For the few people out there who still don't know - I'm from Baltimore (And no, I'm not just saying that to be cool, or for street cred, per the hilarious 'stuff white people like' posting from yesterday). I have been playing some serious Wire catch-up of late, since I have never had HBO, tend to not watch much TV with friends who do have HBO, and am relatively new to the rent or burn onto DVD an HBO series phenomenon. What a brilliant show, though! Not having grown up in the projects, I can still tell you that the dialogue is authentic and the details very much on point. Some examples would include the lake trout sandwich, Stringer's conversation with his DC guy in the second season ('I hate go–go music anyway,' - a hilarious example of the Baltimore-DC rift, as in Bmore club music is popular, whereas in DC it's all about go-go), and the depiction of Locust Point as a gentrifying extension of Federal Hill. Of course this won't make sense unless you have spent some time in Baltimore, but if you have then you know what I'm talking about.
'The Wire' boasts some unbelievable character development. Most folks' favorite character would probably be Omar, the very openly gay stick-up man. His penchant for attractive, light skinned African American guys, loyalty to the double barrel shotty, and ability to rile anyone and everyone, from pushers to sleazy criminal lawyers, makes for one complex, entertaining character. Oh, indeed!
Everyone from Terry Gross, to Thurton Moore, to wine blogging stalwart Lyle Fass have been fawning over this show. If you've been under a rock and want to find out more, here's some more info on The Wire.