Vice at the cinema. When meticulously-researched and filmed with respect, proper police work is fascinating to watch.

I love the way there are no leaps of logic or plot holes swept under the carpet. I loved the scene in the episode I just watched where the detectives are sitting around listening to a recording trying to work out what the fuck the dealers are saying to each other. The street lingo itself has to be decoded, and it's all part of the fun.

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I'm two episodes into the third season at the moment. Is the 'bottles of drink in paper bags' thing true? It's great. Time to Wikipedia it.

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I'm about halfway through season 1 of this, and it's utterly fantastic. As Graham says, it's like a live-action novel rather than a TV show. Each hour is more of a 'chapter' than an episode.

Yeah, I love that about The Wire.

Interestingly a good few episodes were written by George Pelecanos a novelist. He’s one of my favourite writers, his books are set in the Greek and Black communities of Washington DC. If you like The Wire you’ll like George Pelecanos, he’s superb.

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Funnily enough, I absolutely loved the first 5 or so episodes, but now I'm on the 9th it seems to have gone downhill. I'll keep watching though, it's superb.

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I've just started season 2. Loved Seson 1, ended up doing things like watching 5 episodes in a row. I'm actually still watching season 1 with my flatmate (despite having watched it all already), since he can only watch one at a time.

Brilliant, brilliant piece of TV.

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I love this show too and would echo all the other praise in this thread. It's really intelligent stuff and there's a lot of depth to it.

I'd also echo the warnings about paying attention and being in the right mood for it though, there are so many characters and it's such a slow burning series that you'll have to watch half a dozen episodes before it all really starts to gel. It's definitely worth watching over a weekend or one or two episodes every night so that it stays fresh in your mind and so that you can keep up with everything.

I'm looking forward to season 4, I just hope Omar is still in it in some capacity :unsure:

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Yeah, I love that about The Wire.

Interestingly a good few episodes were written by George Pelecanos a novelist. He’s one of my favourite writers, his books are set in the Greek and Black communities of Washington DC. If you like The Wire you’ll like George Pelecanos, he’s superb.

This is making me want to watch it even more! I've only read a few of his books, but they were excellent. And now that Deadwood is finished, The Wire marathon can begin...

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This is making me want to watch it even more!

You won't be disappointed then, Charlie Brooker is right when he calls The Wire probably the best TV drama in recent memory. It's even better than other HBO stuff like Deadwood, The Sopranos and Carnivale - and they're all fucking outstanding shows in their own right.

For those of you who haven't seen series 3 yet, it's every bit as good as series 1 & 2.

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So the fourth season is coming up soon, and the reviews are coming in...

http://www.metacritic.com/tv/shows/wireseason4

I have to thank whoever it was that recommended it when I ATF'd for a new DVD box set to get into. After that, I caught it from HBO on demand, and am now working my way through the third series (the fourth will be TIVOd till I'm ready).

Anyway, bring on season 4. I hope it's true to the other seasons, and there's no compromises in terms of challenge to the viewer. It rocks.

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Season 4, how exciting, not sure if I want to watch it week by week tho, especially with the way The Wire plays out. In saying that tho, I suspect theres no way Ill be able to resist, and then just watch them all in a marathon once the seasons over. Id heard somewhere this is the last season...

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After hearing all the praise I am tempted to pick season 1 of this up.

Is it really better than The Sopranos etc?

And is it worth the £25 amazon are asking for it?

Yes, yes and thrice ues.

It takes a very special type of show to force me to watch every one of the 13 episodes in one sitting!

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