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"The Wire" Season One: Top 5 Power Rankings

"The Wire" Season One: Top 5 Power Rankings


Grizzled, downtrodden, potentially alcoholic television detectives are in my top five favorite types of people, right behind the old athlete who stills try to play the game they love and right ahead of 70+ year-old lady who talks professional wrestling (good company if you ask me).

I crack the spine of an Elmore Leonard novel more often than not and whenever I leave my place I envision myself hitting the streets to push a couple mopes around to get some intel on the homicide that took place karaoke night in front of Sonny's off of Liberty when in all actuality I'm walking in gym shorts to mail a Christmas present that's six months late.

So how in God's name did it take me so long to fire up HBO's The Wire, arguably the greatest crime drama, television or film, to ever exist (or so I was told)?  Well, all my friends with checkered pasts that have seen it have been on my damn case to watch it aren't wrong. I fucking love this show.

I'm on season three right now, but a series like this needs to simmer for awhile so I'm not binge watching this like it's some sort Arrested Development rehash. No, just like setting up a wire, I've thoughtfully been pacing myself episode by episode to make this an all out experience so I get all of those feels on both sides of the law. And lemme say, these characters do a bang up job of making me want to sling product one minute, and chase down a couple gang bangers who chirp just a little too much the next. I'm invested into these characters so therefore I feel compelled to rank them (just like I do with friends and family members). So here are my top five characters from season one of The Wire.


5. William Rawls

Oh, this fucking guy. He's encased in the police chief mold, complete with pulsating vein on his forehead due to his detectives making his life more complicated, but is this prick engaging or what? I, along with Bunk and McNulty want to fuck up his life too all in the name of truth, justice and the American way. What really puts him on the cusp of this top five though is the babyface move he makes at the end of the season. Fuckin' A, you son of a bitch (holy shit, I'm swearing a lot in this feature - cop talk, you assholes!)


4. Wallace

How am I not going to give my boy Michael B. any love in the only season he's in? Not only does this kid go on to be the wayward son of Apollo Creed in another life, but the character of Wallace really hammers home the brutalness and seemingly unescapability of the Baltimore streets. Wallace was all about dealing out juiceboxes and pretzels in the Big Brother program rather than handing out red tops so Poot and Bodie did him dirty in his apartment (all in front of a Tupac poster, nonetheless, cold ass motherfuckers).


3. Kima Greggs

Kima plays a huge role in season one as she's the connective tissue to not just the unit, but she's an active shaker of the streets. She's one of the boys and fits right in with their ballbusting. That girlfriend of hers needs to lighten the F up, though. Geez she's a cop, lady - what the hell do you want from her?


2. Lester Freamon

What an arc this vet took, eh? From constructing tiny cabinets and ottomans to dating a stripper with a heart of gold (D'Angelo fucked that one up didn't he?), Lester is the sage that holds Daniels' fresh unit together. I would sit under his learning tree for hours. Happy he got out of the pawn unit.


1. D'Angelo Barksdale

The true moral compass of season one, D'Angelo further finds the hardships of the drug operation while in charge of the towers, seeing civilians get 86'ed at his expense and the  youth get corrupted on his watch. D'Angelo, however steals the entire season with the chess analogy he makes when taking how the drug dealing hiearchy is made up.

Honorable Mentions


Omar Little: Season one is just the tip of the iceberg for Omar, you best not miss


Jimmy McNulty: The leading man is in the same boat as Omar (and literally in one during season two).


Bubs: Nothing makes being a dope fiend fun, but if someone gives that comatose-esque drooling any sort of allure, it's that CI Bubs. He's like Otis the town drunk in Andy Griffith, but only if Otis lugged a shopping cart around with a space heater and a bunch of curtain rods. The red hat gimmick is a gold, bold move on his part and the fact that he plays on both sides of the streets make him a salt of the earth kind of cat. His friendship with Kima also sweetens the deal for this non-dealer.


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