HBO’s The Wire Cast Members Choose The Show’s Best Season, And The Same One Keeps Coming Up

Fans of most television shows, especially those that build a narrative over the course of multiple seasons, love getting into a debate about which episode or even season of the program qualifies as the “best.” We have tried, over the years, to list the best Breaking Bad episodes, for example, and even singled out what we thought was the best episode of The Sopranos. But when it comes to David Simon’s The Wire, the conversation can be too difficult. The HBO drama lasted for five seasons, and basically every season was perfect (in its own way). But if you ask the cast members of The Wire which season they thought was the best, they all tend to give the same answer. 

CinemaBlend was lucky enough to sit down with the cast and crew of The Wire as the HBO masterpiece celebrated its 20th anniversary. The show is now available on DVD and Blu-ray, as well as ready to stream on HBO Max. And as part of the conversation, I brought up the fact that The Wire never won the Emmy Award for Best Series, despite it being considered one of the best television programs ever made. So, giving the cast the chance to revise history, I asked them which season SHOULD have won, and Dominic West kicked off the conversation by saying he loves season 4, explaining:

Because it’s about kids, so it’s so much more dramatic and emotional and the stakes are so much higher. And because those actors who were playing those kids were so brilliant. And also, because I’m hardly in it. (laughs) I do think season 4 was the high point, was perfection. It was meant to be a book that David (Simon) persuaded Ed (Burns) not to write, so it was the perfect coming together of that writer’s room, as well.

Each season of The Wire took on a macro view of the drug war in Baltimore, but also found a way to drill down deeper into a specific region or territory. Season 2 infamously explored the ports of Baltimore, and season 3 established a fictional safe zone for drug trading known as Hamsterdam. In season 4, the show turned its sights on the city’s public school system, and the effects that drugs have on school age children. That impact affected actor Jamie Hector, who played legendary gangster Marlo Stanfield on the show. Hector also chose season 4 as the best, telling CinemaBlend: 

I’m very passionate about early childhood education, and so (the show) shining a light on the disparity between certain communities getting a great education and or not. Having a child in private school or not having a child in private school, and seeing the difference in education and the passion of the teachers and the professors, and the resources that all should have. So if you could magnify that season, that would be fantastic.

The sentiment is echoed by the brilliant Andre Royo, who portrayed the wounded addict Bubbles on the program, and also says season 4 deserved acclaim when he said:

When the fourth season came, it became a social show about the Middle class and the school systems. And then anybody from every race was like, ‘It’s 10 o’clock. Do you know where your kids are?’ No matter what race you are, you cared about your kids. And that show just took us to a different level, so to speak.

There are so many wonderful reasons to celebrate why The Wire is special, from the lasting performance of Michael K. Williams as Omar Little to the signature line it left for Isiah Whitlock Jr. And yes, we even tried to rank The Wire’s best episodes, so feel free to debate us over those choices. In the meantime, check out our full interviews with the cast, and dive into The Wire if you have yet to do so.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.