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More 4′s best kept secret….Southland

9 Dec

Some of the greatest TV shows over the ages have been Police Dramas  ”Cop Shows”.  The shows strength come for the vast artistic landscape available to them spanning gritty urban decay to the rarefied procedural depths of the court system, out of which an array of award winning shows have been brought to our TV.

From the critically acclaimed “The Wire” and the gritty ambiguity of “The Shield”, through to home grown favorites like the ground breaking 70′s series “The Sweeney”, Lynda La Plante’s phenomenal “Prime Suspect” and more recently the “Life on Mars”.

This pipeline of great shows is not showing any sign of drying up if the latest export from the USA to his our screens, Southland, is anything to go by.

Southland is in its fourth season on More 4, and has been worth every single second of the time I have spent watching it. In the USA it has had a somewhat troubled production history. Originally a show the NBC network it was dropped before being given a lifeline by cable network station TNT at the end of the first season.

Season one, two and three were defined by its uber-realism and focus of the show not being on any particular character, but rather the cast as a whole. This produced some incredible episodes, none more so than the “Code 4″ episode. It showed us the raw emotion of how a police officer deals with the death of his partner, and the lingering guilt that comes with it.

 

The smaller budgets of TNT have meant the cast has reduced and the show has moved more to a character led format with Regina King “Detective Lydia Adams”, Michael Culditz “Officer John Cooper” and Benjamin McKenzie “Officer Ben Sherman” emerging as the main protagonists. The show may have become smaller and less gritty but has lost nothing of its entertainment value.

For anyone out there that loves a good Cop drama I can’t recommend Southland enough. It definitely deserves a bigger audience!