Ok, so this is not going to go down the way it should, which is Ta-Nehisi Coates, Harold Bloom and Heather Havrilesky yelling about it over rows and rows of shots*. But here’s my picks for Day #1 of the brackets:
Omar Little (#1) vs. Ziggy Sobotka (#8). This one is a little harder than it looks, as Ziggy embodies something we all forget: there’s no room for snark in a world of grit. Still, No-Heart Anthony’s brother has this one locked up.
Chris Partlow (#4) vs. Dennis “Cutty” Wise (#5). Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Second one out of the gates and it pits my favorite “late addition to the cast” actor, Gbenga Akinnagbe, against Cutty, my favorite “late edition to the show” character arc. It’s a tough call, but I’m going to give it to Cutty and I won’t be mad either way.
Felicia “Snoop” Pearson (#3) vs. D’Angelo Barksdale (#6). D’Angelo** is the reason “The Wire” is a story. No D’Angelo, no wiretap. No murder charge to beat, no show. No soft heart with hard eyes, no way to lean on the organization and get things rolling. Snoop is charming, no doubt, but Larry Gillard’s performance as D’Angelo is a sleeper in this bracket.
Michael Lee (#2) vs. “Cheese” (#7). Man, I love Cheese. But Michael’s story was stupendous. Michael.
*This is a polite way of saying what makes the Wire popular among Wire watchers is not always what makes it epic or literary. It’s easy to forget how cheesy it can be when it’s not wrapped up in the procedure or the hunt. Also, I dunno that Bloom or Coates has ever seen “The Wire”, but I don’t care.
**Also, it’s a damn travesty his mother isn’t on this list. She’s awesome.