HBO News Blog

The Wire: Complete Series on Blu-Ray Review

By Rob Toledo on May 19, 2015 to HBO Classics



It’s almost here, The Wire’s complete series on Blu-ray will be available to all for purchase June 2nd, 2015.

For those of you who already have the DVD box set, I can understand why you might groan ever so slightly, because I know in the back of your mind you’re seriously debating getting the Blu-ray set as well despite the fact that you already have the DVDs alongside a subscription to Amazon Prime and HBO Go.

Because most fans of The Wire will never be able to resist the opportunity to own a more in-depth item for their collection about one of the greatest television dramas of all time. So it won’t take much to convince most folks to splurge on this excellent box set offering the highest quality viewing of The Wire possible.

unnamed (2)And to make a clear point here for those streaming the series at their leisure, half the time purchasing the collection of such a quintessential series such as The Wire is solely to make for an easier way to share it with friends and family who haven’t yet seen the series. Telling a coworker about how much you love The Wire doesn’t do much good if you can’t simply hand them a box set and tell them to go to town on all five seasons.

Browsing through the special features on each season makes for a bit of a mixed bag. The first three seasons contain the usual producer, director and actor commentary, but season four and five offer some interesting documentaries about the show as well as about the drug trade in general. They offer some unique insight into the world of The Wire, and its realities compared to the city of Baltimore.

Once again, for those of you with HBO Go/Now or Amazon Prime subscriptions, I can understand the hesitancy to want to buy a Blu-ray set, as even this modern physical ownership will likely feel like a dated way to view the series.

Side-The-Wire-TopBut I find myself on a bit of a more extreme end of the spectrum that occasionally causes me to fear the collapse of the internet as we know it. What then? How is one to enjoy the finest television show ever created with no internet connection? Ah yes, this Blu-ray collection! No internet connection needed. But seriously, there’s something nice about owning the entire collection of The Wire in a physical format that fits nicely on a shelf with other more traditional media formats. While I’m certain services like HBO Go and Amazon Prime aren’t going anywhere, it’s nice to know that with a Blu-ray box set, you actually own a copy of the show.

So to recap, I highly recommend purchasing The Wire on Blu-ray, as the video quality is top shape, the bonus features are certainly worth viewing at least once, and the slimmed down box set makes for easy sharing among friends.

Definitely a great collection, and one I hope to enjoy at least once a year for my annual The Wire marathons.

Pick up a copy on Amazon now before they’re gone forever!

  • Ryo Shenmue

    The highest quality of viewing of The Wire is definitely on DVD since the Blu Ray/HD version doesn’t respect the original vision aesthetically speaking. I’ve never had any doubt on whether or not to upgrade to the Blu Ray Box-Set, i won’t do it with The X-Files and i won’t do it with The Wire. I’ve been watching The Wire since 2003 and it’s a product of the standard definition generation; i’ll keep watching exactly like that.

    • Jonas

      I agree.
      But the biggest problem is the 4:3 to 16:9 change imo!

    • PaulDaggat

      I certainly think it’s a shame that the Blu-ray didn’t keep the shows original aspect ratio. But I wouldn’t necessarily pooh-pooh the Blu-ray master because of it.

      David Simon has done a in-depth blog post on the matter in which he states that he found, whilst in some instances the framing is worse off in HD, in other scenes it’s better off.

      Of course it’s aesthetics, so it’s subjective, but I think to be “hardcore” about it, just for the sake of it, is a bit silly.

    • Soul Less

      Elitest Nonsense.

  • Paula

    Hey just one question – I have a big bin that I often need to crawl through to get all my DVDs. How big is this wire box set?

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