Is the Wire on Netflix?

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The Wire is a five season series originally run on HBO that chronicles the lives of people in rough and tumble Baltimore, at first through the eyes of drug dealers and the cops trying to bust them, but then gradually drawing in elements of city and state government, union workers, the failing public school system, and even the last big newspapers.

It is considered by both fans and critics to be one of the most well-written and accurate police and crime dramas ever made, and it is a must-see for those interested in social, political, and criminal justice. We are going to take a look at The Wire and where you can stream it. If you’ve been wondering “Is The Wire on Netflix?”, we will clarify that for you.

The Wire

Release Date on Netflix: Unknown
Director: David Simon
Runtime: 59 minutes
IMDB Rating: 9.3
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

The Wire ran for 60 episodes over the course of five seasons. Quite a few well-known actors have appeared in it, including Idris Elba, Wendell Pierce, Clarke Peters, Lance Reddick, Dominic West, and Michael Kenneth Williams. The writing, done mostly by David Simon, but with other talented contributors, is deep, resonating, and as gritty as real life. The performances take those well-written characters even further, and many of the actors won awards, as did the entire series.

The first season mostly follows the harrowing life of young and old involved with the heroin trade in Baltimore. Gangs use it to provide jobs in a community bereft of economic choices. Violence and death result, and the police, both good and bad, start to hunt down the biggest players.

The second season draws in the dock workers union, and as their work dies off, they have no choice but to work with those importing heroin into the country. Some of their members, especially the younger ones who have a harder time getting work, get involved more deeply in the trade than would be considered safe.

Season three brings in a mayoral race, and the promises politicians make to both sides. A reduction in crime is promised to one side, while jobs and resources are promised to the other. Alliances must shift, and both the police and the people become pawns as much as players.

The failing school system in inner city Baltimore is the focus of season four. It looks at how young kids are drawn into bad choices because there are no other choices for them. Failed communities combine with broken families to feed the next generation of criminals and cops.

The fifth and final season brings a lot of the story back together, but it also introduces the issues involved with the collapse of big newspapers and journalism in general in the twenty-first century. It wraps up some of the key character story lines, while still leaving clear reminders that cycles tend to continue.

To get a clearer view on what the show is all about, take a look at the trailer.

Is The Wire on Netflix?

Sadly, the answer to this question is a pretty clear no, regardless of where you live. HBO does not do any streaming with Netflix, as they have their own quite popular global service. However, you can get the DVDs of the series through Netflix if you have the full package. With a show as great as this, you will end up watching the DVDs faster than you thought. Completing this series alone might well be worth that additional monthly charge on Netflix.


Even if the answer to the question “Is The Wire on Netflix?” is no, you can still watch this captivating television show on HBO, or rent the DVDs with Netflix’s additional monthly charge. Regardless of where you choose to watch it, the series is well worth your time.

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