Friday, December 28, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Promo vid for season five!

First promo for season five!

Congrats to Regina, Lucy & Cheo for their NAACP Image Awards Nominations!

Regina is nominated for outstanding actress and Lucy for outstanding guest actress in a drama. Cheo H. Coker is nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series for
  "God's Work"

 Good luck to all the nominees!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 4, 2012 BTS pictures!

Since season five filming began on 11/27/12, we've amassed many behind the scenes pictures. Today has been an exceptional day for that and we'd love for you to browse our album. That album is updated daily or as pictures become available to us.

Special thanks to Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy and C. Thomas Howell for tweeting and posting pics online today for us all to enjoy. Special shout out to the tireless crew for giving us behind the scenes glimpses into the making of SouthLAnd as well.

We appreciate the entire cast and crew for always being so generous with the fans!

Press release from TNT

Photo courtesy of Shawn Hatosy

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Season four review continues: Dewey

As we continue our review of season four in preparation for season five, this post examines the character of Bill "Dewey" Dudek, portrayed by legendary actor C. Thomas Howell. Dewey has been the character since season one you love to hate (or you at least find him annoying or not at all politically correct) but you are still  amused, shocked or most certainly entertained by his antics. 

Concerning season four Dewey...

Favorite production still 

From "Identity" 4.04

Favorite quote

"Fat chicks are awesome. It's kinda like riding a moped. It's fun as hell until someone catches you on one."
~ Underwater 4.02

Best comedic moment

Dewey has SO many but if we have to choose, our choice is the scene in the porn shop with Officers Cooper & Tang as Dewey explains his love for the "BBWs"...Big, Beautiful Women. "Tig Ole Bitties!"

Best dramatic moment

"Uncle Dewey" giving his best advice to officer Tang before she is set to appear before the Board of Rights concerning her shooting of a teen.

Favorite scene

Again, a very difficult choice but we choose Dewey talking to the camera crew in "Integrity Check"


Dewey appeared in seven of the 10 episodes. His presence was missed in the other three. C Thomas delivers in every scene our beloved Dewey; whether that be the recovering alcoholic or sarcastic, annoying, angry or deep down heart of gold Dewey. Our hope is to see him in every episode in season five. Well done, C. Thomas Howell. You've been outstanding  in every season of SouthLAnd!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Season five returns February 13th!

From Turner Newsroom:

"TNT’s critically acclaimed police drama takes viewers directly to the streets of LA to present an intensely personal, first-person look at cops and detectives on the beat. The extraordinary show – starring Michael Cudlitz, Shawn Hatosy, Regina King and Ben McKenzie – has redefined the police drama genre with a raw, authentic look at the lives and work of detectives and beat cops. Southland is from John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
Special Programming Note: TNT will lead into the season 5 premiere of Southland with a marathon of memorable episodes on Wednesday, Feb. 13."

We. Are. Ready!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

SouthLAnd wins an Emmy!

Congratulations to stunt coordinator Peewee Piemonte for his second consecutive Emmy win.  

 The episode submitted for consideration was "Wednesday".  Congrats again to Peewee and his entire team!

Peewee accepting his Emmy September 15, 2012. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Emmy nomination for SouthLAnd!

Congratulations to Richard "PeeWee" Piemonte for his nomination for Stunt Coordination for the episode "Wednesday"! Good luck PeeWee. We are hoping for a win two years in a row! 

(Pictured is a stunt from the episode "Underwater")

Friday, June 22, 2012

Emmy voters: Why SouthLAnd deserves a drama series nomination

The ballots have been sent and are open online. Emmy consideration time is here. We at SouthLAnd First would like to share our reasons why all eligible voters should consider TNT’s SouthLAnd, first and foremost, before casting their votes for outstanding drama series.

1)      Best in genre – It’s virtually a unanimous opinion amongst the critics - SouthLAnd is the best “cop” show out there. It’s considered one of the best in the history of episodic television and that puts it in very prestigious company (The Wire, Hill Street Blues, etc.) 

2)      It’s the “Little Show That Could” – Like Friday Night Lights, let’s give these shows their due. NBC cancels SouthLAnd because it’s too “dark”? Then let’s move on to TNT. Budget restrictions at TNT? Let’s pare down the cast, focus on the story and just make the show grittier. It’s a survivor. And each season reveals SouthLAnd’s survivor instinct is thriving because it just keeps improving. 

3)      Character driven – SouthLAnd is not a crime procedural; it’s a character driven show. They’re flawed and broken and brilliant, but you feel so much for them, watching their stories. Regina King had perhaps the strongest storyline this season and she nailed every angst driven moment of Lydia's unexpected pregnancy and the decisions and situations associated with it. Michael Cudlitz had an interesting story arc as well: ranging from Cooper's return from rehab to gay bullying to his partner’s shooting gone sideways.  Cudlitz, as always, was superb. Shawn Hatosy as Sammy dealt with his new partner, being a single dad and being injured on duty. Ben McKenzie's Sherman had a weighty storyline involving adjusting to life on the force as a P2 and trying to get a young prostitute off the street. This led to Ben’s character going to his absolute darkest side. Both Hatosy and McKenzie are remarkable actors; neither disappointed this season.  We haven’t even mentioned the always grand C. Thomas Howell or guest star Lucy Liu.  See? It’s character driven. And all of them are exceptionally amazing and make SouthLAnd a true drama. It’s intelligent and doesn’t hand-hold its viewers. The show doesn’t build up drama for the sake of drama. If you are suddenly shocked or surprised, it’s part of the unique SouthLAnd experience.  

4)      Cable shows are better - Look at the dramas with Emmy “buzz.” With a couple of exceptions, all are on cable. SouthLAnd’s writing handles unflinchingly the absolute darkest, saddest aspects of life for many, both rich, poor and in the middle, in Los Angeles. It never waivers from the harsh reality of whatever the subject is. The directing, editing, photography, stunts and overall feel of the show screams realism. It’s tough to watch at times, evoking the strongest of emotions in its viewers. Isn’t that what dramas are supposed to accomplish?

5)      Its time – Four seasons of “pitch perfect” television. This is a show that has never had a bad episode. Recognize this Academy of Television Arts and Sciences members. 2012 is the year. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lucy Liu wins Critic's Choice Award

Our congratulations to Lucy Liu for winning Best Guest Performance in a TV Drama at the 2nd annual Critic's Choice Awards!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Season four review begins: Characters

As we continue to tirelessly promote our favorite show during it's hiatus, one thing we will be doing at SouthLAnd First is looking back on various aspects of season four. Our goal is to post original content at least weekly so please check our site often.

This week, we begin a look at characters.   

Sammy Bryant is first in the spotlight.

Favorite production still:

Favorite quote:

"It's like my dad said when I hit puberty...Samo if you are anything like me, you won't go to bed with any ugly girl. But you will wake up with a bunch." [Episode six]

Best comedic/light moment:

Episode five "Legacy" was filled with comedic moments as Sammy and Ben pranked one another repeatedly and tussled with a midget but in our opinion, the diner scene where Sammy so seriously sets up Ben to believe he has gotten the waitress (his lover) pregnant was the best prank, and comedic moment, of the season for Sammy.

Favorite scene:

Our favorite Sammy scene was from "Thursday", the season finale. This pic sums it up:

Shawn had only two scenes in the finale; he played this scene to perfection as Sammy struggles to stop Ben from doing what he knows he is about to do that day. The other scene at the conclusion of the episode was also spot on as Sammy stares knowingly across the pool at his partner.

Bravo, Shawn on another great season.

These are OUR favorites. Feel free to add comments as to your choices.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Season four behind the scenes pictures

This album contains pictures taken during the preparation and filming of season four SouthLAnd.  It includes some pictures involving the cast outside of filming. The pics have been gathered from around the net since October, 2011 and is perhaps the most comprehensive on the web. Enjoy!

BTS pic album

Our photo gallery, as stated on our site, is a work in progress. We will have complete updates and additional albums very soon!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

SouthLAnd S4 Notable Quotes Episodes 6-10

Episode 6

Cooper:  Do I think my partner should have tackled her? Nah. She should have shot her.
Tang:  Hey zip it up or I'll zip it for you and I'm not careful.
Sammy:  So was it blondie last night or her more homely friend. 
Ben: Both.
Lydia:  I haven't pulled on a uniform since we could still carry Mag lights.
Cooper:  You stay behind us. No body gets hurt today. That's the rule.

Episode 7
Tang:  Did they check you for rabies? You never know.
Cooper:  You slammed him up against his car for losing his keys.
Ben:  I’m sorry I don’t live up to the standards set by your old partner; but I’m just about out of sorries.  Savor this one; it’s the last one you’re going to get.
Tang:  He would have been a real bastard if he left me while I was in traction.
Cooper:  I’d rather do shots of battery acid, than spend the night with some of those guys.

Sammy:  Some guys you just can't trust.

Ben:  I even got my Costco card. You can't get more all in than that.
Lydia:  Is that your car in the driveway?  When’s the last time you drove it?
Old woman:  When I went to vote for Obama.
Cooper:  You're not doing anything to dispel the Asian driver stereotype.
Ben:  Let me tell you, her downward dog is amazing.

Episode 8
Dewey:  You leave your gun in Mickie D's bathroom? Somebody use it to shoot up the mayor?
Sammy:   Gotta wear your uniform down here - blood, crip, vato, priest, cop. If people don't know what gang your from, you're just a victim down here.

Ruben:  She managed to get some very interesting angles with her iPhone.

Sammy:  Got to love a pimp. Always looking out for the bottom line.

Ben:  Who wants to go to jail? Who wants to go home?
Sammy:  You’re my partner.  I’ll back you up punch for punch; bullet for bullet.  But I’m not giving my house.  I’m not giving my pension.  And I’m not giving my freedom.  Don’t ever do something like that again.
Ruben:  Bottom line, don’t have a kid if nobody has time to raise it.

Sammy:  If people don't know what gang you're from you're just a victim, down here.

Lydia:  Gallows humor. Whatever gets you through it, I guess.

Episode 9
Lydia:  You're a handsome kid and that's a good thing everywhere except prison.
Cooper:  So why don’t I come on over to your house and take a shit on your pillow.  Would that be Okay since it’s biodegradable?
Sammy:  If I dress like you maybe I can have a threesome with some zoo animals.

Fighting couple man:  You never said the safety word!
Fighting couple woman:  I was yelling cheetah hard as I could!
Fighting couple man:  Why would you be saying cheetah when that was last week’s safety word?  This week’s is puma.
Tang:  I made sergeant.
Golf ball man to Cooper:  Is she your boss now?
Ben:  Is the divorcee make over officially underway?
Sammy:  I’ve been in your shoes and I know where it leads.  Now please take my advice and stop.

Lydia:  Give any knucklehead enough ammo and they'll hit something.
Cooper:  An asshole with a small carbon footprint is still an asshole.
Dewey:  He’s an artist like Picasso with eel.

Episode 10
Cooper:  It's the rent we pay for our room on this planet.
Ben:  Sooner or later the streets are going to eat you.
Lydia:  Terrell I’m not here to blow up your life.
Cooper:  What?  Now you’re a circus act?
Ferguson:  What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? Nothing, you already told her twice.

Cooper:  Are you serious? This kid already gets an A in asshole and he's not even out of puberty.

Tang:  Thirteen years patrolling. I might just miss this freak show.
Cooper:  Don’t try to compare me to you cause we are not the same.

Sammy:  Let me help you work your way through it. I feel like I let you down.
Tang:  Some of you may have heard some nicknames for me -  Pootie Tang, Wu Tang, Joy Luck, Hollywood.  From now on I’m going to be Sergeant Tang.
Cooper:  I was an addict.  I AM an addict.  I was weak and I will never forgive myself.  But I am fighting every goddamn day to fix it.
Tang:  Who the fuck are you?  God?

SouthLAnd S4 Notable Quotes Episodes 1-5

Episode 1  
Sammy:  I don't thing your Pilates teacher's opinion should get more weight than the surgeon general.
Tang:  Gonna shoot out the tires, TJ Hooker?
Cooper:  OK.  You can go home with a ticket or you can go to jail with my foot in your ass.
Mother of son who was pulled over for texting while driving:  It’s going to take Jesus and two more white folks to keep me from kicking your ass.
Dewey:  Just head into the light, brother. Oh that's right there is no light where he's headed.

Cooper:  I can see why you'd prefer jail.
Dewey:  Now that’s an appropriate resting place for that piece of shit.
Ferguson:  Dalai Lama with a gun and a badge.
Lydia:  You know what man.  People have a choice; no matter what hand you’re dealt.  You can either rise above, or drown.  The choice is yours.  Can’t nobody make it for you.
Lydia:  I guess she finally got to see the ocean.
Episode 2   
Captain:  Mickie D's needs all the help they can get. The McRib is back.

Sammy:  He's an OG with stripes on his arms.  Our job just got harder.
Lydia:  We have to speak for the dead whether they deserve it or not.

Ben:  Ma'am?  We have your cat.
Captain:  And we kick ass until we smell shit.
Tang:  Ding Dong.  This is some strange shit right here.

Officer Jones:  Grambo ain't no joke.
Lydia:  Guilt never surprises me. Only innocence does.
Sammy:  It's a shame to break this up. I feel like the father in Footloose.

Ben:  She's not dead.  None of our guys are hurt.  It's a good day.

Tang:  My sister would give her left arm for that bag.
Dewey:  It looks like somebody already did.
Cooper:  Full moon in broad daylight.  How’s it hanging sir?

Lydia:  If criminals were smart, we'd be out of a job.
Officer Jones:  How can you sit so comfortably with balls that big?
Dewey:  Kinda like riding a moped.  It’s fun as hell until someone catches you on one.
Episode 3   
Cooper:  You know my old partner? He would have jumped.

Sammy:  I got a Costco, a Walmart, and K-mart all within a square mile.

Ben:  It's not everyday a murder scene turns into a block party. 
Sammy:  Parking enforcement's on the warpath.

Tang:  This is on us.
Cooper:  No.  It’s always gonna end this way.

Episode 4   
Ben:  I thought you had a dog?
Sammy:  My ex has him, along with my kid and everything else.

Cooper:  No! No! No! All right.  No coffee places with names involving metaphors, jokes, or any word play whatsoever.  No Sufficient Grounds.  No Sacred Grounds.  No Espresso Yourself.
Crazy Bob:  I’m invisible!  You can’t see me!  (Cooper grabs him)  You CAN see me!

Cooper:  How's the fake ID business going?  Still going strong?

Sammy:  You need to be with your people.  Your people.  In the high desert baby.  Land of the blue.

Episode 5   
Cooper:  I got a lot of problems, kid. Being gay isn't one of them.
Tang:  It's important to celebrate people while they're still here.

Lydia:  I'm hormonal and I've got a gun. Don't mess with me.
Cooper:  Jesus Christ is your son?  You must be very proud.
Sammy:  Pranking is an art form. You need to leave it to the pros.
Cooper:  I’m not leaving until I get six stripes.  Plus one day.

Ruben:  Take your time. They'll still be dead when we get there.

Ben:  Badge bunnies are predators. I don't go after them. They come after me.
Cooper:  You can be who you are without making yourself a walking target.
Cooper:  You didn’t do anything wrong, Michael.  You’re not the problem, they are.
Cooper:  It will get better.  I DO know; it’s going to get better.  I know Mike.
Cooper:  This isn’t the answer.  You’re better than they are.  Stronger.  You can’t let ‘em win.  You gotta fight, Mike.  You gotta fight every day.


Watch for Episodes 6-10 coming this Tuesday.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Michael Cudlitz Responds to SouthLAnd Renewal

We asked Michael Cudlitz for his reaction to the renewal of SouthLAnd and this was his response:

"Thank you all for your patience. SouthLAnd has been officially renewed for a 5th season. It might be for only 10 episodes but we will take 'em. We all love making this show and are so very proud of it. We are also very proud of our fans that have fought tirelessly for SouthLAnd from day one. Again, thank you...... Now let's go kick some ass" 

Thanks, Michael, for taking time out of your hectic schedule to answer our request for a renewal response.

Friday, May 4, 2012


From Turner Newsroom:

"We are very proud of Southland and grateful to everyone involved in the series, including executive producers John Wells, Chris Chulack and Jonathan Lisco; creator Ann Biderman; and our partners at Warner Bros. Television. We look forward to going deeper into the lives of Southland‘s extraordinary characters and the streets they struggle to keep safe next year.
Michael Wright
President, Head of Programming
TNT, TBS, Turner Classic Movies (TCM)"

Congrats to the entire SouthLAnd cast & crew on it's fifth season!

Friday, April 20, 2012

SouthLAnd wins at 16th annual Prism Awards!

Congratulations to SouthLAnd on its Prism Award for drama series multi-episode storyline. The awards ceremony was held April 19, 2012 in Beverly Hills, CA.

The winning episodes were "The Winds", "Failure Drill" and "Graduation Day" written by Heather Zuhlke, Chitra Elizabeth Sampath and John Wells. The episodes were directed by Nelson McCormick, J. Michael Muro and Chris Chulack. Executive producers of SouthLAnd are John Wells and Chris Chulack.

Prism Awards

Michael Cudlitz and Shawn Hatosy at the event.

Writer Chitra Elizabeth Sampath with her award. Pic courtesy of Ms. Sampath.

Congrats again to the entire SouthLAnd team!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Twitter contest winner announced tonight!

Just a reminder....

Twitter contest redux

Chat begins at 9/8C and usually lasts until the wee hours of the morning. Join us for SouthLAnd conversation and just good all around general discussion amongst polite, friendly people. Our chats have been well attended and everyone is welcome. We value your attendance and input.

As a reminder, our chat room is open 24 hours a day for YOUR use as a SouthLAnd fan. Grab some friends and pop in anytime. It's why it's here. Thank you!

ETA....our contest winner was @mazzasaurus_rex who has already received her prizes! Thanks to all who participated. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

SouthLAnd Season 4 Retrospective

The season began with the highly anticipated return of Officer John Cooper after rehab and back surgery.  Will he be able to return to the streets?  Did he make it through rehab?  And who would be his next boot or partner?  Our first look at Cooper is at the gym.  He’s leaner, healthier, and obviously more fit as he works the various equipment. When he is welcomed back during roll call, he takes the razzing with a smile.  In fact during the entire first episode, the expression on his face tells it all.  He is so happy to be back on the streets. 
Jessica Tang, a veteran officer (a P-3 like Cooper) was paired with Cooper this season.  We weren’t too sure about Lucy Liu before the season started, but she turned out to be an excellent partner for Cooper (at least at the beginning of the season).  Tang, like Cooper, has a backstory that influences her work greatly.  By the end of the season, we realize Tang is not the great cop she thinks she is.  There are three situations where she did not follow police procedure (that we know of): when she allowed the big, tall guy to get close enough to give her a vicious beating; when she removed the orange tip of the toy gun; and when she put her partner in danger at the car wash. 

Tang and Cooper work together well as they handle calls from the crazy invisible guy, to the guy that tries to take out Cooper by biting Cooper’s neck.  From the “Jesus and two more white folk” mother to trying to save a suicidal kid.  From arguing jurisdiction of body parts on some train tracks to helping a homeless marine.
But all that good rapport would go down the drain when Tang messed with the evidence of her in-policy shooting of a teenager.  Cooper didn’t see Tang remove the orange tip of a toy gun, but he was positive that she did.  And because he didn’t witness her action, he couldn’t say anything to FID about his suspicions.  He tried numerous times to get her to correct her statement to FID, but she was testing for sergeant, and there was no way she was going to ruin any chance of that promotion.  And with that she lost all of Cooper’s trust and respect.  There was no longer any chit-chat and you could cut the tension in the patrol car with a knife.  Let’s see Cooper paired with a female boot next season.

Lydia began the season with yet another new partner: Ruben, a new detective trainee and veteran of the Afghanistan war.  Dorian Missick is such a natural actor that he makes his work look easy.  But I think he was marginalized when Lydia found out that she was pregnant.  She doesn’t tell anyone.  However, Ruben, the happily married father, is on to her.  Lydia continues to deny that she’s pregnant until she is stabbed by a suspect late in the season.  In the meantime, every case that she and Ruben work has something to do with babies, parents, pregnant women, etc.  The writing was a little heavy-handed about the subject, but maybe that was meant to mean that that was all Lydia was thinking about.  All baby, all the time.  We finally found out the father was Terrell, a married man with a young son.  And a man with which she had previously had a relationship. We saw him briefly at the end of the second episode of season one and Lydia used to keep a picture of him on her desk.  Lydia meets with Terrell in the season finale to let him know she is pregnant with his son.  He seems very ready to let his wife in on the news, but Lydia says she didn’t come to, “Blow up his life.”  She just hopes someday that he and his son can get to know each other. Hopefully the time between season 4 and season 5 will allow her to have the baby so that we don’t have to go through the entire pregnancy with her.  One of the best scenes for Lydia this season was in Episode 1 when she confronted her former CI that said things had been rough on her (the CI).
What can we say about Dewey?  Dewey is Dewey.  And C. Thomas Howell plays the hell out of this role.  From wanting his S.A.G. card to motor-boating a BBW (“Kinda like riding a moped.  It’s fun as hell till someone catches you on one.”).  Dewey adds the crazy to this show.  I think we should see a little more of Dewey next season (Why wasn’t he in the finale?), along with an encounter with a BBW.  At the least, he should be in each episode.  

When Season 4 began, Sammy and Ben had been working together for 6-8 months. Sammy kids with Ben about the badge bunnies and then tells him he should really move out to the suburbs where he would have a much bigger house for the money.  In addition a pool which is a chick magnet.  Ben is disgusted by the attitude of another officer named Ferguson.  To the point of wanting to go to the Watch Commander and ask him to remove Ferguson from the unit.  Ferguson is very jaded and cynical and doesn’t care if he does things by the book or not.  Sammy tries to explain why Ferguson is the way he is.  But that doesn’t matter to Ben.  Ferguson confronts Ben in the locker room about Ben’s by-the-book manner.  Ben more or less says that Ferguson can be the way he wants, letting kids play with a body and taint a crime scene.  Ferguson says it’s time Ben picked a side.  Ben responds that he’s picked a side - he’s going to do things the way he’s been taught.
Ben’s and Sammy’s partnership stumbled during the middle of the season.  Ben accused Sammy of planting evidence and that broke the trust between them - and trust is everything to a cop.  Ben discovered later that day that it was evidence from the previous shift.  Neither the cops from the previous shift nor Ben searched the car very well in between shifts and that resulted in Ben’s accusation.  Ben apologized, but Sammy couldn’t get over it.  That resulted in a tension-filled patrol car for a bit, but Sammy finally let things go. 

Contrast Ben’s attitude in the first episode with his attitude in the last few episodes, especially the finale.  Ben is no longer a by-the-book officer.  He finds Ronnie, the pimp husband of Amber the hooker and father of Daniela, and beats him up.  Sammie knew what Ben was going to do and came and got him before Ben beat the guy to death.  Ben’s beat-down causes Ronnie to come after Ben; chasing them down in the patrol car and shooting at them.  This results in someone crashing into their patrol car, putting Sammy in the hospital.  So now Ben has even more reason to go after Ronnie.  When Ben visits Sammy at the hospital, Sammy realizes what Ben will likely do.  In one of the most emotional scenes of this season, Sammy tries to keep Ben from doing what Sammy thinks he’s about to do.  Sammy tries to get him to stay at the hospital with him and explains why he stopped being a detective and came back to patrol - to help mentor younger officers.  But now he feels like he failed Ben because he knows what Ben is going to do.  Ferguson is Ben’s partner for the day and even Ferguson comes to realize what is going on and tells Ben he can’t be judge and jury - that’s not a police officer's job.  Ben ignores this advice and puts Daniela on a bus, without getting the permission of the parents.  Then he seeks out Ronnie and maneuvers him into a confrontation where Ronnie pulls his gun. That allows Ben to return fire, which will end up being ruled an in-policy shooting.  The next day Sammy and Ben are at the pool hanging out.  Ben puts his shades on and leans back in his chair.  I don’t think he feels any regret at what he did.  And as the voice-over at the beginning of the episode says; Ben has decided what kind of cop he is going to be.
What do we want to see next season?
Ben move back from the edge a little bit and continue to partner with Sammy.
Very little about Lydia’s baby.
Ruben still partnered with Lydia.
A little more Dewey.
Cooper with a new female boot.  And we don’t want to see him backslide into addiction again.  That would be completely out of character for him.  Cooper knows how lucky he is to have been able to come back from addiction at his age.  He knows he probably wouldn’t be able to do it again.  And as he told Ben in a previous season, “If I can’t be out on the streets; you may as well put a bullet in my head.”  He wants to make six stripes plus one day and we want to see that too.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

SouthLAnd Episode 4.10 "Thursday" Review

After a couple of years on the job, every cop has to make a decision about what kind of cop they’re going to be.  The time has come for Officer Ben Sherman to decide.
Sammy’s trying his best to help Ben, but Ben’s just not listening.  Ben isn’t listening to anyone.  Cooper told him during his training that he had to let things go.  Ben’s response was, “I can’t.”  Even Ferguson is telling him not to go there.  But no one is going to divert him from his personal mission.  He is so involved in doing the right thing for Daniela, that he is choking up almost crying when he puts her on the bus.  Who will be the lucky recipient of his next mission?

I don’t think Ben planted a gun on Ronnie. He didn’t have the time from when Ferguson heard the shot to when Ferguson could see Ben.  I think Ben’s biggest transgression was to maneuver himself into a position where he could take an in-policy shot.  But regardless of whether you think Ben planted the gun or not, he still killed Ronnie.  And it was completely pre-meditated.  So we now know what kind of cop Ben has chosen to be.
The scene with Lydia and the little girl who had been burned was very emotional.  We didn’t even hear the words but we knew how much Lydia was affected.  Until then, Lydia was all about staying on the job for the duration of her pregnancy.  But now, Lydia finally realizes how much her job might influence her baby and decides to stay home for the remainder of her pregnancy.  Wonder if she will return to police work if she’s that concerned about it?  Lydia’s talk with Terrell was very interesting.  That Terrell’s first response is to ask Lydia if he should talk to his wife about this is unexpected.  He seems to be putting Lydia above his wife.  And willing to bring this explosive matter into his marriage.  This is Lydia’s second major relationship with a married man.  She told the dying witness in Season Three’s “Sideways” about an affair with her married TO.  Is Lydia subconsciously choosing (unavailable) married men?  Even Rodrigo would classify as unavailable since he was her former partner’s son.
What a turnaround for Tang.  At the beginning of the season, she told Cooper she chose him because he was “squared away” (by-the-book).  It seems she values that in partners, but not in herself.  There are three situations where she did not follow police procedure (that we know of):  when she allowed the big, tall guy to get close enough to give her a vicious beating; when she removed the orange tip of the toy gun; and when she put her partner in danger at the car wash.  She’s not as good an officer as she thinks she is.

Cooper has lost all trust in Tang and trust is everything to a cop.  Despite lying to FID, Tang has been promoted to Sergeant.  During their last shift together, Tang is going on her Farewell Tour 2012.  How Cooper kept from throwing her phone/camera at her when she requested a picture with the Hollywood sign in the background, I don’t know.  At Tang’s farewell party, Cooper can’t find anything to say about her and he looks on with disgust as Sergeant Hill talks about what a great cop Tang is.  As Cooper leaves, Tang confronts him about not saying anything in her honor.  He talks about how she screwed up at the car wash, but she doesn’t see it that way.  She defends herself about the shooting where she removed the orange tip on the toy gun and says it was the right decision.  To which Cooper says, “For you.”  Tang then compares his drug rehab to her lying about the toy gun.  Cooper’s response to her is phenomenal.  “We are not the same,” and “I was an addict.  I am an addict.” The scene ends when Tang throws the orange tip of the toy gun at Cooper.  The fact that she was carrying it around with her means she hasn’t let the incident go, either.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

SouthLAnd "Risk" review

As the title suggests, there is a risk for every character in this ninth episode of the season. Let’s address each one and toss in some random observations about this differently paced, unusually written chapter of SouthLAnd.  

Lydia’s risk is, of course, her baby. She continues to proceed about her job as if she is not pregnant, running about and just generally not taking care of herself. As she and Ruben investigate a gang homicide, they are ultimately led to where the suspected murderer is. At her own great risk, Lydia enters a rundown house alone where she is ferociously attacked at knifepoint by said suspect. That scene is brutal. Regina King nailed it as always; she’s one of the few actresses on episodic television who can bring tears to your eyes just by having them in hers. Lydia finally confesses her pregnancy to Ruben at the end of the scene. Is he surprised? No. He’s known all along, potnah. 

Jessica Tang’s risk seems to be over. She lied to the FID about the shooting involving the teen with the toy gun and lo and behold, she got the promotion to sergeant. We’ll see what the season finale holds for her. One thing she has risked is the respect of her partner. It seems to be lost, as it should be. 

Ben’s risk is his career. One he seems to be willing to put in jeopardy in order to get a prostitute’s daughter off the streets and out of town. Despite repeated warnings and advice from Sammy - “I’ve been in your shoes. I know where it leads. Now please take my advice and stop.” Ben just won’t let it go.

Sammy’s risk is his life apparently by being Ben’s partner. As the partners flee the bullets the pimp daddy begins firing into their patrol car, a shocking, sudden violent crash of an SUV into their car  leaves the viewer with the question…will Sammy survive his injuries? An added note here - as reviewer Darren Croucher has pointed out, Shawn Hatosy as Sammy prowls around a scene. If you re-watch, you’ll often think to yourself - what did he just do there? It’s interesting what you might have missed. Always watch each episode at least twice.  

Cooper’s risk is he’s a veteran officer, working to fulfill his goal of getting those 30 years plus one day. He suspects Tang tampered with evidence in the shooting (keeping the orange tip off the toy gun) but he can’t prove it. If he accuses her and is not believed or is wrong? He loses all trust from his peers because you always, always have your partner’s back.  He knows in his heart she lied. Coop and Tang are finished; a sharp sword could not cut the tension between them in that squad car. Coop did not risk his moral compass though; he told FID what he saw; nothing more, nothing less. Michael Cudlitz is the master deliverer of the one liner, the slow, angry burn, and expressing the weariness and resignation that comes with being a veteran officer, dealing with things you simply cannot change but must accept. 

Random musings:
1)      Favorite line: “An asshole with a small carbon footprint is still an asshole.”
2)      This episode as always was visually stunning, particularly the scene with the skateboarders speeding down an empty highway. Bravo, director and DP J. Michael Muro.
3)      Bravo as well to Peewee Piemonte and his stunt crew. No one will ever question why this team won an Emmy for stunt coordination.
4)      This reviewer has thoroughly enjoyed Dorian Missick as Ruben. Hope he is back next season.
5)      Loved the golf ball guy scene. Perfection. 
6)   And it's always a delight to see Dewey (C. Thomas Howell), no matter how brief the scene. 

Speaking of next season, 12-15 episodes seem to be in order from TNT. SouthLAnd has a brilliant ensemble that won’t be found again, award winning producers, directors and crew, one of the most loyal fan bases in all TV (and growing!) plus critical praise and a rise in ratings.

Next week is the finale. After we recover, we’ll be patiently waiting for what we know will be the brilliance of season five. Raise the bar, SouthLAnd. Keep raising the bar on every drama currently on television.