Both The Wire and The Sopranos, the two great titans of turn-of-the-century TV drama, gave us fleeting glimpses of a minor character presumed to be straight. These scenes let us know our assumptions were wrong, and that these characters were likely gay, or bisexual at the very least.
The Wire showed us Lt. Rawls, the hardass, foulmouthed cop, sitting contentedly at a gay bar. The Sopranos showed us mob lieutenant Vito going down on a dude in a car.
Here’s the difference — The Wire was content to leave it there, and never substantively returned to the subject of Rawls’ sexuality.
The Sopranos belabored the issue, eventually making Vito’s gayness his defining character trait. When David Chase ran out of story ideas, we were subjected to the insidious Johnnycakes plot.
Advantage: David Simon and The Wire.