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"Southland"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Southland" More at IMDbPro »

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75 out of 84 people found the following review useful:

This has been a long time coming....

8/10
Author: darktower67 from Virginia
26 May 2009

Over the past twenty years we have seen an absolute invasion of cop shows and crime dramas on the small screen. Some have been highly acclaimed, like "NYPD Blue", and others have been long running, like "Law and Order". But all those shows developed notoriety based on strong characters and overly developed drama, a combination that seemed to be a necessary formula for prime time. The end result was entertainment at the cost of realism and integrity, as show plots became as convoluted as the characters. Think "The Shield", except that show had a very narrow focus. Now there's "Southland", and after the first few episodes it becomes immediately apparent that it is a show that will not be well received because it is vastly different than what has appeared before. Simply put, it will not live up to mass market expectations of what should constitute a crime drama. This is unfortunate. "Southland" offers a different perspective. It is simplistic without sacrificing depth, an effect achieved by cutting out unnecessary interactions and plot developments. The scope of coverage is revolutionary as well, with the portrayal of several different divisions--patrol, homicide, organized crime. The characters are developed and highlighted by both their strengths and flaws, making their statements through the performance of their duty without becoming preachy or pathetic. They are not all perfect and selfless, but instead are presented as basically moral and slightly jaded. It is not a testament as a whole of the LAPD, therefore it does not require the presentation of issues that are unnecessary to the purpose of the show--racism, sexism, corruption. The continuity is beneficial, and unusual enough to be revolutionary. The acting is solid. The greatest surprise is Regina King, who appears as a socially struggling homicide detective, a drastic change from the often overbearing or domineering African-American female roles she has been stuck in. Her portrayal of a heartfelt but complex detective is spot on. C. Thomas Howell delivers an absurdly believable rendition of an alcoholic, barrel-driven patrolman. Michael Cudlitz and Ben McKenzie are the most intriguing, as they are the rookie/veteran partnership who have common integrity and incredibly different backgrounds, yet manage to work together without the clichéd buddy-buddy relationship. And the subject matter? Raw, gritty, realistic, without fanciful or violent action scenes. From the mundane, to the absurd, to the disturbing. The difficulties of police work are highlighted, and obstacles are not always overcome. It has been many years since a television show has delivered a straightforward, pulse-pounding episode, as evidenced by number seven, "Derailed". If you dislike crime dramas or cop shows, you obviously won't like Southland. For the rest, it will probably be a toss-up. Stop looking at what the show doesn't present, and focus instead on what it does offer, and you will discover how exceptional it is.

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65 out of 72 people found the following review useful:

Top-Notch

9/10
Author: vertigo-afterglow (vertigo.afterglow@yahoo.com) from Massachusetts
17 April 2009

I've been on IMDb for quite sometime now, but have yet to feel compelled to write a comment. I suppose my biggest concern is that one of my favorite shows (i.e. Freaks & Geeks, The Class, Undeclared, etc.) will again meet its' demise if not for full and utter fan support.

Right out of the gate, this show grabs you with not necessarily likable characters, but real characters. It makes no excuses for the way people act or the situations life inevitably holds for us on a daily basis. It is not over-dramatized, watered-down or needlessly careful. It's appeal is rather than being presented as a miniseries, it is shot more in the tradition of a motion picture or cable series (not unlike The Wire -- best show EVER) where measures are taken after the shoot to make it prime time friendly without being corny or sappy.

Though it's too early in the game to give this a 10, I can say that if you haven't checked this out yet, do yourself a favor -- you won't be disappointed.

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58 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Simply the most accurate depiction of policing in television

9/10
Author: ryan from Canada
30 May 2009

To start I have to say that the pilot episode was amazing and the show only got better until the season finale.

I have been policing for some time now and have yet to find a show that depicts policing as accurate as Southland. Sure there are some scenes in this series that are a bit over dramatized, as in any show; however, the attitudes, behaviours and problems officers face are very real.

Many of the messages Cst. COOPER says to his "rookie" Cst. SHERMAN are very valid in policing today and are often utilized. SHERMAN's responses to things that he has to see and experience are spot on.

The fact that many of the terms used in Southland are not sugar coated, as in other TV series, blows my mind and is what keeps me watching. I see far too much in other series where the characters actually seem awkward as their language doesn't reflect what their behaviour is showing or the producers want to appease the censors and use softer language.

Having two separate views of cases may distract some people, but this is exactly what it is like in reality. There are detectives in the same division as the front line officers and although they may work together on some incidents, often go about their day on different paths.

The finale is and what will make me a dedicated viewer because of how close it hits to home. As an officer you tend not to try and get involved in your neighbours business, this is a reality in today's world where anything can happen if you choose to do so.

All in all amazing acting, real characters, real settings and scenarios. I recommended this show to all my co-workers and anyone else interested in television shows depicting policing as it really is.

9/10 (Only reason I didn't give a 10 is because I don't believe anything is ever perfect).

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47 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

A Pleasant Surprise

9/10
Author: ryan-285 from United States
12 April 2009

Southland turned out to be better than the ads for it made me believe. The ads seemed a little over the top, heavy handed even, but the show itself worked very well.

Michael Cudlitz's Officer Cooper has that nice combo of jaded and cynical but still obviously caring. His character seemed most likely to be over the top from the commercials, but in the context of the show came across about as close to perfect for the moment as you could ask. Looking forward to more with this character.

Benjamin McKenzie as Officer Ben Sherman also did very good. We didn't learn a whole lot about the character in the Pilot, but that makes sense in the debut as we will most certainly be learning more about him. Well acted by Mckenzie and has a nice rapport with Officer Cooper, that will by nice to watch develop.

Everything else in the show worked, and apart from a couple of moments that didn't quite jibe with the reality of the rest of the episode, makes me optimistic for the rest of the series.

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41 out of 49 people found the following review useful:

Well done!

8/10
Author: derrelynnp from United States
12 April 2009

I work in the field, and I was genuinely impressed. Based on the pilot this show looks like it could be excellent. What strikes me is the focus on the very real impact of the job on the officers. In the real world, an officer doesn't fire his or her weapon at another person and then respond in a cavalier way or crack one liners (as you might believe from watching other cop dramas). The normal reaction is actually shock, and a massive adrenaline dump. and it takes time to process and deal with it. And as for language, I agree that I would rather see this show on cable where the realistic language wouldn't have to be bleeped out. Real officers and real bad guys don't say 'shucks and darn'... But bravo for NBC for putting something like this together. Can't wait to see more!

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26 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

strong show with uber-talented regina king.

9/10
Author: spundog from United States
13 August 2009

i am impressed with this show. most of all i'm impressed with regina king. she is a standout talent in whatever role she takes on, and to say she is believable in this role is an understatement. not once do i stop believing i am actually watching a detective in the LAPD who is totally emotionally invested in her work. with her eyes she can convey more emotion than most actors can with the finest dialog Hollywood has to offer. ben mckenzie as "ben" is believable in this role. he seems to find roles that suit him well (stoic, troubled, mysterious, ready to throw down) and although he isn't quite a great actor he has great moments. michael cudlitz as his partner plays the role of the bully veteran patrolman to a T. anyone who hangs around with enough big city cops has met someone just like this guy (if not a dozen). his performance is a treat. with the heavy use of hand-held cameras and the documentary style of filming, at times it all combines to give the feel of a live-action reality show, and i can see why some onlookers were reportedly duped into thinking ben mckenzie had traded professions for real. there are some flaws in the show, and some of the story lines involving lesser characters seem contrived and unconvincing at times. but with a few adjustments and a whole lot more of miss regina king this show could find a place of its own amongst a crowded field of cop shows.

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32 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

This show is my favorite show ever

10/10
Author: rbaurain from United States
14 April 2009

I am going to school to be a police officer in WI. The pilot was so REALISTIC. Awesome. This show is probably going to let a lot of people know that being a police officer, Detective, or any job within the police is really just a job, an awesome one, like the FTO said "this is a front row show the greatest show on the earth..

I am a big 24 nut and I actually prefer watching southland.. cuts out all the bullshit.

I would have to say.. Really good acting especially on the FTO's behalf.. he did a great job at letting everyone watching what it is like to be a rookie police officer, and how hard it is to complete the training guidelines and pretty much be a prick to your trainee.

Keep it up... That pilot was amazing.

2009 Best Series...

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20 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Very well-acted, superbly crafted, suspenseful drama with a point of view

7/10
Author: LeonardOsborneKael from United States
13 April 2009

At first this looked to be a kind of watered-down version of "The Shield" but the first-rate production work and the quality of the acting kept me interested. As the characters interacted and events unfolded I detected an intention to present a realistic -- if condensed -- version of life on the streets for LAPD. More importantly, I could sense that, unlike so many of today's TV dramas, this program seems to have something to say. Generally speaking, only TV producers Dick Wolf and David E. Kelley can be counted on to deliver on that score -- at least for the first ten years or so! For me, the jury is still out on "Southland". So far, so good ... Just watched the second episode -- better than the first -- solid! This really IS turning out to be a cop version of "ER" ... grounded in realistic detail ... focused on the minute by minute challenges of realistically portrayed characters. This one could be a keeper!

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17 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

I love this show

10/10
Author: Cindy Houghton from Pace, Florida
18 October 2009

It was perfect. I loved the gritty look, the hand-held camera work was awesome (it was very fluid and gave the show a reality show feel, almost like an episode of Cops) and the locations all so well chosen...

The stories were all terrific and I felt very true to life.

Ben McKenzie is terrific as the earnest rookie and Regina King shone, it's probably her best role. The other cast is all so good too.

NBC was stupid for canceling this show and keeping Jay Leno on the air. I like Jay, but his show doesn't need to be on five nights a week. Maybe they'll move it to once or twice a week and bring back the solid dramas NBC used to be known for.

As for Southland, I really hope this show gets a chance with another network.

If it does, I'll watch this show wherever it ends up.

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20 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

Awesome

10/10
Author: jjnoahjames (jjnoahjames@hotmail.com) from United States
30 December 2009

To me this is one of the best new shows. After Lost ends I think I will be looking forward to this the most along with 24. I love V but fear for it to get worst, I've seen almost every Law and Order SVU and I'm getting sick of it, and Flash Forward is good but not as good as this. This show has a "fresh" feel which makes it stands out. There is nothing like it. The first season was amazing. I'm not sure why I like it exactly but one of the reasons is that it takes CSI style cop drama and takes it a step further. Some times the subject matter and the way it is shot make it seem almost too realistic. It almost has a horror movie effect on me. I grip the edge of my seat.

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