It’s been nine years since I last watched The Wire and I’m finally going through and doing a proper rewatch. The Wire is one reason I stopped gushing to people over TV shows - too many people gushing about the show, and the Stuff White People Like article is a little too on the nose. Better to let people find this stuff for themselves than listen to me blabbing about how great things are.

I liked the show when I first watched it, but I was also never really compelled to rewatch it. Some of the moments are so painful - Frank Sobotka walking off to the meet at the end of Season 2, Randy’s group home at the end of Season 4 - that it’s difficult to want to revisit.

What the show does so well is the the small moments among the gang members: Bodie listening to Prairie Home Companion, great lessons about the power of repetition, crazy moments where the civil servents reveal they’re willfully cruel. On first watch Stringer Bell came off as pretty smart, on rewatch it’s clear he’s trying to put on a mask in order to escape his life, but he can’t.

What grates on me is the reputation the show has for realism. It’s hard for me to click with some of the characters - McNulty has some great moments but his writing is a bit cliche, maybe I missed something but I’m not sure why DeAngelo is so “woke” compared to his peers. Some of the people it creates are cartoons (Brother Mouzone and yes, even Omar) or so willfully evil (Rawls, Burrell) that it’s difficult to look at the world as anything other than a political rant.

Still, it’s a fun political rant to listen to, and the evil in the every-day frequently lands directly on target. Deputy likes dots.