Now the second new series at the 10/9c hour. NBC is premiering Southland, a cop drama as a replacement to the now defunct ER. Here is my review and you can check out the premiere now at Hulu.
What NBC Says: From Emmy Award winners John Wells, Ann Biderman and Chris Chulack comes a raw and authentic look at the police unit in Los Angeles. From the beaches of Malibu to the streets of East Los Angeles, “Southland” is a fast-moving drama that will take viewers inside the lives of cops, criminals, victims and their families. Michael Cudlitz (“A River Runs Through It”) plays John Cooper a seasoned Los Angeles cop assigned to train young rookie Ben Sherman (Benjamin McKenzie, “The O.C.”). Cooper’s honest, no-nonsense approach to the job leaves Sherman questioning whether or not he has what it takes to become a police officer. Cudlitz and McKenzie are joined by other cast members including Regina King (“Ray,” “Jerry Maguire”) who plays Detective Lydia Adams. Adams lives with and is the primary caregiver of her mother. Her partner, Detective Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott, “Boiler Room”) is an unhappily married father of three. Michael McGrady (“The Thin Red Line”) plays Detective Daniel “Sal” Salinger. Sal oversees fellow gang detectives Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro, “Drive,” “Ugly Betty”) and Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy, “Alpha Dog”). Arija Bareikis (“Crossing Jordan”) plays as patrol officer Chickie Brown, a single mom who dreams of being the first woman accepted into SWAT.
Fun Facts: The show is produced by John Wells, who helmed ER through its run. The show has the same overall premise in bringing the viewers into the lives of a occupation but this time cops. The show was originally titled LAPD, then Police, now Southland.
The Plot in my Words: Ben Sherman is a rookie. A very new rookie. It is his first day on the job and he is partnered with John Cooper, a long-time cop, that knows the rules and knows how to break them. Ben comes from the rich LA crowd and everybody is wondering, why he decided to do this. On Ben’s first day, they investigate a random high school boy’s shooting, a little girl’s disappearance that strikes a cord with Detective Lydia Adams, and in the end something momentous happens. All in the life of cop in Los Angeles.
The Good: I loved The West Wing, I liked ER. All shows that take you into a life of someone that does something different than you. This show is no different. It is interesting, revealing and raw. The show is almost shot like a documentary, 95% is show on location and with a handheld camera. It makes the show feel raw, gritty, and personal, and they cast helps with that too. Ben McKensie is great as Ben and really makes you think he was born for the job. Also a standout was Regina King who plays Lydia Adams, a detective that has a tough personal life living in a ant infested house with her mother but does the best at her job. Last put not least, the dialogue is so crisp, the interplay between Ben and Cooper is awesome and it is so fun to watch.
The Bad: My only complaint is it is not on another network besides NBC, so it has a much great chance of succeeding.
Overall: Watch this one! Please!