This weekend, we’re watching season four of ‘The Wire.’

Maybe our memory’s not so good, but when in history has a critical favorite like this show, credited with loads of multitiered social commentary and the like, ever been so unreservedly exhilarating to watch? Just today, we were obsessing over the “prequel” clips that are online. This weekend — and we mean all weekend — we’ll be rewatching the season-four DVDs. (They came out earlier this week, when we were busy slaving for the man.) The bullshit politicians, nearsighted cops, and cannibalistic drug dealers are all here, of course, but it’s the doomed schoolkids — Randy, Namond, Dukie, and Michael — who best give life to the capital-T tragedy of Baltimore’s failing of institutions. Not that we watch it for the multitiered social commentary …

The Wire: The Complete Fourth Season

HBO Home Video

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This weekend, we’re watching season four of ‘The Wire.’