Television Review: "Southland" Season 2 Premiere

3/04/2010 Posted by Admin

Television Review

"Southland" Season 2 Premiere

By our guest blogger, Sanela Djokovic

Anyone who saw one of the seven episodes NBC aired of "Southland" would probably agree with the general consensus that a terrible side effect of the Leno fiasco is that it was responsible for canceling the exiting cop drama. Those of us who got a glimpse of the series starring Regina King, Benjamin McKenzie and Michael Cudlitz were excited to hear that TNT resuscitated the series, acquiring the rights to the first season and the first six episodes of the second season. Tuesday's season premiere of “Southland” confirmed that it is not the kind of drama you bench, but also showed us that we have a lot to look forward to.

Created by Ann Biderman (cop drama extraordinaire, Emmy Award-winning writer of "NYPD Blue") and produced by John Wells (producer of NBC staples "ER" and "Third Watch"), "Southland" goes deep into the lives and work of several LAPD cops and detectives. The show has been praised for its grittiness and authenticity, which trickles down to every element of the drama--character development, story construction, language and dialogue, even framing and camerawork. The new season’s first episode is an example of all those things, showing that it is more than a procedural drama. It taps into the home lives of the characters, the internal problems of the workplace, the dynamics of partnership, the relationships with political and media agents, the roots of crimes and the conditions that breed them.

And, if that weren’t enough, the cast of "Southland" is flawless. There is no need to name names, because from the familiar faces to the new ones, they all give seamless, effortless and complex portrayals--and soon enough, the names of the characters are the only ones that matter. The new season brought the fitting and delightful addition of "Prison Break’s" Amaury Nolasco, but unfortunately Nolasco left the cast after filming three episodes.

TNT plans to assess the ratings of "Southland’s" six new episodes before deciding whether to order more episodes. The chances of the series staying with us this time are good, considering that cable TV’s ratings expectations are lower. TNT’s decision to potentially save the drama is a sign of huge faith, and it's one we needed to see. We need to fight for something like "Southland."

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