Many people consider The Wire to be among the greatest TV dramas ever made. The drama shows how the lives of Baltimore, from the media and politicians to drug dealers and police officers, interconnect. The show’s creators carefully researched and constructed each season. They worked under David Simon’s guidance to provide a subtle and realistic portrayal of daily life in the city. The societal analysis is insightful, the script is excellent, and the performance is superb.
Even though The Wire is not easily named one of the most highly regarded television series ever, fans of the show could still find enjoyment in it. Upon its debut, the television series was an instant hit and offered viewers a varied perspective on the world of crime.
Fans were sad that the show ended and that they had to say goodbye to their favorite protagonists. However, 5 seasons of the show received recognition for their authenticity and narrative. Fortunately, The Wire has created a hole that can be filled only by a few other shows. If you find yourself watching it often and enjoying it, perhaps you should look more closely at these 9 TV series that offer a similar experience, such as The Wire.
1. Small Axe (2020)
Stream on Amazon Prime, Apple TV
Small Axe is exceptional in every way. The television program is based on the actual events of the West Indian community in London from 1969 to 1982. Director McQueen presents a portrait of bravery, cultural and collective pride, and ethical integrity. It is both potent and engaging for the audience with its artistic aesthetics and compelling storyline.
The story experiences the UK school system, nightlife, racism, and rioting. A work of political and artistic genius, Small Axe encourages you to accept, uplift, and inspire yourself. The Small Axe series consists of 5 feature-length episodes. A great choice for television programs like The Wire.
2. Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)
Stream on Netflix
The Peaky Blinders drama series wrapped up the plot after the 6th and last season. The program centers on the Peaky Blinders which is a gang that operated in early 20th-century England and is a period drama.
The characters in The Wire are a lot like Cillian Murphy’s portrayal of Thomas Shelby, the head of the Peaky Blinders gang and a World War I veteran. He aspires to become more powerful for both his gang and himself by expanding the group’s influence throughout England. The vibe and single details of the show will take you to early 20th-century England.
3. House of Cards ( 2013-2018)
Stream on Apple TV, Netflix
In House of Cards, a Democratic politician from South Carolina’s 5th parliamentary district known for his immorality and his equally goal-oriented spouse, Claire Underwood, are the main characters. The drama takes place in Washington, D.C. It’s a brutal, politically charged thriller about power and revenge that’s jam-packed with violence.
With people who are full of joy, House of Cards is a tastefully constructed political drama. The relationships between the media and powerful people are shown at the start of the show. It exposed the hypocrisy that the ruling class is capable of, and the actions taken are insightful.
4. The Night Of (2016)
Stream on HBO Max
HBO presented an 8th-part miniseries titled “The Night Of.” Based on a drama set in Britain, it features Riz Ahmed as Nasir Khan, a Pakistani-American college student, and John Turturro as his attorney.
This miniseries depicts the incidents that follow after Nasir encounters a woman while en route to a party. The story takes a drastic turn when he is accused of killing her when her body is discovered to have been fatally stabbed. The Night Of is a brutal HBO series that heavily emphasizes urban life and the law enforcement system, much like The Wire.
5. Breaking Bad ( 2008-2013)
Stream on Netflix
Being one of the greatest television series ever, Breaking Bad is compared to very few other shows. After receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis, the main character, Walter Benjamin, a chemistry instructor, decides to enter the meth industry. There, he meets Jesse, his former student.
Every episode of Breaking Bad is so compelling that binge-watching entire seasons at once is worthwhile. The performance is flawless from beginning to end, with direction, acting, and plot. It was all executed to such an exquisite degree that you could not find many areas for improvement. Breaking Bad is a highly appreciated drama series and is highly recommended if you’re looking for anything like The Wire.
6. Justified (2010-2015)
Stream on Hulu
The plot of Justified centers on its two primary adversaries, mysterious local criminal Boyd Crowder and U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, who both grew up in Harlan, Kentucky. The show centers on their daily lives and the murky regions of law enforcement and organized crime, where Givens and Crowder both astonish viewers with their daring deeds.
Similar to The Wire, Justified explored both perspectives on legality. The show didn’t hesitate to explore the moral gray areas of actual individuals who aren’t simply good or evil archetypes in a setting that is crucial to the story.
7. Mindhunter ( 2017-2019)
Stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video
Adapted from the 1996 bestseller, the psychological mystery drama Mindhunter was produced by the legendary David Fincher, Charlize Theron, and Penhall. The play was inspired by their experiences. John spent years hunting down incredibly well-known rapists and serial murderers, developing profiling methods in the process.
In every way, Mindhunter is simply exceptional. In the realm of criminal psychology, the program is a masterpiece. The contrast between the scholarly relative beginner and the experienced FBI agent is tough. If you’re looking for something to watch that is like The Wire but more compelling, check out Mindhunter.
8. The Sopranos (1999-2007)
Stream on HBO Max
Television was altered by The Sopranos, and without its success, The Wire probably wouldn’t exist. It mostly centers on Tony Soprano’s complex persona—a man with two entirely different kinds of family. He has a wife and two kids at home, but his “family” is his gangster family when he’s out. Tony, an anxious mafia leader at the start of the show, starts going to therapy to help him solve his private and work-related problems.
The show centers on him as he attempts to manage both his personal and criminal affairs in New Jersey. This HBO drama is ideal for viewers who are missing the East Coast tension of The Wire.
9. Longmire (2012-2017)
Stream on Peacock Premium, Netflix
Even though The Wire’s large city drama is very different from Longmire’s surroundings, viewers who miss The Wire will find the show’s tension to be ideal. The final seasons of the contemporary western drama Longmire, which debuted on A&E in 2012, are now available on Netflix.
The show centers on Walt Longmire, the Sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming (Robert Taylor), as he attempts to maintain the safety of the county while juggling his private affairs and the awful death of his beloved spouse. For Wire fans searching for something fresh, Longmire’s blend of intimate connections and criminal drama makes it the ideal choice.