The Wire is, simply, one of the best television shows ever made. The Wire takes the familiar territory of the cop drama, casts aside every single genre cliché, and tells a very real story of a city in decline. David Simon, the show's creator and principle writer, drew upon his experience as a beat reporter for The Baltimore Sun to craft a realistic portrait of life in Charm City. Each of the five seasons focuses on a different aspect of the city: the police, the working middle class, the school system, the drug runners, the addicts, the politicians, and the press all get their voice in The Wire's narrative. And, unlike most cop shows, there aren't simple good guys and bad guys. This is what makes The Wire truly compelling - every character matters and has depth, and they are brilliantly portrayed. If you're interested in crime drama, then The Wire is well worth your time.
Recommended by Tony Pellicone