Interestment’s Top Four: Characters in The Wire

Published: 29th Apr, 2009

WARNING! There will be spoilers, people.

wire

Everyone loves The Wire, and quite correctly. Often these things are hyped to kingdom come, and all you’re left with is a deflated feeling in your stomach as the greatest thing imaginable turns out to be just okay. But, honestly, this definitely is the greatest TV show of all time – something Jesus would probably watch. It’s that good. So good that coming up with the four best characters was a near impossible feat, with greats like Prop Joe, Bunk, Marlo, Prez, Kima, McNulty, Snoop, Lester and Daniels all falling in the edit. Men who could dazzle on any other show on television. In the end, our ever changing top four looks like this…

1. Duquan “Dukie” Weems

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Ahhh Dukie, poor, downtrodden Dukie. If The Wire could be pinned down in simple terms, it was the story of two junkies. One on the road to recovery – the brilliant Bubbles, who only just missed out here – and one on the slow descent into hell, Dukie. Of all the stories in the five seasons of the show, his is by far the most heart breaking, as he does everything he can to avoid the inevitable card that cruel life has dealt him. We’ll admit it, sad Dukie made us cry, sitting there at the end, heroin pumping through his veins. A tragedy.

2. Bodie Broadus

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Bodie encapsulates everything that was brilliant about The Wire, with his hard working nature, and impeccable street smarts. From his lowly days in The Pit to his stubborn last moments desperately trying to defend his corner from the Stanfield crew, he doesn’t budge one inch. In many ways, he was a true American hero – one who followed uncomfortable orders when he killed Wallace, one who stood up to Marlo Stanfield, and one who could talk man-to-man with haggered old McNulty. Even if it did cost him his life. His spitting technique was very impressive also.

3. Omar Little

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As gay stick up kids go, they don’t come much more brilliant than Omar. One of the few gangsters with a conscience and a code, he was like a modern day Robin Hood – only one that carried a shotgun, and was never without a smouldering cigarette. His scar was also pretty excellent. The harrowing reality of the streets were revealed when Omar‘s death – which felt like such a big deal – barely made it into the local news. A brilliant, brilliant character, and probably the closest to fantasy in the whole programme.

4. Stringer Bell

wire-stringer-bell

It was a tight call, picking the greatest of the big drug dealing brains – Prop Joe almost barged his way in with his near-Chaucerian way of speaking, and Marlo Stanfield was terrifyingly excellent too. But it was Stringer Bell who was the criminal you really wanted to be, with his effortless cool, and advanced business brain. The ultimate modern drug dealer. On the downside, he had D’Angelo Barksdale killed, and we really liked D’Angelo.

Josh Burt
About the author:
Josh has been a writer and journalist for the best part of twenty years and has written for modern staples like FHM and Cosmopolitan and The Daily Telegraph and The Sun. He has also written a small handful of so-so books that you can still buy.

4 Responses to Interestment’s Top Four: Characters in The Wire

  1. Mike says:

    Cannot resist a Top List on ‘The Wire’ this early in the morning (why Top ‘Four’ exactly?!), but there are surely too many characters to do each series justice! I’ll stick to the recurring characters…

    1) Bodie – you’re right when you say he’s at the heart of ‘The Wire’; he’s got heart, loyalty, eyes-on-the-prize and even a little integrity, but still loses his way in the game. Fucking brilliantly acted as well.

    2) Carver – mainly because of the way he matures through all 5 series’, but his presence in S3 kept the worst of the 5 from dragging, and the concluding episode of S4 where he has to leave Randy is truly heartbreaking.

    3) Bubs – how could you forget Bubs?!?!

    4) Slim Charles – if, for nothing else, because he had the pleasure of offing Cheese at the series climax. That and the fact that he has one of the best lines in the whole show: (to Avon) “Even if it’s a lie – we fight on that lie.” Sums the whole show up really.

    Hope that wasnt the list you were expecting 😉

  2. josh josh says:

    A great list Mike. And to answer your question, we tend to do Top Fours as they require more thought than a Top Ten – it can often be painful editing them down – and Top Threes are a little bit too Olympic for our tastes.

    Bubs wasn’t forgotten, he was just usurped by Dukie – I felt that their stories were quite similar, so it would have to be one or the other. It was a painful decision, I love Bubs…

    Totally agree about Slim Charles. What a voice too!

  3. arthur or martha says:

    Also excellent:

    Cedric “The Body” Daniels – Um, excuse me officer! Have you been working out?

    Chris Partlow – Sexy and good at killing rapists.

    Snoop – After you realise she is a girl, she is like totally Baltimore man. And her death scene was awesome.

    Howard “Bunny” Colvin – He’s called Bunny! And he rescues Namond from his scary mom!

  4. Frank says:

    You forgot Clay Davis. His response “Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiit”

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