Dennis suggests ‘The Wire’ (in Mystery/Thriller). The lovely Mrs. Elsa S. Customer and I just finished the final episode of this series a while ago, and the experience was a little overwhelming, so this review may be a little disjointed. To start off, I’ll just say- this is the best television show that’s ever been made. Ever. Just to get the suspense element of this review out of the way. The city of Baltimore is at once a microcosm of the complex , heartbreaking soul of America and, specifically, itself in the hands of creators/writers David Simon (a longtime Baltimore Sun reporter) and Ed Burns (a longtime Baltimore cop and teacher in the Baltimore public schools). The Wire is a cop show. And it’s not. The protagonists are cops, sure, initially drawn together in a surveillance unit to try and gather evidence on the most powerful drug kingpins in the city, but the series scope quickly broadens to encompass the drug dealers (from the highest to the lowest level), politicians, dock workers, teachers, addicts, lawyers, reporters and plain old citizens (who may belong to one or more group), creating the fullest, most complex, layered, and compelling portrait of America that I’ve ever seen. The Wire is an epic novel of America. It’s a story as worn and hackneyed as television itself, cops vs. crooks, transformed into something like Shakespearean tragedy, with a huge cast of diverse characters as vivid and nuanced as any show, ever, can boast. I am now very protective of these actors; if I see them in a show or a movie that is beneath them, I actually get mad. (No! Stringer Bell does not get third billing in some crappy horror movie! No f-ing way!) I could go on, and probably will later, but I’ll finish the way I started; this is the best TV show ever. Seriously.