HBO's sprawling drama The Wire -- which TV Guide called the sixth best series of all time in 2013, though this writer disagrees with that placement and would rank The Wire higher -- turns 15 this year.
The Wire premiered on June 2nd, 2002, and TV was never the same after. David Simon's series took the novelistic sensibility of The Sopranos and expanded it to the entire city of Baltimore, creating a devastating portrait of American institutions in decline that's just as relevant today as it was then.
Plus it introduced us to actors who became fixtures on our screens for years to come, like Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan and Michael Kenneth Williams, who played the series' most iconic character, gay stickup man Omar Little.
Williams -- who currently stars on Sundance's crime caper Hap and Leonard, which returns for Season 2 on March 15th -- told TVGuide.com about what he would like fans of The Wire to do to commemorate the anniversary.
"Go to your local hood and grab a kid and get a mentorship going, so that we can stop putting our kids in the prison pipeline," said Williams. "That's how you show your love for The Wire, because those stories are based on real people."
"A lot of kids are not given the proper tools to survive in society," he continued. "We gotta get back into the community aspect of the community healing itself."
The best way to stop a kid from growing up to be like the hardened and broken souls depicted in the street scenes of The Wire is to make them believe that there are other possibilities available to them, no matter where they're from.
So fans of The Wire: look up youth mentoring programs in your area today.