Cops routinely find themselves underwater. The best manage to keep their heads above the surface. But even for a strong swimmer like Officer Ben Sherman, the undertow can be tricky.
Ben was certainly cynical this week. Last week he was compared to the Dalai Lama; but this week he's "I ain't no social worker." That was a really big difference from one week to the next. We thank Ben for taking his turn at showing off his body. Kaya, the waitress that gave Ben her phone number last season, shows up again as his girlfriend at the pool.
The pace of this week's show was great - lots of one-scene stories that could be interspersed with the longer story lines. The show went by very quickly this week and it sure seemed as though there were twice the commercial breaks.
Dewey was his usual crass self in the XXX store: asking Tang and Cooper what they are into; motor-boating the "tig old bitties; confessing he likes BBW (big, beautiful women), and comparing them to a moped.
It's really great seeing Cooper so happy, healthy, and laid back. Tang won't let him drive? Huge guy tackles and fights him? Dewey is being an idiot as usual? Tang won't answer his questions? It doesn't bother Cooper at all. He doesn't have the responsibility of a boot and he doesn't have to drive. He's drug-free and pain-free. He can sit on the passenger side, do books, and just smile. Because hey - he's back on the street.
Tang apparently does not know yet that Cooper is gay. When Cooper mentions Mary Pickford, Tang asks him if that's an ex-girlfriend of his.
Dorian is realizing that working as a detective is not exactly what he expected. He feels for the man they've arrested and talks about how easy it is for evidence to disappear. Lydia explains her viewpoint - that the current judicial system is the best we've come up with so far. And that no one person should be judge and jury. But then, as she glances at the evidence, she tells Dorian that she's going to get some coffee. Is she testing him? Or is she complicit?
Did anyone else think that Sherman would have the hooker smash her crack pipe, like Cooper did in "Discretion" in Season three?
Officer Jones said that he joined the force because a SWAT officer name Randall Simmons visited his school. Randall Simmons was a real LAPD SWAT officer. He was the first LAPD SWAT officer to be killed in the line of duty February 2008. Read more about Officer Simmons here.
Lydia and Dorian read a news article about their suspect's wrongful imprisonment. The writer of this episode, Cheo Hodari Coker, is the name on the byline of the article.
There were a lot of great quotes this week:
Captain Rucker: "And we kick ass until we smell shit."
Sherman (quoting Cooper from the pilot): "Look sharp. Act sharp. Be sharp."
Cooper (to the naked running guy): "How's it hanging, brother?"
Dewey: "It's like riding a moped. It's fun as hell until someone catches you on one."
Lydia (to Dorian): "Guilt never surprises me. Only innocence does."
Another great episode from our favorite show. It just keeps getting better and better.
Have questions about last night's episode? Want to discuss the show with like minded fans and share your reaction? Join us here beginning at 9EST and continuing until the last person logs out. Yes, we are that determined to let you share and discuss your love of SouthLAnd.
All are welcome. Our chat room is a relaxed atmosphere and we value everyone's opinion and participation. Join us if you can; stay a few moments or all night. We'll be looking forward to seeing you there!
Congrats to SouthLAnd's Regina King on her NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series and writer/producer Cheo Hodari Coker on his NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series!
Our first “flash” of the season finds Officer Ben Sherman running full throttle through a dirty alley then jumping a fence in pursuit of a suspect. This would be one of many difficult situations he would encounter on his typical Wednesday. Welcome to SouthLAnd, season four.
Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King) begins her Wednesday with an unexpected visit from a former high school acquaintance, DaNelle (played by JoNell Kennedy). In the past, DaNell had been Lydia's CI and still seems to be unable to stay out of trouble. The comparison between Lydia and DaNelle is drastic. Accomplished detective and addicted user. How sad is it that DaNelle has lived in LA her whole life and never seen the ocean? Lydia is also establishing a partnership with Ruben Robinson, a former Marine and street cop turned detective trainee. There is a natural flow of conversation and the acknowledgement of who is in charge between the two.
Officer Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie) is enjoying the bachelor life and his new rank of P2. He appears confident in this new role, even to the point of lying to a group of gangsters so they will clear a path through a yard for him to continue pursuit of a suspect. "I earn what they pay us and I do the damn job the way they taught us" he tells veteran officer Danny Ferguson (Guest star Lou Diamond Phillips) during a heated exchange over how a crime scene and victim were handled. The Boot has definitely grown up into a full fledged member of the LAPD.
P-3+1 John Cooper's (Michael Cudlitz) Wednesday begins at the gym where we are introduced to the now physically fit and recovered former FTO. His new partner is P-3 Jessica Tang (Lucy Liu), dealing with job related issues of her own. She's a bit quirky; not turning left on Yucca and always eating at Truck Norris on Wednesdays. Cooper shows his cop intuition is still intact by giving a stern look to a man at a sidewalk cafe: the man who would turn out to be the gunman in the police station shootout. We see Cooper do things we haven't before - run, jump into a car ("I hope the pins hold") and walk and bend without pain. And in those activities, as in every scene he is in, we see the subtle joy in Cooper's face at being back on the beat.
Officer Sammy Bryant's Wednesday (Shawn Hatosy) shows us in his role as a single dad; talking with Tammy on the phone. When a car pulls up next to Sammy and his son, Sammy becomes concerned. The car is revving it's engine and staying parallel to Sammy's car. The driver leans over and asks Sammy if he remembers him. Sammy thinks this could be a banger from his days in Gangs and slowly reaches for his gun. Then the other driver tells Sammy his name and says they were in the Academy together. Sammy is so relieved, he has to pull over. Bryant seems to relish being back on the streets far more than being a detective. And his partnership with Sherman seems to be a good fit.
Officer Dewey Dudek's Wednesday shows us he is still his same loudmouth self; both inappropriate and sexist. He calls Officer Tang, Pootie Tang or Hollywood, and uses a stereotypical Chinese accent when talking to her. "Head into the light, brother. Oh, there is no light where you are going" Dewey says to a dying gang banger. A typical Dewey observation and quip.
SouthLAnd is noted for its cinematography, directing, writing, attention to police procedure detail, and acting. This episode is brilliant yet again in all those categories. The hustle and bustle of Los Angeles is captured with the famed guerrilla style of filming, with legendary DP Jimmy Muro using lens flare more sparingly but capturing in one scene the dusky setting sun over the Pacific with perfection. The writing is flawless; the banter between partners is sharp and witty, making the viewer long to hear much more of it in future episodes. There is always a touch of humor in every SouthLAnd episode; Mr. Milsap and his pantyhose supply it in this one. The ensemble cast is truly, truly one of the very best on episodic television.
Tuesday night's TV schedule is crowded. ADD THIS SHOW. Watch it live at 10pmEST on TNT, the reairing at 1:00amEST, DVR it, watch online at tnt.tv or purchase it from ITunes. It is that good and not to be missed.
SouthLAnd premiere tonight at 10 eastern on TNT. What an hour of exciting, edge-of-your-seat action! Be there. You won't regret it. And if you want to chat about the episode with other SouthLAnd fans; come back here Wednesday night at 9 pm eastern and join our chat room discussion. Scroll to the bottom of our home page to get to the chat sign-in. Everyone welcome.
Cops wake up every morning different from the rest of us. Our worst nightmare is just their Wednesday.
You will be blown away.
Whether you are a first time viewer or a die-hard, three-year fan; the SouthLAnd season four premiere will make you smile, cringe, gasp, hold your breath and tug at your heart.
Partnerships appear to be a central theme this season. The new pairing of Officer John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) returning to full duty after back surgery & drug rehab and Officer Jessica Tang (Lucy Liu) who has encountered her own on-the-job difficulties is an interesting dynamic. It should be fascinating to watch its progression throughout the season. And Cooper fans rest assured, the recovered Coop has lost none of his sarcasm.
Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie) and Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) seem to be equals now in the police fraternity; both are young, bachelors and dedicated to their jobs. Their “Wednesday” has a promising beginning (with a scene McKenzie fans will relish); then turns into a rush of run & gun. They encounter several intense & dangerous situations that Ben views quite differently from veteran officer Danny Ferguson (Guest star Lou Diamond Phillips); leading to friction between the two.
Lydia Adams (Regina King) is now a mentor to Ruben Robinson (Dorian Missick). This partnership seems to flow naturally, especially since Lydia is back in the driver's seat; both literally and figuratively. Lydia deals with a problem from her past while Ruben is adjusting to his new role as a detective trainee. And Lydia’s last sequence of scenes sums up SouthLAnd in its entirety…dramatic, heartfelt, conservative yet spot on dialogue, breathtaking photography and superb acting.
Hang on tight. Season four is just getting started and after viewing the premiere? It looks like the best season yet.
SouthLAnd airs every Tuesday at 10EST only on TNT.
Regina King is currently starring as part of an excellent ensemble cast on the superb police drama SouthLAnd, which premieres January 17th on TNT at 10 pm eastern. We recently had the honor of obtaining an exclusive interview with her and discussed SouthLAnd, Twitter, future projects, etc.
SouthLAndFirst (SLF): Lydia Adams is an intriguing character. How would you describe Lydia?
Regina King (RK): Passionate. Serious. Compassionate to a flaw.
SLF: What has been your most difficult SouthLAnd scene to film, either physically or emotionally? Why was it so difficult?
RK: Hands down, it would be the last scene I shot with Tom Everett Scott. Because it was a scene where Lydia discovers something that makes her dislike one of her favorite people and it was the last scene I was going to have with one of my favorite people.
SLF: How do you like interacting with your fans on Twitter?
RK: It’s tough because I wish I could respond to every person that sends me a tweet. Most people have nothing but positive, loving tweets and you can't help but to want to pay it forward and say thank you to every person that takes the time to send a tweet. So it was rough in the beginning, because I felt bad that I couldn't.
SLF: Through the first three seasons, the show has been relatively vague about Lydia's past. Will we learn more about her personal back stories this season?
RK: There will be a bit more that gives insight into Lydia's past but she is still peeling back layers slowly.
SLF: Is Rodrigo still in the picture?
RK: I'm not sure.
SLF: Do you have a favorite scene from the first three seasons?
RK: I love the show. It's pretty impossible to narrow it down to a few.
SLF: Can we have some reveals about what you have filmed so far? Spoiler free, of course.
RK: Marla Gibbs will be in an episode. She was my television Mom on the show 227. We all have new partners. But I think everyone who is already a fan of the show knows that already. Anything else...you will have to tune in starting January 17th to find out. *laughs*
SLF: You have done some producing and directing. How do you like those experiences as opposed to acting?
RK: I enjoy directing and acting the most. But all positions are quite different. Obviously I am a novice when it comes to producing and directing, but I feel like my experience as an actor has helped me have a better understanding of the two.
SLF: The video “Not My Daddy” is up for an NAACP Image award nomination. That must be an amazing recognition for you and all involved.
RK: Yes It is exciting to be behind the lens. It was the second video I directed. Jaheim "Finding My Way Back" was the first. They both were exciting because both artists trusted me and allowed me to write the treatment. I have been fans of both Kelly and Jaheim for a while so while both were fantastic learning experiences. It was an honor to participate in both.
SLF: What do you do to de-stress from the demands of your hectic schedule?
RK: I go to the gym. Which I don't particularly like, but it’s an awesome way to release stress. I try to get quiet time in when I can. I’ve recently started practicing TM (transcendental meditation). Sometimes it’s hard to find the 20 minutes twice a day to meditate, but when practiced consistently it makes a huge difference.
SLF: Do you have any future projects you want to let the fans know about?
RK: I’m crossing my fingers I will begin production on a film when we wrap on SouthLAnd in March. It will be the first film I will direct. I'm excited about it but can't share the details until the dotted line has been signed.
SLF: Would you like to add anything else?
RK: Thank you! *winks*
Thank you so much, Regina, for the exclusive interview. We can't wait for the premiere - which is just one week from today!
Recently, SouthLAnd Firsthad the honor of obtaining an exclusive interview with SouthLAnd's Michael Cudlitz, who plays veteran officer John Cooper. Michael is one of the stars of the amazing ensemble cast of the critically acclaimed police drama. He gives us some insights into his character, his career in general, SouthLAnd fans, and the much anticipated season four of TNT's SouthLAnd.
SLF: For the new viewers of SouthLAnd, how would you describe your character John Cooper?
MC: I would describe John as a person who wants to have a positive effect on the community. He sees injustice all around him and thinks he can make a difference, actually he knows he can. He sees himself as “The voice of the voiceless” … Fighting for victims who no one can hear.
SLF: SouthLAnd has been praised by policemen, critics, and fans for the attention to detail. From the clearing of the triple murder house in Season 2 down to the way you clip your keys on your belt. This has to be satisfying as an actor and a distinction for the show.
MC: We take pride on SouthLAnd to make sure we get the “Police Work” correct. We know we do not always get it 100% right but we always strive to represent the actual police work in a realistic light. Sometimes the nature of the scene or the limitations of the workday forces us to compromise. But within these compromises we try to honor the intent of the actual “procedure”. The feedback we get from current and retired law enforcement is very satisfying for everyone involved. In my opinion it is one of the corner stones for the success of the entire series. We have an amazing creative team behind SouthLAnd.
SLF: You have been filming the new season for a couple of months now. How has the series evolved for this current season? How will Cooper’s story arc be different post rehab?
MC: Season 4 is a complete reset for the show. Everyone gets new partners and even though some of those partners have been on the show for a while none of them have worked together before. The dynamic of the show has changed. No longer is it about John teaching a rookie. Now SouthLAnd is about what it’s like to be an officer at different stages of her/his career. For John this means a new beginning. We have never seen a physically fit John Cooper. Episode one -We get to meet him. Nothing will ever be the same.
SLF: Could you give us some spoiler free insight into episode one?
MC: Everyone exposes things about themselves that no one has ever seen, especially Sammy. *winks*
SLF: The writers are great, but is there ever time to film another version of the scene? Do the actors ad lib very often or get to make suggestions?
MC: SouthLAnd has always been a very collaborative situation. We have writers for a reason “they write”. We are actors “we act”. Everything comes from the script first. That being said, if we are in a situation where something isn’t working in the scene because of location or circumstances on the day of shooting, we find creative ways to fix the situation. Most of the adlibs come at the head or tail of the scenes. Sometimes we play. Always, with respect to the written words.
SLF: Do you have a favorite scene of the new season that we can keep an eye out for?
MC: Yes, in episode 5 but I can’t tell you cause it’s very spoilery.
SLF: With the fast-paced filming style of SouthLAnd; do you find it frustrating to work on slower-paced movies or TV shows?
MC: No. Both have advantages. In my opinion they work hand in hand making you a better performer. Sometimes you have the luxury of time to fully work out something in a scene and on the other hand sometimes too much time can help you to over think something. Working in both film and television you start to discern what warrants more time in a situation and you become much more efficient as a performer.
SLF: SouthLAnd has a very loyal and vocal fan base and social media has played a big part in that. How have the fans affected you and your performance?
MC: The fans have been amazing. SouthLAnd would not be on the air if it weren’t for the fans and in my opinion the strong response they had on social media when we were cancelled from our network home. As far as my performance - no effect. My responsibility is always to John Cooper first. That is what the fans expect.
SLF: How do you handle all the demands on your time - like all those people who ask for interviews - and still find time for family and other pursuits?
MC: I just try to fit it all in. Sometimes it just takes a little longer than it should but family always comes first. Everyone understands that.
SLF: Do we get to see Sammy and Ben running in the same scene this season?
MC: I think so. But I’m not sure.
SLF: You have mentioned that you enjoyed being a producer for Grief Tourist. What did you like about being a producer and do you have any current plans to produce another project?
MC: I loved being involved from the beginning. Helping guide the script. Working with casting. Picking the crew and all the work involved with post production. It’s an amazing feeling to see all of the hard work from an entire crew come to fruition knowing you helped put that group together.
SLF: Anything else you would like to add? Any future projects you want to mention? Want to tease us with something from Season 4?
MC: Yes, watch SouthLAnd S4 !!!! ……….. “Nothing is as it seems”
The team at SouthLAnd First wishes to thank Michael for giving us his time for this interview. It is greatly appreciated and as he said...everyone watch SouthLAnd season four premiering January 17 at 10EST, only on TNT.
"Michael Cudlitz reminisces with Kit Hoover and guest host Lance Bass about being Brenda Walsh’s prom date on “Beverly Hills, 90210” Also, he chats about what’s in store for his “Southland” character in the new season. Plus, what’s it like working with new castmate Lucy Liu? Season 4 of “Southland” premieres on January 17 at 10/9c PM on TNT."
Note: The video may take a minute or so to load. Be patient. It is well worth the wait.
As the season four premiere is fast approaching, we at SouthLAnd First would like to PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE even more heavily our favorite show. So, we are offering a sweet prize to a lucky individual who can help us do just that.
2. Beginning January 1st and continuing through the 16th, at approximately midnight EST, SouthLAnd First will tweet "#SouthLAnd S4 premiere, January 17 at 10E. Only on TNT. Watch and tell all your friends!"
YOUR job is to retweet it once a day. That is all. Remember to RT everyday during the contest period as this will increase your odds of winning. The contest ends January 17 at midnight EST.
3. All Twitter accounts that retweet will have their account names and the number of days they RTed submitted for a random drawing to determine the winner.
4. The winner will be announced January 25 at 11 EST in the chat room here at SouthLAnd First.
The lucky winner will receive a season four HD episode pass for ITunes OR a gift certificate from Amazon.com of equal value so you can download the episodes or purchase the DVD when it becomes available and enjoy season four again and again!
*Be sure and check if ITunes and Amazon.com are available for the redemption of the prize in your country before you participate*
THANKS SO MUCH! We appreciate your participation and let's encourage everyone to watch season four of SouthLAnd!