Monday, April 19, 2010

Southland | You are Getting Less Gritty and More Corny

Maximum DeploymentAfter Southland was resurrected by TNT, fans of the show were very excited to see the second season of the show air. But here is the problem: what we were promised was a gritty cop show, rough streets and human cops. In fact, if you are so inclined you can watch the special feature on the show’s season one DVD box set where the word gritty is used in practically every cast/crew interview, as though the higher-ups told everyone to use it in their interview. So, season one was good in fact much better than your average cop drama on network TV, but now that it is apart of the TNT lineup it has to contend with the cable cop shows that are so superior to the average CSI type of show, it is hard to even draw a fair comparison between the two. Shows like The Shield or The Wire stand in a class above Network TV, they were actually gritty, intricate and well executed. But as you probably know those shows are long gone, relegated to reruns and DVD. So, does this mean that Southland is the only gritty cop show currently on the air? Does it now hold the title of the gritty cop drama? It’s hard to keep high drama from turning to cornball drama. And that is just what the fifth episode of season two of Southland delivered. In it one of the detectives that the show follows has a mentoring session with a young gang banger that later ends with the shooting of another gang member. An Over The Top type crying hugging moment between the juvenile and the detective right before he cuffs the kid and puts him in the curser. Thank god for corny Sylvester Stallone movies otherwise that scene might have come off as sincere. (If you don’t know what Over The Top is, it’s a Stallone movie about a sappy father and son relationship, driving a big rig and an international arm wrestling competition. HA.) This episode was the worst of the season because it went Over The Top, and hopefully will not again for the rest of the season otherwise another show might prove itself to be TV’s grittiest cop show. The condensers are: Justified, Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order.

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