The Wire.

I stopped myself from writing about this back in December when i first got hooked on the show, but I am now going to write about it because it started on BBC2. Albeit a little late at night, but it is doing the clever thing of playing episodes the very next day meaning that you should be totally hooked on it by Wednesday and be screaming for more pretty much the next week when it finishes.

What is it? Well, the best TV show I have ever watched. It's better than Heroes, 24, Twin Peaks, X Files and Gossip Girl... wait for it... COMBINED. It is amazing. The premise is pretty simple - one series, one case. The case is picked up from the beginning and everything about the case is shown to you. You see the po-lice in their glory and dirty ways, you see the victims of the drug problem in Baltimore, and you get to see the "bad guys" in everything they do. It's possibly the greatest character driven show ever made.

The acting is incredible across the board. No miss cued actors at all. In fact, it's probably the most consistent ensemble cast you can imagine, and you will be lost, i can garuantee. The problem is that in such a short space of time you will be exposed to just over 30 people that will, over the shows five seasons, drop in and out. I am not going to give any spoilers here, that's not how I work - plus the beauty of the show slowly unravelling is that over the 13 episodes of the frist season you will have already picked a favourite character. I have 5, one from each of the seasons.

Infact I'd put my neck out and say that you must see all five seasons. Maybe not the fifth, it's the weakest (having almost run out of mileage) but the second season cuts pretty much all ties with the first series, allowing the first series plotline to trundle along in the background whilst a new story is started. It works because that's how it is in real life - the cases never really go away because in a few years the perpetrators are back out in the street. It's like how it is.

As a drama there is nothing better. With the excellent acting the story is allowed to naturally unfold. McNulty's marriage problems, Kima Gregg's pressure to have a child with her girlfriend, Hauk and Carver's impatience, Prez's endearing buffonish charm, Bunk Moreland and Lester Freemon's amazing banter and smooth as fucking silk voices, Daniel's hardworking presure from above, Royce the Major, Senator "Shiiiiit" Clay Davis... Bubbles the junkie, his friend Johnny, D'Angelo Barksdale, Stringer Bell, Poot, Bodie and Wee-Bay, Wallace... and the main man Avon Barksdale... and that's just the first season. Then you have Valcheck, Frank, Ziggy and Nick Sabotka, Horseface (yeah, Horse), Carcetti in the second season... man I could go on. But I won't.

If you like TV and Drama then this has to be seen and now that it is on BBC noone, not even children, are allowed to miss it. It's on late... and it's long... but you must see it. And if you don't you better have a good reason to still call me a friend.

PS For those on Virgin Media you have it in TV Choice on Demand. And those who don't have the commitment to a TV show, maybe I can give you a loan of the DVD/Downloads I have.

Watch it.