For five years, I’ve begged you to watch the best show on television, but you didn’t listen. That’s why I’ve kidnapped you, my closest friends and family members, and locked you here inside my apartment. I know how tired you all are of me telling you about The Wire‘s deliciously complex plotlines, its unflinching sociological commentary, and its note-perfect gallows humor. Well, I’m tired, too.

And so here we are.

Check the top of the TV for the DVDs of the first four seasons—over 40 hours of television. When you’re done with those, the fifth and final season is available via OnDemand. Just hit the red button on the remote. Sounds daunting, but don’t worry: I’ve removed any and all possible distractions from the apartment. You have no other options, so don’t try any of your usual excuses.

You feel me?

Be sure to watch every episode carefully. (It’s all connected!) On the coffee table, you’ll see multiple-choice tests that assess your grasp of the show’s plot and characters. Finish them as you complete each season, and then slip them under the door. A score of 80 percent or higher and you’ll be rewarded with a day’s ration of food and water. Score below that and, well, I’ve hired some muscle from down on the corner to “help out” should you need further motivation.

But you’re all going to pass. I know it.

Please understand that holding the dearest people in my life hostage is not something I take lightly. It’s risky, expensive, and technically illegal, but sometimes you have to listen to your inner McNulty and take justice into your own hands.

Besides, the show is so fucking good. (It’s all connected!) I’ve told you this day after day, year after year, and you all ignored it, preferring to watch American Idol and Wife Swap. I mean, Jesus Christ. Wife Swap?

I realize, Mom, this isn’t the best timing, what with your chemo and everything. And, Jim, buddy, your absence from work is going to be hard to explain to your firm. But what choice do I have? How can I stand by and allow you to miss the conclusion of the smartest, most resonant drama in the history of television? So, yeah, Jim, maybe you’ll get fired. And, Mom, it’s possible that tumor of yours will make a reappearance. But it’s a small price to pay.

Just trust me on this one. When it’s over, you’ll thank me. For real, yo.