The Wire is the best show in television history.
No, I will not admit debate on this issue.
And that’s not why I’m here anyway.
The Wire is a heartbreaking novel of America, and apart from overall sublimity, one of the most unprecedented and invaluable aspects of the series was the opportunities it afforded African American actors to create some unforgettable, nuanced, layered characters. On TV. On American TV, even. And, sure, it’s not exactly groundbreaking for black actors to play drug dealers or cops, but there are drug dealers and cops on, say, NCIS or CSI, or SVU, or PDQSI (Police Department Quest…Special..Investigators? Maybe?) and playing those same roles on The Wire. For me, the portrayal of black characters on even a decent cop show like The Shield looks half-assed and caricatured, while every other damned crime show is just a vaguely-racist cartoon. That’s how good The Wire is; its basically spoiled an entire genre for me. I don’t mind, really- it’s a threadbare genre worth spoiling.
And so, when I see The Wire's black actors, some professionals who've been toiling on the fringes of the industry forever, some Baltimore nonprofessionals, all of who worked in conjunction with the show's creators to embody some of the most memorable characters in the medium's misbegotten history shunted back to the margins playing “cop/criminal of the week” in network crime-crap, well, I get mad. Mean mad.
And I wanna do something about it.
And lest someone suggest that I’m being condescending and/or patronizing (“thank god a white blogger is here to save the poor black actors”), I’d respond that I am genuinely offended as a fan on behalf of these very talented people whose work touched me. When they finally had a chance to show what they could do on a project that afforded them a measure of respect, they absolutely killed it. Seeing them shunted back to mediocre-and-worse crap just pisses me off for them. (I’m exempting old pros like Lance Reddick, Robert Wisdom, Frankie Faison, and Glynn Turman from the list- they can take care of themselves. Plus, people have clearly caught on to the magic that is Idris Elba. [Although I have been instructed by my lovely wife Emily that Elba should definitely be the next Doctor Who…)
WARNING #1. As the whiteboy (and I mean white) half of Brannigan’s Law, Dennis recognizes that he sounds like a big, mealy-mouthed, liberal, do-gooder, sheltered suburban little swot who accidentally heard a Richard Pryor album when he was fourteen and thus became enamored of African American culture. To which he responds, in his best Richard Pryor voice, “Fuck you, motherfucker.”
WARNING #2. This is gonna get SPOILER-y. If you haven’t seen The Wire, in its entirety, then stop reading right now.
Sonja Sohn as Detective Kima Greggs. Playing the hardassed, no-nonsense-yet sexy Kima, Sohn’s one of the show’s moral centers, and one of the most competent female cops in TV history. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Sure, Kima’s a badass, but I’m a sucker for the quiet scene where she, essentially a deadbeat dad to her ex-partner’s adoptive son, plays Goodnight Moon with the boy, replacing the moon and the spoon with Baltimore’s hoppers, cops, and assorted miscreants. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Playing fourth fiddle to Dana Delaney in something called "Body of Proof." MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: None. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Body of Proof. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: Taking a role away from Maggie Gyllenhall- they both have the same pretty skull face.
Seth Gilliam as Sgt. Ellis Carver. As the baby-faced Carter, Gilliam started off as co-meathead comic relief with partner Herc, but, over the course of the series, his wising-up, and hardening, was both encouraging and heartbreaking. By the end, he’s the new McNulty- cynical of authority, embittered, and self-destructive. BEST WIRE MOMENT: I can’t shake either his little-boy, wordless anguish upon seeing that Kima’s been shot, or his wordless (but for the best anguished car-scream until Joseph Gordon-Leavitt in 50/50) car-punching rage after realizing he’s failed to save Randy. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: I was thrilled to see him as a doctor in one scene of the overrated Nurse Jackie, and then pissed when I saw that that was all he was going to get. Also, a recurring role in the Teen Wolf series is…ow. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: None. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Damages, CSI: Miami, Law & Order. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: I could see him being comically-exasperated by Will Ferrell.
Andre Royo as Bubbles. As Bubs, the broken soul of drug-addicted Baltimore, Royo is The Wire's go-to dramatic/comic workhorse. His hustling, soulful struggles to survive and overcome life at the absolute bottom are riveting every time he's on screen. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Out of so many, I’ll choose his silent horror as he walks through the living hell that is Hamsterdam; for the degraded Bubs to be so shocked really sells it. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Playing “Big Willie Brown” on an episode of CSI: NY; what is this, the 70’s? But the fact that he’s appearing in a TV movie about Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams looking for Bigfoot next year makes me want to burn things. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Perhaps quantity (he’s got at least 25 post-Wire imdb credits) might atone for quality, although he was a most-welcome, and hilarious, presence in an episode of the awesome Party Down. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Criminal Minds, Numb3rs, CSI:NY, Memphis Beat, Prime Suspect. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: As Malcolm Gladwell in a Moneyball-style movie of Outliers.
Corey Parker Robinson as Detective Leander Sydnor. Young and competent (he’s basically the anti-Herc), Sydnor’s gradually-eroding idealism, and those mournful eyes of his, stick with you. BEST WIRE MOMENT: As the first season’s team is being disbanded, he looks at the big case board and says, simply, “This is the best work I’ve ever done.” That might be the best work he’ll ever do. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: After his work on The Wire, he only has four credits, two of which list him as “Second Team Agent” and “Lead Officer #1.” That’s bullshit, right? MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: None. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Past Life? Does this even exist? Anyone? IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: With his sad eyes, warm smile, and generally-wounded affect, I see an oft-injured athlete coping with adversity: yup- it’s The Ken Griffey Jr. Story!
J.D. Williams as Bodie. From the fist episode to the (almost) last, Bodie’s low-to-mid-level dealer is the quintessential soldier; obedient, sensible, genial but prepared to deal violence when ordered, and above all loyal. Those qualities, plus an endless supply of exasperated expressions and body language when things go wrong, make Bodie improbably endearing. BEST WIRE MOMENT: A sitdown with longtime antagonist McNulty over some fast food, both bemoaning the fact that the game seems to be passing him, and his loyal professionalism, by. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: “Rapper” in the Flavor Flav-hosted horror anthology series Nite Tales, currently rocking a 1.3/10 on imdb. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Playing an aspiring actor in the upcoming indie An American in Hollywood- I’ll watch that… SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Detroit 187. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: Bodie’s always got that undercurrent of smart, exasperated comedy, plus he’s alive up there on the screen- How about he and Romany Malco in a Judd Apatow-produced, improv-heavy buddy comedy? I’d watch that…
Wendell Pierce as Detective Bunk Moreland. The Bunk is one of Baltimore’s finest murder police; dogged, insightful, and, when the situation calls for it, righteously-indignant. Partnered up with McNulty (when McNulty’s not detailed to the wire, or shitcanned for insubordination), The Bunk shares most of McNulty’s vices (drink, women), without his partner’s relentless self-sabotage, or childish self-righteousness. BEST WIRE MOMENT: The Bunk dares to call Omar on the consequences of his actions…and leaves Omar shamefaced and speechless. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: While it seems like a fate sure to befall every black actor at some point, The Bunk should not have to work for Tyler Perry. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Apart from landing safely (along with several other Wire costars) on David Simon’s Treme, Pierce has been rightfully in-demand, with at least six movies scheduled for 2012, none more exciting than B.B. King and I, where The Bunk plays B.B. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: In Plain Sight, Women’s Murder Club, Numb3rs. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: Well, he’s already playing B.B. King, so after that, howsabout The Bunk gets a promotion…to the chief of police in his own Aaron Sorkin series.
Wood Harris as Avon Barksdale. The drug kingpin of Baltimore for much of the show’s run, Avon’s combination of street-smarts, ruthlessness, and pride make him a worthy adversary to basically the entire Baltimore PD. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Lots of choices, but I’ll pick Avon’s last night with lifelong friend-turned-rival Stringer Bell (Idris Elba); unbeknownst to either, both have betrayed each other. They share a drink, looking over the city from Avon’s terrace and talk about their childhood. They laugh about Stringer stealing a badminton set. They reaffirm their bond, and shake it out, and hug, each knowing what they know; that’s some Shakespearean shit right there… MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: It’s more a question of lack of opportunity… MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Next Day Air, believe it or not. Playing a drug dealer as dangerous, but about 1/4 as smart, as Avon, Harris carries off a comedic villain (albeit a limited one) with charisma. Plus, people tell me Southland is a decent enough cop show… SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Hawaii 5-0, Southland. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: There has to be a real-life inspirational teacher story out there somewhere; maybe a Stand and Deliver 2? Or a Freedom Writers or Dangerous Minds, except with a streetwise black teacher teaching minority kids about how poetry is just another kind of rap?
Jamie Hector as Marlo Stanfield. As Stringer Bell tries to consolidate the Baltimore drug dealers, there’s only one holdout. Slight of build, with a conspicuous scar on his jaw and a quiet manner, stripling Stanfield initially doesn’t seem much of a threat. But Marlo proves himself one of the most formidable, coldly-implacable characters in TV history. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Finally deciding to take out Prop Joe, who’d tried to bring him into the co-op, Marlo’s “Close your eyes; it won’t hurt none,” sums him up, chillingly. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Nothing too good, nothing to insulting, nothing worthy of his talents. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Hector starred as Frederick Douglass in a TV movie! Which I’d never heard of before, and which seems to be completely out of print. So, “encouraging” except that no one can see it, I guess… SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Cold Case, CSI:Miami, Lie to Me. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: I’d like to think that Hector’s utterly-chilling villain work as Marlo means he has a lot of range in other roles, but pal, blues legend, and all-around cool guy Samuel James tells me that Hector’s attempt at “wild and crazy” on Heroes just did not pan out. So why not play to the guy’s strengths- I think he’d make a hell of an evil mutant in whatever inevitable X-Men sequel we get next.
Michael Potts as Brother Mouzone. As the Nation of Islam-look hired muscle Brother Mouzone, Potts may skirt the edge of being a little too contrived for a show like The Wire, but the actor’s icy cool, cultured, clipped diction, and fearlessness in the face of Omar’ patented shotgun make him very memorable indeed. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Sure, it, like Mouzone himself, might be a little showy for The Wire, but it’s hard not to just giggle with delight as he and Omar out-cool one another facing off with guns drawn in an alley. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: The fact that he’s played four different roles over the run of Law & Order seems to indicate that that show thinks that no one’s going to remember a “black suspect of the week” from episode to episode. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Theater vet Potts isn’t kidding around- he played Oedipus in a movie; and not some drug dealer named “Oedipus” but the actual, mom-marrying, eye-gouging classical Oedipus. Plus, he’s got some hip cred guesting on Flight of the Conchords and Bored to Death and he’s apparently going to take a role in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s film adaptation of The Book of Mormon. Well done, sir… SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Law & Order, Damages. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: Listen to Brother Mouzone’s cadence and tell me a My Week with Marilyn-style biopic about the making of In the Heat of the Night (with Potts as Poitier and Michael Chiklis as Rod Steiger) doesn’t make sense…
Clarke Peters as Lester Freamon. A dignified old bird who’s been cooling his heels at a desk job for 13 years (“and 4 months”) and making handcrafted doll furniture, over the course of the series, Lester reveals himself to be the most competent, dedicated, and innovative cop in the world. Seriously, if Lester were put in charge of any problem, from the deficit crisis to a Martian invasion, I have complete confidence he’d figure out the solution. Plus, behind the sweaters and the half-glasses, he’s no one to trifle with. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Telling off hothead McNulty for undervaluing what they’ve accomplished, “You’re not even worth the skin of my knuckles, Junior.” Don’t mess with Lester. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Lester’s doin’ all right: A couple of tiny bits on Archer provide hipness cred, Jon Krasinski let him do his thing (and be damned sexy) giving a monologue in Brief Encounters with Hideous Men, Spike Lee just gave him a huge role in his Red Hook Summer, and he’s landed safely in the arms of David Simon’s post-Wire series Treme. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Nobody would dare insult Lester. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Life on Mars, Damages, In Plain Sight, Covert Affairs, Memphis Beat. IDEAL POST-WIRE CREDIT: Well, he’s already played Nelson Mandela, so I think the only logical next step is to follow fellow-Mandela Morgan Freeman and play the President of the United States. Preferably foiling a Martian invasion.
Robert Chew as Proposition Joe. The mammoth, soft-spoken, eminently-sensible East Side rival of Avon Barksdale, Prop Joe’s got the best product, the smarts to play it close to the chest, a sly sense of humor, and will make you a good deal…as long as it’s in his interests. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Living up to his name, Joe deftly maneuvers himself into the top spot in all Baltimore once Avon goes to prison at the end of season 3. All of season 4 is basically one moment of awesome after another. Until he underestimates Marlowe… MOST ENCOURAGING/INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Chew’s more of a theater guy (he does children’s theater and helped coach season 4’s quartet of remarkable young actors), so he doesn’t do a lot of TV. Considering the opportunities out there for a dignified, heavyset African American actor, that’s probably for the best… IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: Kasper Gutman in a remake of The Maltese Falcon.
Felicia Pearson as Felica ‘Snoop’ Pearson. She and Chris form the rightly-feared muscle of Marlo Stansfield’s crew, and its a toss-up which of them is more fearsome. No-nonsense, fearless, and seemingly without scruple (see below for a possible exception), Snoop’s willingness to enact deadly violence seems less a product of malice than an expression of utter sociopathic amorality. There’s no anger there- Snoop will just shoot you because she was told to, and why not? She’s like the streets of Baltimore made into implacable, inevitable fate. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Utterly magnetic, terrifying, and weirdly funny (Pearson has natural timing), she’s simply riveting every moment you see her. But I’ll pick a silent moment when she, watching Chris viciously beat Michael’s pedophile stepfather to death, observes the deed with an uncharacteristic emotion; the look on this untutored actress’ face speaks much-tutored volumes about Chris, and their shared history. Plus, she looks, in that one moment, like the most beautiful woman in the world. ALL THE REST: Scooped up into the show from Baltimore origins not too dissimilar from her own, Pearson appeared to get pulled back there when she was arrested in a drug sweep, an event which The Wire's David Simon put into unexpectedly-trenchant perspective. Maybe a role in a movie by erstwhile Wire costar Fredro Starr will bring her back to us.
Gbenga Akinnagbe as Chris Partlow. With Snoop, Chris acts as Marlowe’s ultra-efficient, no-questions-asked henchpeople. His quiet demeanor and seemingly-kind eyes belie the fact that, if you’ve crossed Marlowe and see Chris, it’s your ass. BEST WIRE MOMENT: I mentioned his best moment in Snoop’s entry, but a close second is the paintball hunt with Snoop and Michael; the genuine pride he shows at Michael’s success sums him up well- Chris has human emotions, but only within the narrow parameters his world view allows. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Recurring roles in the generally well-regarded series The Good Wife and Nurse Jackie are quite encouraging indeed. Plus, he’s credited as the lead in a romantic comedy series called Brooklyn Shakara, which would also be encouraging, if I could find any information about whether or not it’s actually going to be shown anywhere. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Being 11th-billed in Lottery Ticket (behind Bow Wow) is a fate shared by a lot of talented black actors, but we don’t have to like it. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Chase, Cold Case, Law & Order:SVU, Dark Blue, Blue Bloods. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: Man, that Brooklyn Shakara show looks promising. Hope it actually exists…
Chad Coleman as Dennis ‘Cutty’ Wise. A former Barksdale badass whose post-prison attempts to re-enter his old life run up against a reawakening soul, Cutty’s stumbling desire to live a human life, reflected in his searching eyes and slumped bruiser’s body, is a heartbreaker. BEST WIRE MOMENT: When he tells Avon he wants out, the war between Cutty’s tough guy manner and what he’s actually saying (“The game ain’t in me no more. Whatever makes you flow the way you flow, it ain’t in me”), mirrors his inner turmoil, and makes me tear up with serious man tears. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Unless it’s on The Wire, the names “Chili,” “Suede,” and “Cobalt” seem unnecessary. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: It’s never a bad thing to have two credits on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, but the major role of an estranged dad in the upcoming drama Life, Love, Soul looks to be right in this guy’s wheelhouse. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: New Amsterdam, Life on Mars, CSI:Miami, The Forgotten, In Plain Sight, Lie to Me. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: He plays the Jayne Cobb role in a Joss Whedon series; the secretly-soulful thug with a past…and some deadpan comic chops.
Jermaine Crawford as Dukie. Born into the direst of circumstances, the inherently-decent Dukie gets by with good humor, perseverance, his innate smarts, and the help of his three best friends, navigating the seemingly-hopeless mess that is the Baltimore public school system and the Baltimore streets. At least until… BEST WIRE MOMENT: It’s gotta be his last scene where the clearly strung out Dukie tries to run a line of BS on former teacher Pryzbylewski. They both know what he’s doing, and both play the heartbreak of the situation. It will break your heart… MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Appearing in a movie with James Franco, Katherine Keener, and David Strathairn isn’t a bad thing, but being billed as “teenager” definitely is. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: I don’t know how big a role it’ll be, but being cast in indie darling Whit Stillman’s upcoming Damsels in Distress ain’t bad. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: The Unusuals, Past Life, Person of Interest. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: Whit Stillman realizes what he’s got, and that black people exist and stuff, and he builds a quirky, indie coming-of-age dramedy around him.
Tristan Wilds as Michael. A good kid born into crappy circumstances and beset with all the temptations Baltimore can offer up, Michael’s journey is as fraught, and unpredictable, as any of season 4’s remarkable quartet of young friends. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Turning the tables on the seemingly-untouchable Snoop, Michael responds to her typically-badass last question “How my hair look, Mike?” with a sincere “You look good girl.” Right before the gunshot. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: The lad seems to be choosing carefully. None to report. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: It’s easy (and probably accurate) to scoff, but an 86 episode run on a network series (even if it is the 90210 remake) is a good thing for a young actor. Plus, he, like a lot of the people in this article, got some George Lucas money in Red Tails. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: None. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: There’s really no reason he shouldn’t be smooching Emma Watson in something…
Maestro Harrell as Randy. A bright-eyed normal kid with an ambitious hustler’s spark, Randy works some minor scams selling candy bars and the like to his middle school peers, all the while remaining loyal to best friends Dukie, Namond, and Michael, and trying to avoid the traps of the Baltimore streets they return home to. BEST WIRE MOMENT(S): Two bookended scenes: As Carver drops Randy off in the hellish group home (because of Herc’s idiocy), Randy, knowing what’s in store for him, tells Carver “It’s not your fault.” When we next see Randy, in one heart-ripping silent cameo, it’s revealed that his time in that place has turned him into a cold-eyed, bullying thug. He’s lost… MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Suburgatory. Again, for a young actor, 14 episodes on a network sitcom, especially alongside pros like Alan Tudyk, Jeremy Sisto, and some SNL vets can’t but help. But, you know, howsabout he gets his own sitcom? MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: “Tagger” in The Protector; rarely is a credit simply describing what you’re doing a good thing. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Lie to Me, The Protector. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: Dave Chappelle comes out of retirement for a family sitcom with Harrell as his son.
Julito McCullum as Namond. Born into the game, the outwardly-brash Namond tries to walk in his father’s shoes…but for all his bluster, and the hectoring of his ambitious mother, it’s just not in him. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Finally breaking down, he tearfully tells Cutty that he’s not his father- something Namond doesn’t fully realize isn’t a bad thing. Plus, his follow up statement “Mike ain’t Mike no more” just sends chills down my spine. MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Spike Lee’s presenting a thriller reteaming McCullum with Omar in some capacity, so that’s not a bad thing either. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: I mean, I guess it’s a good thing that the Law & Order franchise provides steady work for black actors, but the fact that many of them are recycled as completely-different characters doesn’t exactly speak to each actor’s impact on the series. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: With his combination of unlikeability and vulnerability, I see him as the Matt Dillon role in a My Bodyguard remake. I’m not the only one who loves that movie, right?
Lawrence Giliard Jr. as D’Angelo Barksdale. An old pro (he starred in the groundbreaking Straight Out of Brooklyn back in 1991), the still-boyish Gilliard invests Barksdale kin and underling D’Angelo with an endearing soulfulness…which, of course, will be his undoing. BEST WIRE MOMENT: Weirdly, his two most heralded speeches (the season 1 “chess game as metaphor” speech and the season 2 “The Great Gatsby as metaphor for my life” speech) are two of the most cliched, but Gilliard’s delivery of each makes them uniquely-memorable. I think I prefer his less-obviously-written anguished question to Stringer, “Yo String- where Wallace at?!?” MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: More a matter of middling piecework than outright insult, but still… MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Sure it’s a silly-looking horror movie, but working with talented people like John Heard, Jeffrey Combs, Enver Gjokaj and others isn’t a bad thing, I guess. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: The Jury, CSI:NY, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Numb3rs, The Beast, Trauma, Detroit 187, Lie to Me, Southland. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: There is absolutely no reason this guy couldn’t take roles away from Josh Lucas.
Michael K. Williams as Omar. BEST WIRE MOMENT: He’s Omar. That means he’s the best character on the best show in TV history. (Even the President says so.) Pick one. MOST INSULTING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Omar don’t get insulted. (Although, The Cookout 2 might be the exception that proves the rule.) MOST ENCOURAGING POST-WIRE CREDIT: Landing on quality shows like Community and Boardwalk Empire is just fine, but the fact that Williams is not a huge movie star is as iron-clad a proof of the racism/injustice of the entertainment world as could be offered. SUB-WIRE COP SHOW CREDITS SINCE: CSI:NY, CSI, Law & Order, Detroit 187. IDEAL POST-WIRE PROJECT: Anything. Anything at all. Indeed…