Since the two series share subject matter, writers, producers, and many cast members, it’s impossible to talk about The Corner without mentioning its successor, The Wire. While The Wire explores the entire hierarchy of Baltimore’s failed war on drugs, The Corner focuses on one small community’s struggles with addiction and its baggage. The smaller scope gives this series a slower pace and a more easily managed narrative; at times, it almost feels like a stage production, which it somehow does without sacrificing authenticity. That authenticity comes primarily from the story’s basis in fact, and is supported by strong, human writing and performances. The Corner is essential viewing for fans of The Wire and/or anyone who wants to better understand urban American poverty.