‘The Wire’: Even Barack Obama Has a Favorite Character From the Show

It is natural to be curious about any celebrity let alone the president. What are his likes and dislikes? What is his favorite thing to eat? What music does he listen to? Does he have a favorite movie? Does he watch television, and what is his favorite show?

Following his presidency, Barack Obama started putting out annual lists of some of his favorites. He shares his favorite books, his favorite movies, and his favorite TV shows from any given year. And sometimes he shares a favorite character and tells us why.

Obama is a fan of ‘The Wire’

Former President Barack Obama
Former President Barack Obama | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

RELATED: Idris Elba Regrets His Role in ‘The Wire’

The Wire aired from 2002-2008 and attracted the attention of TV critics and numerous fans including Obama. The show, based on the non-fictional book, “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets,” tackled the hard truth about drugs on the streets of Baltimore.

The book’s author, Baltimore Sun reporter David Simon, spent four years on the newspaper’s police beat before writing his book. Simon was also the creator, head writer, executive producer, and showrunner for The Wire.

In 2005, Simon got a call from the Office of the President. Obama wanted to “have a conversation about criminal justice policy,” Simon wrote for Medium. Turning the tables on the journalist, the president wanted to interview the reporter.

“At the front end, I’ve got to tell you I’m a huge fan of The Wire. I think it’s one of the greatest not just television shows but pieces of art in the last couple of decades. I was a huge fan of it,” Obama told Simon.

Obama added that the show made one think “about the culture of the drug trade and its impact on the inner cities,” adding the show humanized the stories.

Obama’s favorite character on ‘The Wire’

In its five-season run, The Wire introduced viewers to those living life on the streets and caught up in drugs and the drug trade, as well as the Baltimore police officers trying to combat drug crimes. Many of those characters were based on real-life individuals.

One actor from the show, Michael Kostroff, who portrayed sleazy gang lawyer Maury Levy, volunteered during Obama’s 2008 campaign. Following meeting the future president in Las Vegas, Kostroff told the Las Vegas Sun that The Wire was Obama’s favorite show. He further said that Obama also shared his favorite character. It wasn’t Levy, the attorney, rather Omar Little, a Robin-Hood-like character who would steal from drug dealers and share with the poor.

“That’s not an endorsement,” Obama said. “He’s not my favorite person, but he’s a fascinating character.” Omar was portrayed by Michael K. Williams. Some of Omar’s traits include a facial scar, an openly gay lifestyle, never using curse words, and often seen in a trench coat.  

His backstory reads that Omar was an orphan raised by his grandmother. He took to the streets and was involved in a robbery at the age of nine, according to Fandom. Omar committed five murders during the life of the show. He was killed off before the show’s end in the final season.

Some of Obama’s other favorite shows

Like so many others, Obama spent much of the past year in lockdown due to the pandemic and apparently had some extra time to watch movies and TV shows. From 2019, the former president cited three top TV picks — FleabagWatchmen, and Unbelievable, according to Variety

His list grew for 2020. Shows included are Better Call SaulThe Queen’s GambitI May Destroy YouThe BoysThe Good Lord BirdDevsThe Last DanceMrs. AmericaThe Good Place, and City So Real. If you missed any of them, you could always binge-watch, now.