and i agree with everything not being so clear cut. if you've ever worked with anyone in poverty you know that once people reach "survival" mode, they almost can't be blamed for a lot of decisions they make if they have no healthy alternatives.
i also feel like the police sure beat a lot of people up.
D'Angelo is the king of Season 1 and one of the most underrated characters in the series in general. He's the driving force behind most of the best scenes in Season 1, including the chess metaphor (probably top 3 Wire scene ever) and "where the f*ck is Wallace."
you know after I posted that list I was pooing and realized I had forgotten Cutty. I hate to drop McNutty off the list but Cutty is one of the best.
Back to season 1. I was reminded in another thread that The Wire is a slow burn, by ITT I think, and this hit home when I rewatched season one recently. It had been a couple years at least since I'd seen it, and I was surprised at my lack of emotional engagement with the characters. Don't get me wrong, I was loving the show, I was just missing that connection to the characters. That is, until episodes 9 & 10, when:
Kima got shot. Rawls the a-hole is right up in there with them, providing emotional support to the officers, its like everybody comes together. Suddenly everything came together for me emotionally, and I again remembered The Wire has the best character development of any show ever. Then a few episodes later, that scene when McNutty finally goes to see Kima in her hospital room. Possibly the best acted scene in the whole series when McNutty tears up/almost tears up. It destroyed me.
Rosko, I mean this in the nicest way, but I think you overrate D'Angelo. I've bit my tongue, but I feel it's time. Yes, he has some of the best scenes in the entire show (where's wallace & the chess scene), he is the first character introduced to us to have the internal "born into the game, don't want to die in it" conflict and is a sympathetic character with us because he tries to help the people under him who have it harder than he does.
That being said, he's accurately rated by most people. He has some exceptional scenes, but he has some pretty bad ones, too.
Plus, he's whiney.
He's a good character, not great. Ftr, I think the actor did a fantastic job with the role, I think the role itself had flaws.