Well, I've only got the final episode left and I'll be done with the series. I loved it, and my earlier gripes did tone as the series went on. The sheer scope of the show was impressive, and that so many well-developed characters could so seamlessly walk in and out of the series without missing a beat is a testament to the story-telling ability of the showrunners/writers. While I still prefer The Sopranos - I think it takes more creative risks that end up panning out and its comedy is more charming - I think The Wire is is definitely up there, albeit probably in that 2nd tier for me. Season 5 kind of drags it down a lot. Not that the season is bad, but the serial killer McNulty thing is so contrived to the point that it's distracting/a blatant clunk and the newspaper arc did not feel as intricate/meaningful as the previous subjects and seemed rather bland and run-of-the-mill. It didn't stand out from what any other show would have done, I thought. Only the Stanfield story was still interesting. I'd rank the seasons like this: Season 4 Season 2 Season 3 Season 1 Season 5 With that said, how Stringer Bell appears to be considered a more interesting character than Avon Barksdale baffles me. And I can't believe they did my man Prop Joe like that. I really liked Marlo Stanfield/Chris Partlow/Snoop too.