It’s been ages since I don’t post anything. Sorry about that. There are two reasons which can help me to justify my absence: first, I’ve been very busy attending shows which have piled up in a narrow period of time: Michael Monroe, Night Demon, Title Fight, Guerrera, Johnny Winter or The Coup are some of them.
The second reason is that, since I was in my hometown earlier this month, I’ve recovered one of my favorite series on DVD, The Shield, and I’m completely hooked. So much, it’s May 19th and I’m in the middle of season 4. I reckon if I hadn’t attended to those shows I’d be finishing season 5 at least, but still I got some social life to attend.
I feel like talking about this series, created by Shawn Ryan, because it’s usually regarded as minor, compared to The Sopranos and The Wire, but the plot, the dynamism and the characters are as appealing and attractive as those belonging to the others, and personally speaking, focusing on the police environment and story, I choose The Shield over The Wire without blinking.
Honestly, I’m enjoying this second viewing even more than expected.
First approach to The Shield, back in 2008, blew our minds to such extent, watching it became some sort of addiction. We watched the complete series in barely 5 weeks, and I reckon we missed part of the message, many details and the development of the characters. We were somehow infected by the intense whirl of the series. Really, we were jonesing afterwards.
This time I enjoy my own rhythm. I have no pressure and no hurry, but the truth is that the deeper you’re in the mud, the more you need, so the rhythm I’m watching the series is quite fast, and the sessions are very intense. Nevertheless, whenever it’s necessary I repeat a scene, to catch everything, or just for pleasure, and I’m noticing lots of details I hadn’t paid attention earlier, especially regarding the characters.
For those who aren’t aware of the main plot of The Shield WITHOUT SPOILING, the action takes place at a Police precint in the district of Farmington, L.A, known as The Barn, which used to be a church, but now it’s filled with cops, detectives and all kind of scumbags you can imagine. Farmington is a ghetto area with a high rate population of (illegal) immigrants, Russian, Armenian, Korean, Muslim and Latin among them. Street gangs such as The Mags, Los Torrucos or The 19rs, and organized mobs threaten the security of the citizens, vulnerable to robberies, rapes, murders, guns and drugs. Crack and heroine is on every corner of every street, prostitution is constant, and the criminal rate is outrageous. Captain Aceveda aims to clean the streets and implement his strategies and methods in order to improve quality of life there, but at the same time he’s surrendering to the seductive power of politics. The Strike Team, commanded by detective Vic Mackey is an obstacle for reaching his target, as cop violence, corruption and influences are words constantly related to this squad.
As a reflection of the society, even though cops are supposed to be the good side of the coin, to protect and serve, the series actually deals with this dichotomy of good vs evil, exemplified in the circumstances the characters have to go through, sometimes at their choice, and sometimes forced by them. Some of the characters moved by the standards of moral, at some point have to yield for their own survival or to protect their beloved. Some others prefer playing rough and cross the line so they can find a quicker path to stop the evil. Extreme and quick decisions are constantly taken in this series, and the only lecture the series aims to give is that no action comes without a consequence.
Then you choose your favorite characters. Some of them you have a crush on immediately: Vic and Shane on one hand, detectives Wyms and the Dutch boy, Aceveda, and officer Danni Sofer. With others, although it takes time to build their relevance, eventually you realize how important they are and how greatly they contribute to the richness of the plot. And the picture you get of them can change in a nick of time depending on their actions. I find that fantastic in a series.
7 seasons define the story of The Barn. And they’re all worth it. If you haven’t watched it yet, I strongly encourage you to do so. But always remember this: