A raw and authentic look into the Los Angeles crime scene; Season Two of SOUTHLAND goes even further inside the lives of cops; criminals; victims and their families. Hardened LAPD veteran John Cooper is partnered with rookie officer Ben Sherman – an on-the-job training that only reinforces the reality that being out on the field is nothing like his preparation at the Academy. Detective Lydia Adams must balance her hardened professional life with a more nurturing one at home. Detective “Sal” Salinger oversees the activities of fellow gang detectives; Nate Moretta and Sammy Bryant. While Chickie Brown works to become the first female member of SWAT. Together; they try to maintain order on the streets of Los Angeles – and within themselves. At the dramatic conclusion of season one; Lydia’s partner is shot. As he struggles to survive; Lydia must reluctantly find a new partner. And new challenges; personal and professional; await the law-men and law-women of SOUTHLAND in Season Two.


Shot with gritty realism on the streets of Los Angeles, this hard-hitting police procedural focuses on the day-to-day interactions between longtime cop John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz), his rookie partner, Ben Sherman (Benjamin McKenzie), and a stable of veteran detectives (including Regina King). But the criminals don’t wait for the main characters to find balance between their dangerous professions and their complicated personal lives. Meanwhile, detectives Lydia Adams (Regina King), Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott) and the other men and women in blue put it all on the line as they lay down the law in the City of Angels.

The fact that many of the terms used in Southland are not sugar coated, as in other TV series, blows my mind and is what keeps me watching. I see far too much in other series where the characters actually seem awkward as their language doesn’t reflect what their behaviour is showing or the producers want to appease the censors and use softer language. Having two separate views of cases may distract some people, but this is exactly what it is like in reality. There are detectives in the same division as the front line officers and although they may work together on some incidents, often go about their day on different paths. The finale is and what will make me a dedicated viewer because of how close it hits to home. As an officer you tend not to try and get involved in your neighbours business, this is a reality in today’s world where anything can happen if you choose to do so.

Now these aren’t the normal “ripped from the headlines” type of plot lines that appear on “Law & Order” and other police procedurals. Rather, they are cases that have been specifically selected because they represent the type of crime that is uniquely associated with the city of Los Angeles, which is home to the largest county jail system in the world, the birthplace of some of the most notorious gangs in the world.  The show should be commended for avoiding the popular models mentioned above, instead aiming for a more traditional cop show. The visual style is also interesting; the show apparently was filmed on HD hand-held cameras in a faux-documentary style. The performances are good, for the most part. It also seems to avoid the gloss-over storyline. In the first episode a young victim of gang violence is not just another face, but peripheral family characters are introduced.

The DVD comes with a really detailed scene-specific commentary. Plus, you get deleted scenes and an interactive map for the Los Angeles area. I love how there are such detailed special features and A/V Quality on what amounts to an On-Demand DVD-R product. Warner Brothers is really upping their game with creating new markets for the specialty shows and it’s turning out amazing efforts. I’d recommend it for a purchase.


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