User ReviewsReview this title
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.
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).
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.
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.
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...
Though not as emotionally gripping as "The Shield", "SouthLAnd" succeeds because of how authentic the show is. Notice I said "is" and not "feels". Any one familiar with gang culture in Los Angeles has to really appreciate the research that the crew of "SouthLAnd" does from one episode to the next. They seem to really understand the structure of Mexican gangs and they way they relate to the Mexican Mafia. The episodes in which they break down the power structure of the Avenues gang, one of the most notorious gangs in LA, is pretty accurate, down to the portrayal of the matriarch of the gang, whose sons are among the most powerful gangsters on the street, and, according to reports in the LA Times and Daily News, are closely associated with the Mexican Mafia.
In another episode, we see the kidnapping of an elderly man by a recently paroled drug user who walks away from a halfway house and forces his victim to withdrawal funds from an ATM machine before he attempts to kill him. This story line is a modified version of the Lily Burke case, where a 17 year old girl (Burke) was kidnapped by a recently paroled drug user (Charlie Samuel) who escaped from a halfway house and attempted to make her withdrawal money from an ATM machine before killing her in the backseat of her car.
There is also the season long case of the Bentley shooting in which two unknown individuals shoot the driver of a Bentley on the 3rd street bridge in an apparent mob or cartel assassination. This mirrors a similar shooting with the same kind of car that took place on the 101 freeway just a few months prior.
Now these aren't the normal "ripped from the headlines" type of plot lines that appear on "Law & Order" and other police procedurals. Rather, they are cases that have been specifically selected because they represent the type of crime that is uniquely associated with the city of Los Angeles, which is home to the largest county jail system in the world, the birthplace of some of the most notorious gangs in the world (MS-13, 18th Street, Mexican Mafia, Bloods, Crips, et al), and the largest recipient of cartel drugs in the United States.
In an era of television that is saturated with "CSI", "NCIS", and "Law & Order" spin-offs, it is refreshing to see a police drama that is grounded in reality, finely acted, and extremely well researched. Sadly, this show was a casualty of the Leno-Obrien Late Night War, and was canceled after its first season to make room for the doomed "Jay Leno Show". The series was eventually rescued by TNT, and is about to conclude its second season. As of this posting, it has yet to be renewed for a third one. If there is any justice in the world of prime-time television, "SouthLAnd" should be pushing for a lengthy run.
You can imagine my surprise when I watched "Southland" and liked it! The acting was great, the story was intriguing and I enjoyed the gritty reality of the show.
If you are a fan of "Band of Brothers" you might like this show because of the heavy use of steadicam shots and the character of Sgt. Bull, played by Michael Cudlitz, also plays the lead cop in "Southland".
The only negative thing that I could say about the show was that it bleeps out the mature language. Swear without the beeps or don't swear at all! Masking the mature language with bleeps was distracting and didn't add to the dialog at all.
I know I will sound overly gushing, but the show literally brings you into the conflict of the officers and detectives on patrol each episode. Your adrenaline will pump when a mob gathers after a young perp is arrested. You will care about the characters. You will watch again. Just give it a try.
This for example, it's about a day in the life of Los Angeles cops patrolling the streets. The whole thing is held at a distance the makers would probably describe as unsentimental and real, it's shot in a docu style, they don't go out of their way to idealize cops and victims. We get all this in a diaristic format that no feature film could afford that lets us just tangle with life.
For a while it's powerful stuff. All of that power for me comes from the abstract way we are lowered into this world (in the shoes of a rookie cop on his first day) and left to swim. It's a meaningless world that has been already spinning off by itself as we enter. We know little about the characters and learn little for a long time except what we see of them during the job. Their job is our viewing as well, having to face damaged life in every corner.
All of this plays not just against a Los Angeles backdrop, the city is the protagonist. I came into this as part of a cinematic project about LA and I found one of the most vibrant depictions of it, the camera hurls itself everywhere, from fancy Bel Air mansions to ghetto backalleys. Some of the most evocative shots frame desperate characters on the rooftops of buildings with clear skies in the back.
So to see clearly into this is to get this blueprint of a transient world of suffering with people tracing aimless orbits through the city. Very little is meaningfully changed or redeemed and each day is only another opportunity to go in and out of suffering, stay alert and present. Nothing builds, everything dissolves back into the smoggy air come nightfall.
Like most TV this is eventually diluted the more it goes on, life becomes plot, the dilemmas become habit. By that point we are as numbed as the weary cops of 20 years we met on that first day. But for a while it offers a glimpse no other work I know of at this point does; imagine, in another 20 years time people are going to look back and find it tame.
The first episode had me thinking it was a bit simple, but something told me to stick with it. I'm glad I did because it's not run of the mill.Like other series, I got to feel something for the characters and unlike say Dexter or the Shield, I didn't feel like I was left hanging.
Trust me, if you haven't seen Southland or thought it was same old, same old, give it a go and stick with the first few episodes, you will be pleasantly surprised.
I hope they continue with the series, because I think there is a whole lot more than can cover. I will always love the Wire or Prime Suspect but this little gem is right up there.
From the off I was hooked by 'Southland', but immensely disappointed that the episodes in the first couple of seasons were so short. However this has been remedied and what a show.
Filmed in a fly on the wall documentary style it surely must be as realistic a cop drama as you can get. When I first got into 'Southland' I read a review on IMDb and it said something like after 'The Shield' who would think of making a cop drama, and I thought yeah they're right. Who could follow in the footsteps of Vick Mackey, Shane Van Drell, Lem and co on the mean streets of downtown LA. Well, and some of you may find this hard to believe 'Southland' redefines the cop genre and offers something unique a new take on what some would consider an exhausted genre. 'Southland' has it all: an awesome cast, shot in real life downtown LA locations, it's well made, well produced, what more could one want, BUT MORE... roll on February 2013.
This show is so much more than a typical plot...there's a very deep story line going on in the background while a number of real life cases go on....there's a gradual development of characters...some characters have that charm and spunk everyone wants to see...especially BEN SHERMAN (BEN MCKENZIE) & JOHN COPPER (MICHAEL CUDLITZ)....the acting is definitely top notch
The thing about this show is that it seems to go at a slower pace but thats what makes it great...it gives time for the story line to develop in each episode and after a couple of episodes u'll know that this series is way beyond all the other typical stuff you see on TV
I recommend it to anyone who wants to break the monotony while keeping the element of drama and action alive
Cooper had drug problems, he was injured, he was dealing with his homosexuality in an environment that was not conducive to that, and now? We had a 25 second workout scene and now it's all better. Moving on.
Regina King - sleeping with her female partners kid, now? Partner (who was great) gone, and the guy? Gone. Only recently is her life creeping back into the plot.
Ben Sherman - father and mother issues. Why did he join the force? Now he's looking for a house in Simi Valley?
Sammy - Crazy wife, dog, divorce, restraining order, partner killed, seeking revenge! Now? I guess we have moved on from that.
I just don't understand why this has happened. I still love the style in which the show is shot and produced but the whole thing feels smaller and seems to be retreating to a safer place. I am going to keep watching but this season has been a troubling departure to a known quantity.
This show is simply amazing. Always full of surprises, very well written from the script writers, an amazing cast, great photography, and i just don't understand why they didn't received a lot of awards for this job! I'm watching the third season, and i just saw the death of one of the characters. Just like that, when anyone were predicting. But it made completely sense, that's the best part.
Well, i'm so happy that the American TV can bring amazing shows to the rest of the world. Congrats to Ann Biderman. It really worked! To rest my case, the scripts are always getting better, the drama and the suspense is breath taking, the actors deserve all the best in their careers, because they do an AMAZING job. My only wish is for you to give the best attention to this piece of work. It's worth it.