Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Watch it: The Shield

UK license payers who are patient enough to wait for the best US shows to air domestically; who know better than to risk the wrath of the MPAA (ha, right) by procuring them through other, quasi-legal methods, are advised to tune into Channel Five on Saturday night for Season Four of The Shield, one of my top five TV shows (see the sidebar for the other four).

If you've never seen the show before, it's continuity driven, but don't let that put you off. It focuses on bad, bad detective Vic Mackey, a man so venal and corrupt he'd kill a cop to protect his "retirement fund," but won't let go of his illusions that he's actually one of the good guys.

Season Three covered the fallout of Vic and his team's hold-up of a truck-load of Armenian drug money. By the end of the season Vic, Shane, Lem and the taciturn Ronnie had all turned on one another, the money had been destroyed and Vic had found out his youngest daughter shared his son's autism. Other characters had it just as tough. Detectives Wagenbach and Wyms are on the DA's shit-list for exposing a junkie prosecutor. Their Captain, David Aceveda, is finally seeing his ambition of moving to City Hall fulfilled, but remains traumatised by a sexual assault he was forced to endure during a raid that went fully tits-up.

That's all you need to know before the weekend. Sit back on Saturday and enjoy the most tightly scripted, perfectly cast, subtly scored, excitingly shot, morally compromised and, looking towards the end of the season, doom laden show on the box.

As good as The Wire? Hell yeah, but then you've probably missed out on that too.

Category: Movies and TV

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