THE SHIELD- Shawn Ryan’s THE SHIELD is a show glorifying a racist bunch of dirty cops, and the un-redeeming stereotypes they beat on. It’s a dire, depressing, largely detestable show, that is not dissimilar to a slog through the sewers.
I watched a couple episodes in season #1 and then an episode in season #7, and there is absolutely no growth in the show, what a waste. Three episodes more than enough of this show. A classic example of Black faces, White messages. It’s a modern day minstrel show.
How it made it seven seasons, says something about the acceptance of great doses of bigotry. Not my thing. Pass on this and see either HOMICIDE or NYPD BLUE Season 1 instead.
NYPD BLUE- I’ve never been a fan of police procedurals, but the first season of NYPD BLUE was something else, a game changer in terms of dramatic intensity for television, and a clinic in style and the acting prowess of David Caruso. He was effectively the show. Which left later seasons… uninteresting. Get season 1, forget the rest.
JUSTIFIED- I found this modern cowboy drama incredibly uninteresting in the first season with largely unlikeable characters. Pass on this and see LONGMIRE or DEADWOOD instead.
LIFE- Both seasons are fantastic. Transcends a simple police procedural, by its protagonists quirky pursuit of Zen and Justice.
COPPER- Police work late 19th century style. Not really interested.
LUTHER- First few episodes are magnificent, though it loses its way toward the end, but still season 1 is a recommended view. Season 2 however is utter garbage.
HOMICIDE- Clearly the best police procedural ever, and largely because it is not about the procedure. A rich, ethnically strong cast of powerhouse actors, especially Andre Braugher in a star making performance, creates that rarest of television shows… a smart one. Highest recommendation.