The Wire: In what order should I watch the seasons?

Just started watching The Wire, season 1, episode 1.

It was a bit slow and not too interesting, and then I remembered that here on the SDMB or somewhere similar I read that some people recommend watching the seasons out of order.

Do you agree? If yes, what’s the best order to watch the seasons in?

Absolutely not - the real magic of the series is the progressive build, layering and development of the plot over multiple seasons. That’s just awful advice.

What you may be remembering instead is that almost everyone finds the series a little difficult to get into. I was indifferent to the first few episodes as well. For many, many people it kind of grows on them like moss or some creeping fungus ;). Stick it out through the first season or at least halfway in and see how you are feeling about it at that point.

Not every show is for everyone, but The Wire more than most rewards the patient viewer.

Definitely watch them in the proper order. No other way to do it, IMO.

By the way, fans of the show might be interested to know that a hi-def wide-screen version is going to be released on blu-ray disc soon.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

The first time I watched the Wire, it bored me. I came back and after 3-4 episodes, I binged on the rest. It definitely rewards having enough patience to watch a few episodes before deciding whether or not to continue.
Why do you people think that it tends to have so little attraction after having watched 1-2 episodes but that after a handful, it exerts such a strong pull?

Is it just down to the longer plot arcs which span several episodes instead of being chiefly contained within each episode?

I can’t imagine a worse idea than watching that show out of order. For the record, though, I loved it from the very first scene.

1 2 3 4 5

This has to be the silliest question I’ve read all year.

Start with season 5. Then the first half of season 2. Then the second half of season 4. Then 3, 1, rest of 2, first of 4.

The correct order is: Season 4, First half of Season 2, Empire Strikes Back, Second half of Season 4, Season 3, Phantom Menace, New Hope, Season 1, Jedi, rest of S2, than watch Season 5, but sync it to the audio of Clone Wars.

The first few episodes are just setting up some background information. Once the police unit actually gets started, it gets much more gripping.

Of course, I thought the show peaked with Season 1, so YMMV.

Maybe skip season 5, it’s by far the weakest season. Definitely watch the other ones in order though.

If you are not hooked after the 1st scene of the 1st episode I don’t know what to tell you.

I’d rank the seasons thus: 4,1,3,2,5 (still blown away by the kid actors in season 4)

You could watch them out of order, but a lot of the relationships wouldn’t make sense. Somebody really thought that was a good idea?

The Wire is an existential expereience. Slow and deep.

The Wire is my favorite show ever. I’ve watched the whole thing through from start to finish three times, and have watched individual scenes and episodes countless times.

While i agree that the first scene is great, i wasn’t really hooked on the show until about a half-dozen episodes in, as the relationships between all the different story arcs and characters really began to become clearer. It’s not that i was bored, or that i disliked the show before that; it’s simply that it took me a while to really become immersed in it.

I was overwhelmed by the number of important characters. Most shows start out with one or two core people and slowly draws you in. The Wire drops you off right in the middle of a complex city, where nearly everybody matters. And due to the long arc, it takes several episodes to understand why the show is great, and not just okay.

I don’t disagree. Getting deeper into the characters draws you in. But the first scene was enough for me to see that this was going to go different than most other cop shows. That was enough to let me know I was in. No guarantee that it wouldn’t have turned to shit by episode 2 but luckily it didn’t.

In the standard order 1-5. The show builds upon itself and there is really no sense in watching it any other way. I’d give it through Season 1 episode 6 and if you still don’t like it then it might not be for you. It does take some time to get into it. I’ve heard the creator or someone else highly involved with making it say that it’s a show that teaches you how to watch it. I agree with this - it’s structured so differently than other shows, introduces a ton of characters and basically, it takes time for it all to fall into place in the mind of the viewer. Give it that time.

Also, I found watching with the closed captioning really helps. There’s a strong accent, odd names, as well as slang (police, drug culture, and general Baltimore urban) that can be confusing or hard to understand. Seeing it written helped me quite a bit.

In all seriousness, The Wire throws you into the deep end of the pool right from the beginning which can be off putting. It introduces two whole worlds of characters, many with strange names, all at the same time. It takes a few episodes to ease into it but it is worth it.

Definitely give it until at least episode 7 or 8. Also watch the seasons in order.

Thanks everyone for your feedback. I mistakenly thought I had read that the seasons were independent and could be watched in any order. I must have read that about some other show.

The Wire Christmas Special, though, is stand-alone.