That's not to say it's bad. Far from it — clearly the production values are very high and I have reason to believe it's terribly realistic and generally a better portrayal of drugs gangs than viewers are used to. I get all that. But there is a reason why documentaries don't last sixty hours, and that reason is that it's mind-numbingly tedious. And I get that one of the show's aims is to display the volume of bureaucracy that the police face if they want to actually get anything done, but bureaucracy isn't quite as entertaining as The Wire seems to think it is. That's why Catch-22 is not simply a detailed account of all the various rules and regulations relating to combat pilots. That book exists, presumably: I expect it's given to combat pilots for reference purposes. It's so far failed to capture the public's imagination like Catch-22, and I put it to you that's the same reason that The Wire was never big news.
The bottom line, to me, is that The Wire is not entertaining. It's terribly worthy and gritty and all of that stuff, but it's also very, very dull. Nothing at all ever happens in it. I watched the entire first series, 13 hours of television, and I think I could safely summarise every major plot development inside one minute. Compare that to Dexter, 24, The West Wing or Murder One — loads of stuff happens in those shows and they're shorter. After 45 minutes of Dexter I find myself itching to see the next episode. After 45 minutes of The Wire I find myself struggling to pay attention to the last 15.
And part of me feels that I ought to watch it anyway. Sure, it's not entertaining, but maybe I'd like to think I'm the kind of person who can appreciate its other qualities rather than just looking for instant gratification from sitcoms. But actually, no. I'm not that guy and if being that guy means watching The Wire then I'm glad I'm not, because he's a pretentious snob. Okay, so I could watch the remaining four seasons of The Wire, or, I could watch 47 hours of documentaries and learn more things on more subjects and be entertained. There's no reasonable goal I can think of that can be best achieved by watching The Wire.
The Wire belongs in some kind of a gallery where I can feel happy that it exists while otherwise entirely ignoring it. It doesn't belong on TV. It's too boring for TV. Too relentlessly, utterly boring.