Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"Good cop and bad cop have left for the day. I'm a different kind of cop."

For the past few weeks, I have been making my way through the first six seasons of The Shield and am about the start season seven. I have to be honest, it did not interest me at all when it was on the air. Even though it was getting great reviews from the critics, I do not remember a single one of my friends ever telling me that I should be watching it. At least, not until the last few seasons. But I am also not sure that I would have appreciated it as a freshman in college. Actually, the only person I ever remember telling me that they loved the show was the receptionist at my high school swimming pool :o)

So, why did I start watching it now? Well, it took a little while to get me to this point, starting with the FX show, Terriers.....

When I first saw the commercials for Terriers, I was unsure about it. However, after discovering that Tim Minear was one of the executive producers, I decided to check it out. I am a huge fan of Angel, Firefly and Dollhouse and he had worked on all three of those show. My hunch was right and Terriers was awesome, but unfortunately did not find an audience and was canceled after the first season. However, Shawn Ryan was another executive producer on Terriers and had been a writer for Angel during its second season, so when The Chicago Code was being advertised on FOX, I decided to then give this new show a chance. And it also was awesome but canceled after the first season. Even though neither of these shows seemed to be able to find enough viewers, they were well acted and extremely well written. Then came my obsession with Sons of Anarchy and Kurt Sutter, which I have described to you before.

All of these factors eventually brought me to the decision that it might finally be time to watch The Shield.

I enjoy the writing and it is definitely a different kind of show with the way it was shot and the issues that they deal with, but there is just something about it I cannot latch on to. Do not get me wrong, I will finish watching the entire series, but I do not really feel any emotional attachment to this show and most of its characters like I do with other shows. I think it comes from the fact that you do not get a whole lot of personal information on the characters. What I mean by that is, they talk about their personal lives from time to time, but during the first couple seasons you do not really get to see a whole lot of it. Or you might meet the characters but not get a lot of detail about their private lives. The season five finale has actually been the only episode, thus far, to really make me show emotion or care about what happened to any of the characters.

In terms of the actors, I was pretty indifferent to Michael Chiklis, I do not dislike him, but I do not love him either. After watching this show, I am still pretty indifferent to him. He is a fine actor, but I do not find him attractive and do not understand why, as Vic Mackey, so many women were attracted to him. Maybe I am not the right demographic, being in my twenties, but there is no sex-appeal for me at all. Also, Jay Karnes was mildly creepy as Detective Wagenbach and creepier still as Agent Kohn on Sons of Anarchy, so I will never look at him the same way.

However, David Rees Snell as Ronnie Gardocki was a nice surprise and I wish that he would show up more often on my TV screen. I also now adore Kenny Johnson and Walton Goggins even more than I did before. I had enjoyed Johnson in the few episodes of Saving Grace that I watched and am currently enjoying him on Sons of Anarchy. I also really love watching Goggins play opposite to Timothy Olyphant on Justified. In general, I just really enjoyed the dynamic between the Strike Team on The Shield. They were the most interesting characters to me overall.

In addition, the show included some awesome guest stars. Most of them were only in one or two episodes, but a few of them were in full seasons. The list includes Stana Katic, Jon Huertas, Kristen Bell, Natalie Zea, Clark Gregg, Wilmer Calderon, Reed Diamond, Melanie Lynskey, Nichole Hiltz, Emilio Rivera, Daniel Day Kim, Carl Weathers, Glenn Close, Forrest Whitaker, Michael Pena, Alex O'Loughlin, Kyle Gallner, Gina Torres, Katey Sagal, Clifton Collins Jr and Anthony Anderson. I am sure you probably do not recognize many of these names, but suffice it to say, they are all in some of my favorite TV shows and movies. I suggest you look them up on IMDb.

Overall, if you have enjoyed any of the shows I mentioned at the beginning or just like cop shows in general, but have yet to watch The Sheild, you should at least check this one out. On the other hand, if you like more personal drama than actual police work than this is definitely not the show for you. I tend to prefer shows that give more emotion and less gang violence, so I do not think this is going on my list of favorites. I am, however, glad that I finally watched it. It was a good show that did not get nearly as much recognition as it deserved.