Highly Overrated But Still Good
everything you have heard about this movie is true.
I like movies that are aware of what they are selling... without [any] greater aspirations than to make people laugh and that's it.
The story, direction, characters, and writing/dialogue is akin to taking a tranquilizer shot to the neck, but everything else was so well done.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the series, almost start to finish, it has a heavy cloak of racism and misogyny covering it in almost every episode. Every black and Hispanic character is portrayed as weak, ineffectual, and cowardly. Blacks and Hispanics are the criminals and the whites are the good guys, even if they are completely corrupt and criminal themselves. We cheer for Vic Mackey through all of his sins, but we can't hold up even a shred of empathy for the minority characters be they cops or robbers.Hispanic David Aceveda is always two steps behind Mackey and his crew and allows himself to be raped by a thug. Claudette Wyms is impotent in the face of Mackey's abuses and ends up a weak, sickly caricature of a cop. Strapping recruit Julien Lowe is a self-hating homosexual and a bad cop. There isn't a single positive portrayal of a Black or Hispanic character in the entire six seasons. Coincidence? I don't think so. The negative stereotyping was relentless.Am I a Racist for Liking this Series? To answer my own question, I would have to say that I'm not a racist because the things I point out really bothered me and kept this series from being truly exceptional. Would it have killed them to have a couple of cool minority characters?I defy anyone to defend this show against my claims of racism.
The Grand Master
The Shield had me hooked right from the very first episode. The Shield rewrites the rule book on police/crime dramas and it is certainly not like any other show such as Law and Order, NYPD Blue, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The show is certainly not glamorised nor does it dilute issues raised in the show such as police corruption, politics, family matters, homosexuality, sexual assault, autism, and racism.Based on the Rampart scandal that plagued the Los Angeles Police Department in the late 1990's, The Shield focus on the LAPD's Strike Team that operates out of a disused church in the fictional Farmington Division in order to target street gangs. The strike team is led by the equally feared and respected Detective Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) who utilises brutal tactics as well as stealing from criminals, beats suspects, blackmails others, and organises murders. Vic Mackey must also deal with issues within his family including his disintegrating marriage to his wife Corrine Mackey (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) and two of his young children have been diagnosed as autistic. Vic Mackey's best friend Shane Vendrell (Walton Goggins) is also involved in Vic's various dealings on the street. Shane Vendrell is also reckless in his actions and is openly racist and bigoted as evidenced by his various derogatory remarks. Detective Ronnie Gardocki (David Rees Snell) is calm, quietly spoken and mild mannered in contrast to the aggressive behaviours the other team members display. Ronnie manages to keep himself out of trouble but occasionally joins in when necessary. Detective Curtis "Lem" Lemansky (Kenny Johnson) is the muscle of the group, although he has a good natured personality and is extremely loyal to his friends.Other members of Farmington Division include patrol officers Danielle (Danny) Sofer (Catherine Dent) who is initially a training officer but is later promoted to Sergeant, and the rookie officer Julian Lowe (Michael Jace) who is torn between his deeply religious and moral beliefs as well as his hidden homosexuality.Also included at Farmington Division include veteran police detective Claudette Wyms (CCH Pounder) who is often seen as the moral voice of reason in the division and is also being groomed for a future leadership role within the LAPD. Her partner Detective Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach (Jay Karnes) is socially inept and sexually frustrated as well as looked down upon by fellow officers despite being a intelligent and highly capable detective.Farmington Division is run by Captain David Aceveda (Benito Martinez) who has high ambitions for a political career as well as wanting to expose Vic Mackey and the strike team for their brutal tactics and acts of misconduct. Captain Aceveda sees Vic Mackey as "Al Capone with a badge" and wants to see Vic Mackey terminated from the LAPD or even imprisoned.Michael Chiklis does a excellent job as the hard headed an morally uncompromising Vic Mackey. Michael Chiklis is without question the star of the show. He was previously known to audiences for his role as the easy going Police Commissioner Tony Scali from the early 1990's show The Commish, and The Shield introduces a tough guy side to Michael Chiklis.Many well known actors have appeared throughout the series including but nit limited to John Diehl, Glenn Close, Michael Pena, Anthony Anderson, Carl Weathers, Forest Whittaker, Laura Harring, Franke Potente, Laurie Holden, Danny Pino, Alex O'Laughlin, Mark Rolston, Frank Grillo, Frances Fisher, Paul Ben-Victor, Kirk Baltz, Scoot McNairy, Ken Jeong, Kristen Bell, and Lucinda Jenney.The Shield may not be for everyone due to its strong violence, sexual content, drug use, and adult themes, but nonetheless it is addictive viewing for loyal fans of the show. The final season ties everything up neatly. The Shield is criminally underrated, but nonetheless it is an excellent show. 10/10.
I've had this show on my "to watch" list since it's original run and finally got around to binging on it this summer. Having had high hopes for it after the buzz that surrounded it at the time, I have to say I was somewhat disappointed and considering jumping ship several times.Having watched all 7 seasons in a matter of weeks, I find the first 5 seasons to be quite repetitive. The same story arcs and "twists" return over and over, both in individual episodes and over the course of seasons. The "strike team puts the squeeze on some banger and he immediately gives them what they want" gets tired after a while. I also find the character development to be very lacking or at times almost random in nature. I also dislike that story arcs are started, but then dropped for no discernible reason.That being said, the atmosphere of the show for a large part very captivating, and there are many strong acting performances. It's also fun to see so many actors that have since become stars in their own right playing bit parts.I also like what I really hope is a conscious effort at subtle character depth for Vic, such as him continuously referring to the Armenians as "Balkan bastards" (Armenia is nowhere near the Balkans). And him falling for the thimerosal leads to autism ploy (which is definitively 100% false). It's seems like just the kind of things a street, but not book smart person like him would think.What brings the series up from a 6 to a 7 for me is the final season, especially the second half of it. The ending of the series is really top-notch stuff, and all the more rewarding when you've slogged through every episode.
What's with all the uniform cops wearing their badges on the RIGHT side, name plates on the LEFT. Essentially every US police agency wears them on the LEFT, over the heart. Uniform shirts have badge tabs on the LEFT. Then to add to the confusion, there's a couple of cops with their badges on the LEFT now and then.Seems like a simple thing to get right. Surely there's some uniform security guys around the stage with their badges on the LEFT. Surely there's some LAPD (or other) technical adviser to say "Um, those are backwards". Surely the wardrobe people working on the project have done cop uniforms before. Almost seems intentionally wrong.Still a good show. Just sticks out seeing the backward badge thing.