Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent time watching all five seasons of the epic crime series, The Wire. Surprisingly, this was my first time ever watching The Wire, despite hearing so many great things about it from various individuals, and I can’t believe I waited so long to finally watch it. This is a quality TV show filled with deep, gritty storylines and an amazing group of actors. I’d describe it as one of the best television shows I’ve personally ever watched, along with my beloved Boardwalk Empire.
What makes The Wire so special is not just its stories that ring true to life, but the engaging characters that fill the screen and make the stories come to life. The slow-burning nature of the show also allows us viewers to watch each character develop. I found myself falling in love with some of these characters, wishing that I could reach out to them or them in my life.
I love the police characters of Bunk and Kima, and I am also a big fan of Lester and Sydnor. I like McNulty when he’s not acting like an absolute idiot and over time, I grew to really like Carver. However, it was the criminals and street level characters that I really fell in love with.
Despite not having much of an opinion of him at first, I saw how much I loved Avon when he had a much smaller part to play in later seasons. Watching the first season again also made me see how much I loved his cool mannerisms. I was not keen on Bodie’s character initially, but as I watched him grow over the seasons, I fell in love with him and I was heartbroken when he was killed.
Although they kind of annoyed me at first, I fell in love with the teenager characters in season four and I desperately wanted to see them all come out on top, but that unfortunately was not meant to be. I adored the gorgeous, little Randy and it angered me when the police and the system let him down – he was a sweet thing who deserved so much better. One of the saddest moments in The Wire for me was watching Dukie’s wasted potential as he ended up as a drug addict. He’d come so far, but he just could not catch break, after also being let down by the system.
There are so many other characters in The Wire that I love, including Bubbles, the sweet, bumbling addict who eventually got clean and turned his life around. However, there are two characters that I fell deeply in love with and they will always stand out most for me.
Wallace’s character was only in The Wire for the first season, but he managed to have a huge impact on me. This was a teenage boy caught up in the dangerous “game” of drug-dealing, which eventually cost him his life. Wallace is an appealing character, because he is a real sweetheart who is not cut out for the life he’s living in, but he can’t bring himself to get out for good. He has a wonderful caring streak, which you don’t see too much in a show like The Wire, and that made him refreshing.
I was so devastated when he was killed by his friends Poot and Bodie (which is part of where my initial dislike for Bodie’s character came from) that it actually reduced me to tears and I can never watch that scene again. I fell in love with Wallace’s character in a sisterly way and I looked at him like someone I wanted to hug, take in and look after, just so that he could get out of that life.
And then there is Omar, who is my ultimate favourite character in The Wire. I will hold my hands up and say that I am head over heels in love with Omar. His character has one of the most unique and captivating personalities that you will ever see, which is why I love him so much. It also helps that he is funny and he comes out with great things like, “Oh indeed”. Omar is special, because he is a murdering criminal with a strict moral code and a beautiful heart – he also doesn’t swear, which I love.
Omar is played by Michael K. Williams, who just happens to play my favourite character in Boardwalk Empire, Chalky White. Williams brings the amazing sensitivity and grace to Omar that he also brings to Chalky, which has made him one of my favourite actors. I could actually write a whole post alone on Omar, because I love him so much, but I’ll leave that for another day.
The Wire is a spectacular show that develops their characters in a way that has truly inspired me, as they grip at my heartstrings and make me genuinely care about people who are not real. However, part of the reason I love these characters so much is because of the part they play in stories that ring true to life. I just hope I can use this inspiration to create great characters in my plays and stories that others will care about and grow to love.