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I never wrote a review on IMDb, but after reading that many bad reviews
about The Shield i felt i had to do this. In fact all that reviews kept
me from seeing The Shield for a long time.
But now that i am through with all Lost and 24 Seasons, seen The Wire twice, had a good time with Oz it was time for something new, so i finally gave The Shield a chance.
And i can tell you it's one hell of a ride, i was hooked after seeing the first episode. I would even compare the series to The Wire, it is different of course and doesn't focus so much on the social aspects, it goes more for the action.
It's got all you need, corrupt cops, drugs, violence, betrayal, good detective work (homicide team) and even some hot chicks occasionally ;) So my conclusion is that if you like quality series with a persistent plot and cliffhangers like The Wire, Lost, Sopranos or Oz go for this one you won't regret it! It will keep you on the edge of your seat for a long time.
And i really can't understand where all those bad reviews are coming from... go check The Shield out for yourself!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After a lot of hype I was disappointed in the premier episode of the Shield. I could not help but get the feeling that the show was "trying too hard" to be a hard hitting gritty cop show. What it is, is a show with over the top characters and a host of unrealistic dialog. For example ( and trying to avoid spoilers). One character spouts off with GROSS insubordination to the officer in charge, in front of the whole department. Hokey. Nobody in real life grandstands like that and stays employed for long. Also making such a scene doesn't make sense to do in real life, no matter how much you hate the boss' guts. This is especially true if your goal is to undermine him. I could go on with other examples of needless smart mouthing and overt stuff etc but bottomline: A better written show with good actors, can convey the fact that the one cop hates the other and build on that tension without resorting to such silliness. I was really hoping for a good show. One that was complex and realistically presented. Not this show. This is an over the top cartoon. Sadly, most viewers probably like and NEED this over the top stuff, just to get the point and understand what is going on. A more subtle show requires viewers to pay attention and even think once and a while.
The Shield is not for everyone. My wife, for instance does not like violent TV shows. The Shield is raw, violent and full of incredible suspense and intrigue. A good friend of mine recently turned me on to the Shield and I will forever be grateful. I travel quite a lot and watched all 100+ hours of the Shield while on the road. I could not wait to get to the next episode. During a recent 2 week trip to India, I did not turn on the TV one time. I watched a episode or two of The Shield every night and a whole season each way on the plane. There is a lot of debate about the ending, which I thought was perfect. It's difficult to end such an epic saga but these guys did it about as good as you can. The Shield is life changing. Not all for the good.You should be prepared to be affected by this thing. It's gritty but in the same way that A Clockwork Orange is gritty. The difference is that this lasts for a long, delicious time.
If you read the first couple of pages of reviews for "The Shield,"
you'll think that it's a poorly-crafted ratings loser that shouldn't be
Nothing could be further from the truth.
I'll admit, I was hesitant to start watching "The Shield," but that was only because of Michael Chiklis. I absolutely hated "The Commish" and I figured this show would be a total dog.
A co-worker challenged me to watch the pilot and, if I didn't like it, I could return the discs to him and he'd never hound me about it again. I took his challenge and watched the pilot---and I didn't stop until the season finale. Chiklis won me over. The writing won me over. The cinematography won me over.
Is the camera-work shaky? Sure. But it's *supposed* to be. It's shot almost documentary style and I think that adds to the grit of the show. Some people claim that "The Shield" failed Movie 101. Well, you know what? It's NOT a movie. It's an episodic television series and there are no other scripted dramas on television that compare.
Is it a ratings loser? Absolutely not. Folks, it's on cable. It's not going to be ranked in the Nielsen Top 10...ever! "The Shield" has helped FX firmly establish itself on Tuesday nights and was the first of a series of outstanding and cutting-edge dramas. "The Shield" is better described as a cable success story, proving that quality, original scripted television isn't the exclusive domain of the broadcast networks in the United States.
If you haven't ever watched "The Shield" and are considering it, I'll pose the same challenge my co-worker did. Watch one episode and only one episode: Pilot. If you don't like it, turn it off.
I'm willing to bet, however, that you'll wind up doing what I did.
"The Shield" is top-shelf. There's no doubt about it.
I hate giving 10's because nothing is perfect, but a 9 doesn't do it
justice. There have been a lot of 9's over the years but this show is
even better than those.
Over 7 seasons The Shield consistently provides an incredibly diverse group of characters and more intrigue than most TV has ever provided. The web Vic and his team weaves is always winding in all sorts of directions and is often on the verge of breaking. Vic and the rest of the strike team use their authority and cunning to untangle it as best they can, almost always using tactics that are ethically questionable at best.
The whole thing really gets you sucked in and you're always torn because rooting for Vic is easy, facing what he really is is not. What's right and what's wrong? When do the lines begin to blur? It's not always clear, but it's incredibly entertaining to watch.
The other thing I really love about the show is how there's always another separate case being pursued by Dutch Waggenbach and company. It keeps each episode going in different directions and the case is always interesting or has an unexpected twist when it's resolved. I think another thing that separates this show from all the others is that you get your murder/rape case that you get everywhere else, but that only compiles about 30% of each episode and the rest is even better than that. Shows like CSI and Law & Order can't even touch the content this show brings, and I haven't even mentioned the gritty, realistic style it's shot and written in. Absolutely unique and done believably and well. The finale? It's as good as you're ever going to get.
It really is a stellar show. I would say there was perhaps one season I thought was only above average (not exactly a strike against it) but the rest was a thrill ride that was so gripping I don't know if there's more than a handful of other shows that have ever matched it in that capacity. You're always in for a surprise when you watch it and the characters grow on you, some of them whether you want them to or not. Recommended as highly as possible.
I think the Shield is excellent and has a huge fan base in the UK. In my opinion it's up there with the Sopranos as the best thing on TV certainly in the UK. Obviously I can't comment on US television. I love the documentary style of filming and can't get enough of the whole thing. It's just a shame that we have to wait so long to see the new series here as we are well behind you in the US. I usually buy them on DVD to save waiting. I really can't believe anyone being critical of this show. You should see some of the stuff that's broadcast in England if you want to see rubbish. The Shield really is top class and long may it continue.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just finished watching the Season 5 finale. Once again an excellent show and an overall great season. Forest Whitaker made you absolutely hate him, meaning that he had done his job well. I read through the comments on this board and I must say how surprised I am at how many people are "simply appalled". If you don't like it turn the channel. I am a Detective in a medium sized (400 sworn) agency. Aside from the dirty cop antics the show has some very real aspects to it. Someone mentioned that cops don't play pranks on each other, thats a bunch of BS. Get a group of guys working a 12 hour shift and when it gets slow they will think of something to lighten the mood. The show was outstanding once again and I look forward to adding it to Season 1-4 on my DVD shelf. I look forward to next season to see how it all unfolds. My only negative comment will be that i wish this show had more episodes per season and that they were quicker to start the next season. Love it love it love it.
it's been a long time, since I've been posting on IMDb.. but this show
is absolutely worth watching.
There were some slow yawn-full moments and episodes and a couple of overacting moments through-out the latest episodes, but some of the best parts are done in between moments, when CCH Pounder and Michael Chicklis are meeting on, face to face. It gives a real intense character-play and dispute amongst these two qualified actors and critical claims when it comes to corrupt environmental-issues. The guest-appearances were a big plus for this show also. Whitaker played his part with an emotional yet troubled authority-figure, craving to do whatever he could with his part of that show. I never expected Glenn Close to pull off a role, in the shield..that was really unexpected, but well done, after all.
This show portrays that, intensity doesn't always need gigantic action sequences or unrealistic special effects...it tries to deliver some sort of street value or real aspects of what it feels like, if the viewer were actually present, during busts and interrogations. The shaky cam, is shaky for that reason alone, makes you feel a part of the show. 10/10 nice song at the end credit suits the small memorable montage ;)
I began watching "The Shield" mostly because of a coincidence. The
Swedish movie channel "Canal+" usually rerun their shows 2-3 episodes
at a time on Sundays. And it was one of those times, a Sunday with
heavy snowfall and nothing to do, that i sat down and watched three
episodes in a row. And instantly i was hooked.
The thing that surprised me most about "The Shield" is the way that it's hugely exaggerated while at the same time feeling very realistic. The documentary style in which the series is filmed, as well as the solid acting of course contributes to this feeling. And to me it feels like a series that manages to seem realistic, no matter how unrealistic the events in the plot, is truly great TV. That it doesn't shun away from harsh themes or sensitive and sometimes even grotesque subjects only increases my respect for the script-writers and makers of this show.
The characters are also mostly very interesting. I have already mentioned the actors, and i must stress again how well the casting is done here. This also adds to the characters that are portrayed admirably throughout.
And one thing i know for certain. Watching Vic Mackey and the other more or less corrupt cops in "The Barn" balancing on the border (and sometimes slipping across it) has made shows like NYPD Blue feeling forever redundant. This is THE cop show to watch.
I have all the seasons in DVD box sets and they're worth every penny. Few TV shows are able to maintain an excellent level of writing, acting and direction. ABC's Once & Again did that successfully for 3 years and The Shield has done it for 5 years and is still going. New shows come and go but, few live up to a series like this. No cliché lines. No over explaining every thing to you like you're an idiot (i.e. C.S.I.). No clear good guy / bad guy. Everyone is human. The action is there, the suspense is there, they shoot it as if you are there. Vic Mackey and his strike team are a force for the gangs of Farmington to contend with. But, sometimes the cops find themselves on the wrong side of a gun.
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