Tuesday, 25 April 2017
The Wire, Season 4 (2006)
Season four of The Wire continues the show's run of well-acted, hard-hitting law enforcement drama, but expands the narrative's attention quite widely. Not only do we get an enlarged political element as the Democratic primary for Mayor heats up, but also the addition of a large number of teenage characters as some ex-police characters move into middle school education.
Which doesn't mean that police work is completely ignored, of course: there's an ongoing if badly run attempt to take down drug kingpin Marlo Stanfield, and several homicide cases that will ultimately tie back to this operation.
The number of plot threads carried over from season three, and the number of open ones left at the end of this season's thirteen episodes, are the major reason for the "Qualified" part of my recommendation. Season four of The Wire definitely feels like it is a part of a larger narrative, rather than being a truly standalone story. It would probably be pretty hard to leap into the show with these episodes and really follow everything that's going on or to understand why the various characters interact in the way they do.
On the other hand, what's likely to be confusing for new viewers is often a joy for long term fans as they see characters and stories evolve organically from previous events.
If you haven't checked out The Wire yet, you should - just be sure to start from the beginning, to really the full effect.