It's been more or less constant watching of the show since I started season 1 a little while back - at least one, more likely two episodes a night. I'm not sure when I first realised I was hooked on it. Most probably the infamous Bunk and McNulty 'fuck' murder scene.
I love, adore and cherish all the characters they've introduced and seeded along the way before their stories pick up and take centre stage. I love the way that even main characters can disappear for episodes on end - and you don't even care! I've cheered at Omar's robberies, found myself rooting for people I hated a few episodes back, shook my head moaning "No, Ziggy no!", had my heart repeatedly trampled on and enjoyed watching some people grow and change for the better (not you, Herc!).
Up to episode two of the fifth season now, and it's as great as ever. I'm open mouthed and swearing non-stop at McNulty, mind you but I'm still this show's bitch.
Sorry I ever doubted you all.
(Side note from 5x02 - The woman who was speaking at the NA meeting in the opening scene has been seen on the show before. She was briefly seen in season 3 buying drugs from Bodie in Hamsterdam from the safety of a pretty nice car. She was seen again in season 4, now a hooker, having a brief chat with Old Face Andre at his store. And now in season 5 we see her pouring out her soul at an NA meeting. I didn’t notice this until it was pointed out by someone else, and I was amazed. What other show would give a nameless character such a devastating but ultimately hopeful arc and spread it out over three single scenes in three seasons? In typical Wire fashion, they just put it out there without drawing attention, and leave it up to us to notice the connection.)