This HBO series that aired in the summer of 2002 was very well written and entertaining. It follows a group of police detectives and a group of drug dealers, telling their stories in parallel. Each week continues the ongoing stories, while being mostly self contained.
On the police side of things the primary character is Jimmy McNulty, a homocide detective reassigned to the task force primarily because he was the damned fool who got the ball rolling on it all. He told a judge about the big drug dealer kingpin Barksdale, whom nobody was investigating. The real star of the show though is politics. Each cop, judge, councilman, or whatever, has his own agenda, and attempts to alter the course of the investigation for thier own gain.
On the dealer side we have D'Angelo Barksdale, nephew to the kingpin. He is very good at selling drugs. He was recently demoted to a lo-rise after beating a murder rap in court. Sales there have increased several fold under his management. He does however seem to have a fatal flaw for a criminal: a conscience.
By far my favorite character is one who's name I couldn't remember until het reminded me, Bubbles. He's also called Bubs. He is a junkie and a criminal informant. He is observant, incredibly brave, and very intelligent. He is helping the police free from his normal fees because the dealers hospitalized his best friend and druggie partner.