A decade after the show premiered on HBO, I can sit and watch the whole season in 2 weeks without breaking a sweat or over-doing it. But that’s still a much more condensed schedule than anyone could have seen this season when it first aired. There has been debate about the pros and cons of watching whole television seasons quickly (and two weeks for 13 episodes isn’t even all that brief anymore) but in this case it seems evident that watching the show as a whole season is super important. The first 2 or 3 episodes crawl by before you realize what’s been going on. The characters round into shape and the drama elevates.
The final episode of the season, titled ‘Sentencing’ is a culmination of everything that happened throughout the season. Moreso than any show I’ve ever seen. It’s one story told in 13 parts. An incredible, infuriating, and heart-grinding story of Baltimore crime and how it’s fought. I’ve never seen this type of long-form storytelling done before. Anywhere. Ever.
So that’s the first season.