Updated March 28, 2013
1. Concept: SouthLAnd is a fast-moving drama that takes viewers inside the lives of cops, criminals, victims and their families. Created by Emmy Award winners John Wells, Ann Biderman and Chris Chulack, the show takes a raw and authentic look at the lives of the officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, focusing primarily on the patrol officers and detectives. SouthLAnd centers on their experiences and interactions with one of the most diversified populations in the world and is more a character-driven drama than a police procedural. Be warned though; SouthLAND isn’t some fun filled night of escape. It’s an hour where we brace ourselves for the unexpected, we fear for the lives we’ve been shown, we agonize over injustices and our hearts may break or lift with just one expression. SouthLAnd fully embraces the human condition. There are few black and white moments; no safe, neat box to wrap everything in…just like life itself.
2. Cast/characters: You will see familiar faces tackle non- stereotypical roles. Michael Cudlitz, Ben McKenzie, Regina King, and Shawn Hatosy have all been consistently surrounded with TV award buzz for their performances. Other featured actors through the seasons are C. Thomas Howell (a full cast member in season five), Michael McGrady, Tom Everett Scott, Arija Bareikis, Kevin Alejandro and special guest star Lucy Liu during season four. There is not a single actor on Southland that hasn’t failed to connect with us through a performance that lives, breathes and fractures. You will find yourself screaming profanities at Dewey's antics, smirking or laughing at Cooper’s reactions to BS, trembling at Sherman’s vulnerability, cringing as Sammy has to arrest the gang member he once tried to save and dreading the walk down Lydia’s stairs, even if she is wielding a shotgun. The actor’s portrayals of their characters overcome the labels that tend to define their genre, which is refreshing and important. And even the extras are memorable.
3. You can catch up! Five seasons: 40 episodes have aired. All season episodes are available on Itunes or Amazon Instant Video; Seasons one through four are available on DVD. If you can’t begin with season one, don’t worry. You will be familiar with the characters, etc. in probably one episode from any season.
4. Writing and Photography: It is difficult to lump these two attributes together but for brevity’s sake one must. The writing is based on the real life experiences of the LAPD and is beautiful, given how reality is so ugly. Good doesn’t always win. Not everything is revealed to you; you are often left to ponder the outcome of a given situation. Director of Photography J. Michael Muro http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0614013/ is a genius. SouthLAnd is noted for its use of the “red camera”, lens flare and visual oversaturation, reveling in the gritty and raw feeling that portrays LA so brilliantly. You are in the speeding patrol car with Cooper and Ben, running the dirty streets with Sammy, and brushing away a fly from your face with Lydia as she interviews potential witnesses to a child’s disappearance. You are there. SouthLAnd’s photography doesn’t let you forget it.
5. You need a unique show. This show will bring you in and won’t let go. It will become "your" new show. You will learn about the characters and watch them grow, have a magnificent view of both the mean and rich streets of Los Angeles and learn a little about yourself and your own attitudes. You will never be bored or disappointed. You will always have something to ponder, share and discuss after viewing each episode.
Prepare yourself. And watch SouthLAnd. Now.