Sunday, April 12, 2009


Here I am promoting another new NBC drama! SOUTHLAND is a cop show, which normally would make me dismiss it - but it's way more about the cops than the weekly cases. It stars my OC crush Ben McKenzie as a rookie cop tackling a tough first day on the job. I think it's a little funny his character is Ben Sherman - also the name of an English fashion designer - but I'm probably the only one in the world who noticed this. I love the directing and the look of the show. Acting was good. Writing was good. And in that scene where Ben's partner gets as close as he will to waxing poetic about life with a badge, he says "You're a cop, because you don't know how not to be one." This made me happy, because everybody on TV is splitting their infinitives lately - ugh! Anyway, Ben's the kind of protagonist you don't learn much about in the pilot since he's sort of quietly experiencing this new world - but he's a guy you want to learn more about. Ratings were pretty impressive, so it may just stick around. Check out the trailer below, or click here to watch the full pilot on Hulu.

I am also really happy for my friend K, who worked with the show and came up with the name! I think it's great.

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Nicholas said...

I loved this show for the simple fact that it broke the mold for what cop shows have been lately. I specifically loved all the swearing. It adds necessary realism that tends to be severely lacking in most shows. What surprised me, though, was that they let that first utterance of "asshole" through without a bleep. I thought that "asshole" was automatically bleeped...or maybe they only get one allowance of it unbleeped an episode.

It was just shocking, and awesome. I think this could be what NBC needs to turns their sinking ship around. If Kings couldn't do it, maybe something a bit more "lively" will. It's been a while since something this risky was aired on broadcast TV, I believe. Let's hope it stays.

And major kudos to your friend for coming up with the name.

Dan Williams said...

Thanks for the tip. I'll see if we can get it up here in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Raz said...

I loved this show too, and I was also shocked by how good it was. The opening scene just hooked me in. Now THERE's how you do a cold open for a pilot - it ranked right up there with Vernonica Mars and LOST for great pilot cold opens.

BTW, are you gonna give us those spec recommendations you promised? I'm curious to see what your take is.

Monsterbeard said...

Ok, I loved Ben Mckenzie. He was great, as was his mentor. Particularly the "you're a cop because you don't know how not to be one" speech, which transitioned from inspirational to sociopathic in a startlingly convincing fashion.

However, conversations with civilians irked me, particularly when the bus driver dramatically informed the cops that "everybody bangs. Shoot, it's our own war on terror right here." Yuck. That just strikes me as talking down to the audience. On the nose.

Other than that, yeah, I'd like to watch more. The style in particular wowed me.

Mark Osborne said...

Definitely the best drama pilot I've seen on network TV in a few years. I'm looking forward to the second episode tomorrow, hopefully it keeps up the quality.

The only problem is, this is definitely a 10 p.m. show and after this May there will be no more 10 p.m. shows on NBC due to the Jay Leno move. So what do you do with "Southland"? I'm not sure they can air it at 9 p.m. It just means it's going to have to do better ratings than a normal show would in order to force NBC to keep it.

GetOnMyMap Media said...

I won't miss it when it's pulled - this is trying to be the Friday Night Lights of cop shows and it fails. Characters are too-broad stereotypes either cribbed from other shows directly (the closeted tough guy Cop on THE SHIELD and SIX FEET UNDER) or generally (C. Thomas Howell's over-blown buffoon cop who tells completely unfunny sexist and racist jokes). Anybody catch the little girl at the beginning bouncing the tennis ball on the garage? Gritty realism is all about getting the realism part right first, then the grit. All they did was splash some profanity on run-of-the-mill 70's cop show dialogue and tried it out.

But, congrats to your friend on the name - it evokes a better show than this.

Mark Osborne said...

The second episode was definitely a downer from the first. The storyline with the baby was so incredibly boring and trite. You knew the mother was going to end up with the baby in the end and you didn't even care either way.

And then the stuff with the young girl who wants to be a cop. You knew there would be retribution the second she talked in the Pilot episode. But they didn't even draw it out to cause suspense and you knew they'd never let the girl actually get injured. If you draw that story out for eight episodes and then she gets shot in a drive-by in the final episode you're going to create some serious emotion. Anybody who's watched the first season of "The Wire" knows what I mean when I just say the name Wallace and the line "You're a weak ass nigga yo, you shoulda stayed out of the country."

"Southland" just devolved into another "Law and Order" in one week. It showed a lot of potential, but they went too procedural with it. It's just "Third Watch" again. Not a bad show, but nothing special at all.

Kathy said...

I love this show too, but I'm trying to get my head around a spacial question. What is there territory...South LA...but we get a sense of the borders.

Also, do uniform cops and detectives often run across each other as much as they do in this show?

Just curious.