The Wire has been widely heralded by critics as one of the best television programs ever made. It has also gained much attention and praise from scholars across the humanities and social sciences for its critique of inequality, the war on drugs, and the politics of race, gender and sexuality. This seminar suggests that the popularity of The Wire is related to the theoretical work that the program performs. Yet, as all works of theory, The Wire also has limitations. Viewing The Wire seriously and critically as a work of theory, this seminar explores what "theory" is and what its function can and should be in the world.