Review of "Southland" on TNT From The TV MegaSite
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"Southland" review by Suzanne
Returns Tuesday, January 17 at 10/9c on TNT

I saw the season premiere, and if it's any indication, they've kind of ruined the show. I mean, it still has great acting and writing, and lots of action, but the problem is that there's too much action.

When the show first premiered, one of the things I loved about it is that it was about what every-day cops go through. It was not flashy or full of action. It just had good solid characters doing their jobs, like the old series Adam 12. Well, I guess someone must think that's not good enough, so now they have amped everything up.

This used to be a realistic show. At least, as realistic as TV can be. In real life, cops interview a lot of people. They fill out forms. They drive around a lot. They very seldom draw their guns or fire, or shoot anyone, or chase people. Sure, they deal with low-lifes, but mostly prostitutes, drug addicts, small-time robbers, and people committing domestic violence.

Now, I'm not suggesting we should watch a boring show that has the cops filling out their paperwork. I think the show used to have a good balance. Now, it's all shootings, and explosions, and people getting killed, and chase scenes. It's just like any other cop show. It's lost its realism and its uniquity.

In the first episode of the season, three characters die. There are chase scenes, too, and lots of shooting.  It's kind of like ER in that sense. They had realistic stories, but they took stories that probably happened all over the country, at different hospitals, over many years, and instead have them all happen in one hospital, week-to-week. So it was very over-the-top and not very realistic.  Now they are doing this with Southland. It's such a shame.

I will keep watching it, but it's not as good as it was.  Look for Lou Diamond Phillips and Lucy Liu in the season premiere.  I think his is just a one-time gig, and she is joining the cast.

More information:

TNT’s critically acclaimed drama series SOUTHLAND will return for a fourth season. TNT has ordered 10 new episodes of the gritty, realistic cop drama, which wrapped up its third season March 8. SOUTHLAND stars Michael Cudlitz (Band of Brothers, A River Runs Through It), Shawn Hatosy (Dexter, Public Enemies), Regina King (Ray, Jerry Maguire) and Ben McKenzie (The O.C.). The series has averaged 2.9 million viewers this season, up 6% compared to the second season.

SOUTHLAND comes to TNT from John Wells Productions and Emmy®-winning producer John Wells (ER, The West Wing), in association with Warner Bros. Television. Created by Emmy® winner Ann Biderman (NYPD Blue, Public Enemies), the series is executive-produced by Emmy® winners Christopher Chulack (ER, Third Watch) and Wells. Chulack is also a primary director of the series. Andrew Stearn (Shameless, The West Wing) is co-executive producer.

“SOUTHLAND has been acknowledged by many critics as one of the sharpest, most entertaining and most authentic dramas on television today,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president, head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “John Wells, Chris Chulack and their teams created a brilliant roller coaster ride this season, with countless riveting scenes and unforgettable character arcs. We are extremely proud to have SOUTHLAND on TNT and to bring it back for a fourth season.”

TNT’s renewal of SOUTHLAND marks the latest chapter for a series that found a new home on television’s premier drama network in 2010, after an outpouring of fans and critics campaigned to keep the series alive. SOUTHLAND has redefined the police drama genre with its raw, authentic look at the lives and work of Los Angeles detectives and beat cops. Shot on location in the streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles, SOUTHLAND captures an environment where similar situations can and often do occur in real life.

In SOUTHLAND, King stars as Detective Lydia Adams, who this year has faced a difficult adjustment period with a new partner and a suspension over leaked crime-scene photos. Officer John Cooper (Cudlitz) is a seasoned cop whose addiction to painkillers is interfering with his performance on the job. His partner, Officer Ben Sherman (McKenzie), came to him as a rookie but is now growing up fast on the force. Detective Sammy Bryant (Hatosy) is part of the LAPD’s gang task force who is still reeling from the murder of his partner.

This season on Southland, Detective Adams will take on another new partner, this time a former Marine (guest star Dorian Missick), while also facing a major upheaval in her personal life. Cooper will be back on the job after surgery to repair the back problems that led to his drug addiction. He will be teamed up with a new partner, Jessica Tang (Liu), who will bring her own set of emotional baggage to their patrol car. Cooper’s former trainee, Sherman, is now a full-fledged cop, partnered with Bryant, who continues to struggle with the trauma of the past.

Other guest stars lined up for this season include Lou Diamond Phillips, who will appear in the season premiere as an intense street cop who rubs Ben the wrong way with his cynical attitude. Starting with the Jan. 24 episode, Carl Lumbly will guest-star as the new police captain. Lisa Gay Hamilton will appear in the Feb. 7 episode as the worn-out mother of a talented but troubled daughter. And on Jan. 24, in a special television reunion, Marla Gibbs will appear opposite her fellow 227 co-star Regina King when she plays the relative of a suspect Detective Lydia Adams (King) is investigating for murder.

Shot on location in the streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles, Southland captures a realistic, natural environment where similar situations can and often do occur in real life. The series was created by Emmy winner Ann Biderman (NYPD Blue, Public Enemies) and is executive-produced by Emmy winners Christopher Chulack (ER, Third Watch) and John Wells. Chulack is also a primary director of the series, while Andrew Stearn (Shameless, The West Wing) and Jonathan Lisco (The District) serve as co-executive producers.

About TNT
TNT, one of cable’s top-rated networks, is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 100.5 million households, the network is home to such original series as The Closer, starring Emmy® winner Kyra Sedgwick; Rizzoli & Isles, starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; HawthoRNe, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Memphis Beat, with Jason Lee; Men of a Certain Age, with Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher; and Southland, from Emmy-winning producer John Wells (ER); as well as the upcoming Falling Skies, starring Noah Wyle, and Franklin & Bash, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer. TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, Supernatural, Las Vegas, Law & Order, CSI: NY, Cold Case and, starting in late 2011, The Mentalist; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. TNT is available in high-definition.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.

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Updated 12/20/11 

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