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Arts and Entertainment

Best Character on The Wire

Omar Little

Posted 9/17/2003

Over the first season of The Wire, we grew to like Michael K. Williams' Omar Little--the same-sex-loving African-American tough who rips and robs drug dealers sporting a never-explained scar extending from the middle of his forehead to his right cheek. Omar was a shadowy local figure, a thug who went to Edmondson High School and remembers lacrosse-playing Detective "Bunk" Moreland from back in the day, but who mysteriously moves in and out of the streets almost magically. Omar also had some of the best lines, quotidian observations that Williams delivered with better timing than a Baume and Mercier.

In this past season, however, Omar became a being of complex beauty--a dazzling street-level philosopher deflating a high-priced drug lawyer's cross-examination as nonchalantly as he sticks a gun in people's faces; an urban Robin Hood passing his blood money to a blind bartender to save for his peoples; and a killer oddly possessing the most consistent sets of morals on a show that provocatively examines the constantly sliding scales of right and wrong. Rare is the show willing to reach into these crannies of the human character, and rarer still is the actor who can portray it with such bold conviction, creating a man you can't take your eyes off on-screen, yet who you'd hate to run into on the streets after dark.

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