It’s been almost three years since “The Wire” went off the air, and in that time, Stringer Bell (Idris Elba) snagged his own show (“Luther”), Omar (Michael K. Williams) is keeping things gangster on “Boardwalk Empire” and a good portion of the Baltimore P.D. has relocated to “Treme.”
Basically, the cast is thriving. But there are still a few stand-out players who really deserve a vehicle to get back on the tube. We took a look at the most underused and underappreciated and assembled a dream list of five who casting directors should really keep in mind when next pilot season rolls around:
J.D. Williams (Bodie)
Though he’ll always be the star of our extensive Bodie/McNulty slash fanfic, it’d be nice to see J.D. Williams (pictured above) on TV, too. Omar aside, he played one of the most lovable antihero on a show filled with endearing criminals. We’d like to see him on the other side of the law though, so instead of typecasting him as a thug — come on, “Detroit 1-8-7” — lets get him a slick, recurring gig on a legal drama or a conspiracy thriller.
Seth Gilliam (Carver)
This guy can do better than a few “Law & Order” cameos. And since they really can’t hand those out like they used to, he’ll have to. Gilliam seems like one of the more high-profile oversights in post-“Wire” casting, without even a prominent film credit — no, “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” does not count — to balance his guest appearances on procedurals. As compensation, we nominate him for the (hopefully not doomed) “Bones” spin-off. He deserves to be the lead on something.
Jim True-Frost (Prezbo)
Storyline trumped loyalty on “The Wire,” so Detective Roland Pryzbylewski regrettably disappeared for the last season of the series, following his move to Baltimore public schools in Season 4. You’d think that career-defining arc would have landed actor Jim True-Frost in high demand, but he’s added little to his resume since the series. Perhaps he could stretch himself on a network comedy. Let’s find out if he can sing and ask “Glee” if they’ll consider recasting Mr. Schue.
Larry Gilliard Jr. (D’Angelo Barksdale)
Gillard has hardly fallen off the radar (he was a regular on Patrick Swayze‘s short-lived “The Beast” and even turned up in Season 4 of “Friday Night Lights”), but that’s just not enough. The Juilliard-trained actor warrants a high profile project. Maybe Season 5 of “Mad Men” will finally see Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce crossing the color line. (Too much to ask?)
Felicia Pearson (Snoop)
“Snoop” is possibly the strongest example of art imitating life “The Wire” ever pulled off, with the actress of the same name having spent time in prison for second-degree murder as a juvenile. She’s since had other scuffles with the law, including drug charges and questioning over a 2005 murder, but we can’t help but hope against hope that “The Wire” won’t be the lone blip on her IMDB profile. Pearson’s smooth, icy delivery made her one of the strongest additions to the series’ final two seasons.