Friday, February 22, 2013

The Twitter "Let's promote SouthLAnd" winner is...

Twitter contest

The winner is @ValdiviaCinthia

Congratulations! We will be contacting you via DM at Twitter so we can get your SouthLAnd seasons 1-4 DVDs sent to you ASAP.

Thanks to all who participated. You did a fantastic job in spreading the word. Let's keep the word going!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

SouthLAnd S5E2 "Heat" review

Being a cop in Los Angeles is different from patrolling other cities.  Not every officer can take the heat.

I just don’t know what to think of Lydia. In episode 2 of the first season, after taking care of a baby, she goes to visit her ex Terrell.  And though he is obviously with another woman now, and has a kid; she still tells Terrell she thinks she made a mistake in letting him go.   Which obviously she didn’t, as she has just had his baby. Even though he is now married.

In last week’s episode, we saw that she was struggling with sleep, nursing, physical endurance, and generally taking care of the baby.  Now this week she has switched the baby to formula and is getting more sleep.  She’s exercising more and she’s on a diet to lose the last of her baby fat.   Ruben gives her a skeptical eye about the formula and advises her not to use the formula with the beetle larvae in it.  Heh.  He gets his point across while still saying it’s her choice.

And has she even called the baby by name?

So last week Cooper loses a boyfriend and this week he gains a girlfriend.  Dude has skillz.

Cooper tries to be authoritative with Amanda; but he just can’t quite make it.  Kids and disadvantaged people of all ages are a weakness for Cooper.  He tells Amanda that her dress is pretty, but she’s not his type.  “It’s your loss!”  Amanda says as she walks off.  Ha!   

Lydia and Ruben’s partnership is firing on all cylinders.  After talking to the wife of a man whose burned body was found in the Hollywood Hills; they leave the building talking about all the reasons the wife is guilty.  They have the crime solved before climbing in their car.

After talking with a WWII P-51pilot who unexpectedly took a wrong turn through a golf course, Steele questions Cooper about his lack of empathy for the old man.  Cooper says, “You think I did it just to be an asshole?”  “Yes, sir,” says Steele.  Snap!

Poor Ben.  Has anyone in his life ever done right by him?  His sisters are clueless after the triple homicide in Hancock Park; his mother is a ditz and tells him to relax and open up; so he opens up to Daisy who stays in touch with her ex while seeing Ben - then goes back to the ex; he sleeps with a girl who wants to be with him because of his youtube video.  Now Mendoza, who arguably is not a good influence, screws him over as well.  Ben needs a good, solid person in his life who will be there for him all the time.

Kiwi Shampoo - cop slang for using their shoes or boots (which they shine with Kiwi brand shoe polish) to kick someone's head.

Cooper takes Steele to get some ice cream.  There is a long line and they have just reached the front.  Cooper orders pistachio nut ice cream for both of them.  A woman at the back of the line keeps giving Cooper disgusted looks; so finally he asks her if he can help her.  She tells him, “While you’re standing around there are crimes being committed.”  Ahhh.  It’s a WWASUHA (woman with a stick up her ass).  She tells him that she pays his salary.  Cooper responds, “You know what ma’am.  Yes you do.”  Sticking an ice cream come in her face, he adds, “You wanna lick?”

I certainly hope we don’t have to hear about Sammy’s custody battle all season.  Sammy’s and Ben’s partnership is not going very smoothly.  And did you notice that subtle dig at Ben?  Sammy says that Mendoza brought his problems on himself.  So Ben asks Sammy if he didn’t want the police looking for who shot him - when he was laying in the hospital.  Sammy answers that that was different, “I didn’t bring that on myself.”  Ouch!  Though it was Ben who brought that on, I don’t think Ben realized the dig.

Cooper and Steele go on a welfare check and discover the WWII pilot they talked to earlier, dead in his house from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Steele glares at Cooper.

SouthLAnd always finds such good actors for the secondary roles.  The actor who played Dewain, Amin Joseph, just killed it in his part.  From the arrogant gang member, to the worried Dad whose son was shot.  Great job.

And Derek Ray; who played Cooper’s boot so well.  The boot who could not make the switch from Afghanistan vet to LAPD cop.  The rules of engagement were just too different.

Would a police officer really go in that courtyard alone as Ben did?  It looks like a death trap to me.  Plus he turned his radio down.  Which I'm sure he did so the person he was chasing wouldn't hear it.  It just doesn't seem the smartest thing to do when you're alone and your partner doesn't know where you are.

Mendoza is unapologetic and tries to explain and make excuses for shooting himself, but Ben is not interested in hearing it.  When Mendoza asks him, “You think you’re better than me?”  Ben responds, “You know I am.”

Cooper explains to Steele (like he explained to Tang last season); you have no control over what happens to a suspect after you leave them.  Steele responds, "You don't have to convince me".

Cooper and Steele pull over a car that had almost run down a pedestrian.  As they get out and start walking forward, an old man gets out of the car and starts shooting.  Cooper is hit, but manages to fire back, then radio for help.  He tries to take cover behind the windshield post and the ballistic door panel as the man continues shooting.  When the shooter’s gun jams, Cooper shoots and kills him.  I start breathing again when I realize Cooper’s vest has saved him.  But where is Steele?  Cooper starts yelling for him and I am sure he’s wounded at least, dead at worst.  But no.  Steele is squatting behind the patrol car with his shaking hands covering his ears.  Oh.  Not good.  Now was not the time for an episode of PTSD.  Cops have to trust that their partners will be there for them.  Every. Single. Time.  Steele tries to explain his actions to Cooper and Cooper responds, "You don't have to convince me," as he removes Steele's badge.  Goodbye, Officer Steele.

At the end of his shift, Cooper has changed into his street clothes.  As he walks out, he sees Amanda sitting in the lobby.  He starts to turn away without talking to her, but he’s incapable.  He walks up to her and then sits down wearily next to her on the bench.  Earlier, at the beginning of watch, he stood over her in a very authoritative way.  But now, it’s end of watch.  He’s tired and his body is aching from where he was shot.  There will be a big bruise there later.  So he sits and lets the innate innocence and goodness of Amanda wash over him.

Lydia’s mom is dead.  When Ruben appeared where Lydia was having drinks with friends, I thought it was going to be about the baby.  Realistically I should have thought of the mother first.  Lydia stands in the doorway, crying, and holding her baby, as her Mom’s body is taken away.  What will she do now?  She appears to not be able to take care of the baby on her own.  Will she struggle along?  Or will she turn to Terrell?

Friday, February 15, 2013

SouthLAnd "Hats and Bats" review

“We hold cops to a higher standard because we give them a gun and a badge. Only trouble with that is, they’re recruited from the human race.”

And our season five voice over says it all. This season will be personal. I’m confident that we will see much of our running action, shoot outs, crime solving SouthLAnd throughout the season. I’m even more confident we will delve deeply into the characters complicated & flawed lives.

In “Hats and Bats”, as SouthLAnd episodes often do, we see the beginning and ending of our officers days.

Officer Ben Sherman has a new haircut symbolizing a new Ben. Or does it? He is awarded a medal for bravery for killing pimp daddy Ronnie last season but didn’t Ben provoke that? He went hunting for Ronnie & gave him a beat down; Ronnie retaliated by smashing Ben and Sammy’s patrol car, causing Sammy serious injury. Ben later gunned Ronnie down. Re-watch “Thursday” to refresh your memory. We’ll see how Ben’s new poster boy image plays out during the season. And this love/hate relationship between Ben and Sammy is a cinder about to combust. Ben is acting as Sammy’s superior instead of his equal partner; telling him to “Use your head” while dealing with the blood at a gay bath house fight & taking a congratulatory call from his sister at a murder scene are two examples. Sammy is not pleased. 

Officer Sammy Bryant begins his day with an encounter with the ex Mrs. Bryant, Tammi. This story line cannot end well. Sammy is consumed by his custody battle with Tammi over their son Nate but he does not let it interfere with his job performance. We see a more tender side to Sammy as he is affected by the murder of an elderly woman & his pure delight in being a concerned parent. 

For Detective Lydia Adams, motherhood is a nightmare. It appears she finds it as a distraction from her job. She takes no joy in the little things that are usually a joy for most mothers; getting a call from her mother that baby Christopher had taken the whole bottle “I don’t need the play by play”, nursing, showing off baby pictures. I was very glad to see Lydia has the same partner, Ruben Robinson (the flawlessly natural actor Dorian Missick) and that their partnership flows smoothly. The duo investigate the rape of an 18 year old man, an unusual take on an all too familiar crime. 

Officer John Cooper’s day begins by showing him in bed, with the beginnings of  a quarrel with his male partner over commitment issues. This is an aspect of Coop’s life this reviewer has wanted to see since season one. Coop is back as a training officer, dealing with boot Gary Steele who has an attitude (the very effective Derek Ray). Can Coop break him? They disagree on how to deal with most of the situations they encounter during the episode but deep down, I think Steele reminds Coop of himself; they joined the LAPD for the same reason & neither suffer fools gladly. When Steele asks Coop for advice on being a cop, Coop’s reply is “treat it like a circus.” An attitude of survival that Army vet Steele is already quite familiar with.

Officer Bill “Dewey” Dudek is back.This season C. Thomas Howell is a full time cast member (In my opinion, it’s well past time for this!) and he is an FTO who is not really pleased with his boot either. Dewey has to take charge during a riot scene. We see our laid back Dewey, doing what is necessary and making light of his head and eye injury. We cherish our Dewey scenes; he brings humor and the reality of being a seasoned cop to the show. 

At the end of the day, we see Ben partying with guest star Chad Michael Murray (Not sure of his role except to be a bad influence on Ben), Sammy cleaning up the blood left at the elderly woman’s home, Lydia hesitating to go into her own home as not to face her crying son and Cooper going into an empty house, his lover clearly moving on.

Now what these brilliant actors do with these personal stories should be a wonder to behold. This reviewer can’t wait for more.

Enjoy season five. SouthLAnd. Wednesday, TNT. 10/9C.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Interview with Derek Ray

SouthLAndFirst spoke with Derek Ray (Cooper’s new boot, Gary Steele) earlier this week for an interview.

SOUTHLANDFIRST:  So give us a little background info.
DEREK RAY:  I grew up in Illinois.  Southern Illinois.

SLF:  How tall are you? You look like you have an inch or two on Michael.
DEREK:   6’2”.  We’re pretty much even.

SLF:  I watched an episode of Law & Order: LA where you played a surfer dude.  I would never have guessed that Steele and the surfer dude were the same man.  You look very different.
DEREK:  Yeah, I hope that’s a blessing.  That I can pull off both those.  That edgier kind of blue collar cop kind of look.  And a different look too.

SLF:  Tell us how you perceive your character - Steele:
DEREK:  Steele exposes a really cool reality with ex-military pursuing a career in law enforcement.  It seems like it would be an easy fit, but the rules of engagement are much different.  It even goes a lot deeper than what they could tell in two episodes.  I have a lot of respect for that.  It’s something we don’t think about every day.  I just try to not judge him (Steele) and kinda be present.  Because the things that unfold; you can totally see his side of it.  He’s used to coming home at the airport and people walking up to him and saying, “Thanks for your service.”  And, “Take a picture with my baby.”   He’s a hero and he has a flag to fight for.  Whereas, here with the LAPD and the things he encounters with Cudlitz, especially with the WWII vet and the incidence in the ice cream shop.  It just, slowly he realizes he has nothing, he has no flag to fight for.  He has no country to fight for.  He’s not a hero.  To the people he’s trying to protect and serve, he’s a piece of crap, basically.  Which is true.  It’s something I didn’t think about certainly, before working on SouthLAnd.  But it’s something I think about now.

SLF:  How did you get the part?  Did you audition?
DEREK:   I did.  I had never auditioned for SouthLAnd before, but I auditioned for John Levy.  I was actually in there today auditioning for a John Wells show...  I have a decent relationship now with that office.  I’m actually seeing them later this week for another audition.

SLF:  I think you do a really good job on the show.
DEREK:  Thank you so much.  It’s a really good show to work on and it’s a really good show for actors.  It’s completely free, it’s hand-held (cameras), there’s no marks.  It’s a really easy show and really easy people to work with.  It’s easy to work with and the cast is great.

SLF:  How was it working with Michael Cudlitz?
DEREK:  Yeah, ya know, it was really interesting.  The perception I had of him was sorta like Cooper.  This hard kinda guy.  But he’s very...he’s a vet (of acting), you know.  He’s worked a ton.  For a guy like me; that’s probably going to go in the direction of playing roles similar to what he will.  Or to what he has done.  I was just like a sponge trying to soak up everything from him that I could.  And he’s a great teacher.  He’s a great actor; very simple with what he does.  He shares whatever you ask him.  He’s very good to work with.  It’s not surprising he’s had such a great career.  He’s very talented and a very nice guy.

SLF:  How was it working with Tommy?
DEREK:  Tommy!  (laughs).  Tommy is...It was surreal actually, to be honest.  We were forced to read The Outsiders in what?  Seventh grade?  And then we had to watch the movie.  It’s just one of those things where...I didn’t realize it until I was standing next to him on set and I was like, Holy Shit!  He’s a crack-up and a nice guy too.  Not a lot unlike Dewey.  Because Dewey lives inside of Tommy - but not the alcoholism part.  He’s really funny.  He’s really creative.  It’s fun to watch him on set.  He comes up with things.  He’s a real pro too.

SLF:  Would you like to publicize any project you’re working on?
DEREK:   Well, right now I’m guest starring on an episode of The Mentalist.  (Sundays, 10E/9C.)

SLF:  I watched you in an episode of NCIS as well as the Law & Order: LA episode I mentioned earlier.
DEREK:  Yeah, there’s a lot of those little 1-2 day guest stars.  They come and go.  They can’t all be SouthLAnd.  They keep you going.

SLF:  Anything else you would like to add?
DEREK:  I had a wonderful time on the show and it was a great experience.

Thank you, Derek, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to Skype with us.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Exclusive interview with SouthLAnd's C. Thomas Howell

Recently, SouthLAnd First had the honor of obtaining an exclusive interview with SouthLAnd's legendary actor C. Thomas Howell, who plays veteran officer "Dewey" Dudek. Tommy 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 thoughts on becoming a full time cast member and what we can expect from Dewey in season five.  

SouthLAnd First:  How exciting is it that Dewey will be in every episode this season?
C Thomas Howell:  For me it's fantastic. I find it a real challenge playing this character. There's a delicate line between love and hate when it comes to Dewey and the chance to explore that weekly is very exciting. I do feel Dewey is a bit like Cayenne pepper, though. A little bit is probably enough when it comes to the viewers! 

SLF:  Will Dewey have a full time partner this season?
CTH:  Dewey is a training officer, believe it or not. Although his boots aren't a real focal point this season, there are some interesting points when it comes to his partner(s). I don't wanna give away too much. You'll have to tune in! 

SLF:  Online speculation is that we will meet a very important member of Dewey's family in season five. Care to comment?
CTH Again avoiding spoilers, lets just say that no one was more surprised then me to find out Dewey has not one, but two daughters! 

SLF:  What do we NOT know about Officer Dudek?
CTH:  That he is probably a much better cop then one would expect. We know he's a joker but he and Cooper connect on a much deeper level this season as friends. Their relationship has blossomed and I think Cooper tolerates Dewey to some degree more than others with the understanding that Dewey would take a bullet for him no questions asked. It's been very interesting to work with Mike Cudlitz this season and if we go to season 6, I think the two of us together full time would be very powerful! 

SLF:  Is Dewey still faithfully following the 12 steps?
CTH:  Straight as an arrow! Dewey is old school and when he commits, it's written in stone. Thank God too, because we've beat the hell outta the "struggling drinking cop" story lines in tv history, haven't we? 

SLF:  Have you filmed a favorite scene yet?
CTH:  Yes, but I can't share it yet. Too soon.

SLF: Will we see Dewey with a BBW this season?
CTH Unlikely but it's not out of the question.

SLF:  What does the character of Dewey bring to SouthLAnd?
CTH:  I think a sense of freedom and comedy for the writers. My job as a supporting actor is to make my costars better and that's what I do day in and day out. Playing Dewey is like being a fullback that makes great blocks for his running backs to carry the ball. But, every now and then you can give it to me on the goal line and I'll pound it in for six! I love my team and my position.

SLF:  If you could change anything about Dewey, what would it be?
CTH:  Nothing. Love him or hate him he's my favorite character that I have ever played. He's taught me to be fearless as a performer. He's taught me not to judge. 

SLF:  How has the experience of working on SouthLAnd been?
CTH:  It's been a great process. I love my crew and the friends I've met. That's the best part of being on a show for five seasons. Lets do five more! 

SouthLAnd First wishes to thank Tommy for graciously taking time from his busy schedule to grant us this interview. We'd also like to thank Sue Vorenberg (@explodingegg on Twitter) for her assistance.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Let's "Promote #SouthLAnd on Twitter" contest!

As the season five premiere quickly approaches, we at SouthLAnd First would like to PROMOTE, PROMOTE, PROMOTE even more heavily our favorite show. Our hope is that the premiere will have the highest ratings yet! So, we are offering a sweet prize to a lucky individual who can help us do just that.

Contest details:

1. To be eligible, you must follow SouthLAnd First on Twitter.

2. Beginning February 6th and continuing through the 13th, at approximately midnight EST, SouthLAnd First will tweet “#SouthLAnd S5 premiere, February 13 at 10E/9C. Only on TNT. Watch and tell everyone!”

YOUR job is to retweet it once a day. That is all. Remember to RT every day during the contest period as this will increase your odds of winning. The contest ends February 14th at 3:00am 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 February 21st at 11 EST in the chat room here at SouthLAnd First.

The Prize:

The lucky winner will receive seasons 1-4 DVD sets! Quite the prize as we feel SouthLAnd fans are the best and should be able to enjoy the episodes again and again.

*The DVDs are only available for Region One - the U.S. and Canada only.*

THANKS SO MUCH! We appreciate your participation and let’s encourage everyone to watch season five of SouthLAnd! Even if you are not interested in winning the prize, we would appreciate the RTs as it helps spread the word #SouthLAnd style!

And if you are not already, please follow the cast @cudlitz @shawnhatosy @cthomashowell @ReginaKing @ben_mckenzie @tailwindturner on Twitter.

Monday, February 4, 2013

SouthLAnd Intros Contest Winner

Thanks for all the entries to our SouthLAnd Intros contest. The winner is Joel Diack. Congratulations Joel! We will be getting in touch with you by tomorrow.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Congratulations to Cheo H. Coker!

Writer Cheo Hodari Coker accepts Writing in a Dramatic Series award for "SouthLAnd" onstage during the 44th NAACP Image Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on February 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.

Our congratulations to Cheo for his win and outstanding script for "God's Work"