There's no replacement for watching all four previous seasons of HBO's The Wire for yourself, but — and I say this as someone who's only partway through season three right now — it can be a pretty daunting undertaking.
Enter a new YouTube video in the style of seven-minute Sopranos or Lost in 8:15. This one summarizes the first four seasons in four minutes, replete with clips of McNulty drinking, Rawls flipping the double bird, and Bodie showing all the ways he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.
I can probably watch about three more of these recap videos before I get tired of the format altogether, but for now, I'm still amused — and while this one can't possibly get into all the complex alliances and twists of The Wire, it's not a bad primer. To check out the video, just read more.