Omar Little of ‘The Wire’: TV’s Most Fascinating Character Ever


The Wire was a multifaceted drama that encompassed a range of topics. Two of the most popular subject matters were the American drug trade and systematic corruption. Standing in the middle of all that was Omar Little, an essential freelance drug robber and embodiment of personified swagger, who was wonderfully played by the underrated Michael Kenneth Williams.

Haven’t seen The Wire? Jot that down on the to-do list. This show offers viewers the chance to take a journey with Omar, the most fascinating television character ever. What makes him so fascinating? First of all, he’s an enigmatic nomad who somehow manages to fly solo in a world of violence and betrayal. As show creator David Simon has alluded to in various interviews, Omar was purposefully designed as a so-called current age Robin Hood.

After all, who carries a shotgun, eats Honey Nut Cheerios, and takes on Baltimore’s most ruthless drug kingpins? Omar does. And oh yeah, he also has an extensive vocabulary and says “indeed” quite often. Omar was, and in the legendary mystique that The Wire has carried on through a dedicated cult following, still is, the ultimate reward for television watching commitment. If I’m going to spend countless hours in front of a screen, there better be a payoff. The Wire provides more payoffs than any show out there. Omar accomplishes the same.

In terms of definition, to be fascinated with someone is to be taken with something about them. Some quality, maybe it’s unusual, maybe it’s charming, captures a mountain of attention and never relinquishes it. With Omar’s abnormal quirks and shockingly sudden displays of violence, combined with his sharp wit and refusal to use swear words, he truly succeeds in being a fascinating character. No other show has an Omar. Sure, Game of Thrones has its Tyrion Lannister, Breaking Bad had its Jesse Pinkman, and Seinfeld had its Cosmo Kramer. These are three wholly fascinating characters coming to mind in this moment.

Omar though, he’s different. He’s unlike anyone or anything that’s graced our television screens. Tyrion is the misfit and familial outcast. Jesse was the lovable degenerate and warm-spirited criminal. Kramer was the goofy neighbor and comically relieving oddball. While being personal favorites superbly played by the marvelous actors who took on their roles, all of these character types have been seen before and after their respective shows took form. I can’t say that I’ve ever come across someone even remotely similar to Omar.

Omar was, and again, on the mythical and godly pedestal that his crazed fans put him on, still is, a one-of-a-kind character. He’s unique. He’s unusual. To fans of The Wire, he’s basically real. He’s a close friend and not a fictional creation made for the purposes of entertainment. More than anything though, he’s fascinating. To all of the television lovers out there, watch The Wire. On its own merit, it’s likely the best drama of all time. But on a game-within-the-game type of wavelength, it has the best and most fascinating television character ever. His name is Omar Little and he’s waiting for you to watch him terrorize drug dealers on the streets of Baltimore. Indeed.


About Author

Tyler is the Editor-in-Chief for Hardwood and Hollywood's pop culture section. He has an unrelenting fascination with Lisbeth Salander and Omar Little. If you're looking to work on a writing project with Tyler or to be interviewed, reach him at [email protected].

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  1. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 30 - Omar Little - Pop Culture Spin

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