You can’t go very long without someone bringing up The Wire as their favourite show of all time. Watching the series appears to be synonymous with ranking it as the greatest TV series there ever was. Coming to this conclusion is anything but instantaneous. There are five stages one must go through before accepting the inevitable truth that the series deserves the praise and rank it receives.

1. Denial

the wire1 The 5 Stages of Accepting <em>The Wire</em> as the Best Show Ever
Before even watching an episode, you are skeptical. How could a crime drama stand out from the endless pile of mundane shows of the same ilk? You watch the first two episodes and feel lost. There are dozens of characters and it’s hard to keep track of them, let alone care about what happens to them. Stringer Bell and McNulty are the only names that stick.

2. Anger

TheWire2 540x405 The 5 Stages of Accepting <em>The Wire</em> as the Best Show Ever
You feel anger towards everyone who praised the show so highly. It doesn’t seem like you could ever get absorbed by The Wire in the same way everyone else clearly did. It’s frustrating and you seek to take out that anger on the messenger, Omar style.

3. Bargaining

The Wire 3 The 5 Stages of Accepting <em>The Wire</em> as the Best Show Ever
You plead with yourself to find something extraordinary about the show. Episode 3 or 4 just finished and you want to believe it’s going to grab you but you can’t help feel indifferent to what seems to be a well written show. Kind of like how D feels about his involvement in the game.

4. Depression

thewire 4R The 5 Stages of Accepting <em>The Wire</em> as the Best Show Ever
At this point you worry that you’ve wasted your time trying to get into it, and that your friends have superior or way worse taste in television. You have a strong feeling of separation between yourself and those you’ve come to trust, not unlike the relationship between McNulty and his wife.

5. Acceptance

thewire5 540x405 The 5 Stages of Accepting <em>The Wire</em> as the Best Show Ever
Somewhere between episodes 4-8 you’re hooked. You know all the characters now, care about what happens to them and are drawn to keep watching how the wire tap unfolds. Now you can talk to your friends again and relate about how great Omar is or how much you love watching Daniels slam one of the higher ups at the Baltimore Police Department.