The Shield

march 12, 2004

I do not watch a lot of television nowadays. For a while I watched 24 and Alias weekly. But, now 24 has slid downhill -- honestly, it should have been done after the first season. I stuck around somewhat for the second season of 24. This third season I watched the premiere and first few episodes, but it really did not do anything for me. Alias was the same way. The first season was fantastic, the second one good, and this third one silly. So, now I watch a lot of DVDs that I rent from Netflix and I have recently discovered something that I missed a while ago. The Shield is one of the most engrossing and addictive TV shows I have seen since 24 and Alias. This is an original production from the FX channel, and since I do not get cable, I have missed out on this gem of a TV show since its inception. Thank goodness FOX likes to put out TV shows on DVDs because I have been watching the first season of The Shield ravenously. I burned through the first twelve episodes of the first season in three days. I am now waiting for the last DVD to ship to me and I can watch the last episode of the first season. The Shield is a gripping TV show. It is well written and well produced. Michael Chiklis stars as a rogue detective named Vic Mackey who gets police work done in non-traditional and somewhat unlawful ways. I remember a TV show a while ago named The Commish which also starred Chiklis. That series was a wonderful series about a lovely and huggable police commissioner who solved crimes in creative ways. Chiklis plays the exact opposite of the personality of The Commish in The Shield -- but the two characters share the same goal of solving crimes, they just approach it differently. The Shield is a great show because of Chiklis (who won the Emmy for Outstanding Leading Actor in 2002 and was nominated for the same in 2003 for his performance as Mackey). The ensemble cast, which includes CCH Pounder and Catherine Dent, make the show even better. Benito Martinez's David Aceveda is the captain of the police department and he makes for an excellent antagonist to the Mackey character. The only thing that draws the show down is its insistence on portraying the lives of the characters outside of their work -- much like how ER does. Though it is interesting at times, I find it more towards the melodrama than anything, and it draws away from the power of the real drama of the crimes and the actions of the characters at work. I am looking forward to seeing what the second season of The Shield first two DVDs should be coming along with the last DVD of the first season has to hold for the show. I hope that the show can sustain its energy and pace through its second season and third season, which just started a few weeks ago, I will have to wait anxiously for a few months before I can catch the third season on DVDs. This is a great show that does not candy coat police work. I am sure that it is not even the ice tip of what goes on with police work, but it is gripping entertainment that I recommend for everyone. Kudos to Shawn Ryan for creating this wonderful show, its characters and the world they live in.