"The Shield" is a gritty street crime series about an LAPD detective and his three bad boy buddies who comprise an anti-crime task force they call the "Strike Team". The honcho, Vic Mackey (Chiklis), breaks laws as a short cut to justice in the interest of cleaning up crime in his Farmington district, which, we're led to believe, is the greater good even though we're given no evidence it's working. Unfortunately, as this series wears on, Mackey and crew seem more like rats in a maze creating more problems than they solve. To add to the deficits of this weak premise, Mackey kills a cop in cold blood but has problems doing the same to the bad guys. Go figure. One example of the stupid writing behind this series involves the murder of a john by a crack whore. Mackey spirits the whore away because he likes/pities her and she has a kid. When it comes time for the hooker to detox, Mackey brings the kid home for his wife to baby sit (yeah, right) because social services might take the child away from the crack whore mother which, duh, is what social services does to protect children. The series just gets dumber and dumber as it slogs through the first season, something I watched out of desperation having seen every other cop/crime TV drama on DVD. Missing from the series are such things as humanity, psychology, character depth, and the usual police support including IAD, ADAs, CSIs, MEs, etc. "The Shield" is, at least in season one, just a lot of grit for the sake of grit, contrived drama, and stories which have more holes that a cheese grater. Passable fodder for TV street crime junkies. Just be sure to turn off brain while viewing or you may lose a few IQ points. (C+)
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