I agree with this reader almost entirely:
FYI, if you recall David Simon’s previous show “Homicide: Life on the Streets”, the smartest and most complex character was Andre Braugher’s Frank Pembleton. In one episode (season five, I believe) he says “I’m tired of being the only one around here who gives a damn. You’re looking at the new Frank Pembleton. Budding Republican and practicing selfish bastard.” It was a brilliant—and typical— way to acknowledge the futility of liberalism without conceding that conservatism was anything other than a comedic negative stereotype.
Homicide jumped the shark in season 6, when (probably under pressure from NBC) they started tackling “issues” and the sex lives of the primaries instead of straight-up murders. And it was still the best cop show ever until the Wire came along.