- Season 1: ground-level dealers and cops
- Season 2: shipping and distribution
- Season 3: local politics
- Season 4: the school system
- Season 5: the press
The show never let up in terms of hard-hitting dialog and camera work. They also were not particularly faithful to any of their characters other than the hard core of the police team. It was incredible how well they blended the lives of the criminals, the users, and the supposed good guys and how well the characters were developed. I find myself still thinking about characters and situations from this show even two years after having finished it.
In terms of TV drama where there is not one standout actor (like Gandolfini in Sopranos), The Wire stands alone in terms of quality and realism. It also ended just at the right time.