The Shield:

The Complete Series

               review by Bobby Blakey

There are so many shows that have made a lasting impact over the years. In 2002 creator Shawn Ryan brought his gritty new cop series The Shield to TV with Sons of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter serving as one of the executive producers. After seven seasons the show ended in 2008. Now Mill Creek Entertainment is bringing the entire series together in one complete collection.

The Shield follows the activities of an experimental division of the Los Angeles Police Department set up in the fictional Farmington district ("the Farm") of Los Angeles, a district rife with ethnic gang-related violence, drug trafficking, and prostitution. The centerpiece of the division is the Strike Team, led by Detective Vic Mackey and his friends Shane VendrellCurtis Lemansky, and Ronnie Gardocki. They are to use force as necessary to deal with the more violent and dangerous crimes in the area, and they try to abide by the law to the best of their abilities. Secretly, Mackey and the Strike Team use criminal methods to coerce information and stage arrests when police procedures fail them and take a share of various drug busts. The Strike Team's questionable success rate leaves the division's head, Captain David Aceveda, suspicious of their methods but values their success as they help his political efforts to become the mayor of Los Angeles.

This series features a great cast including Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins, Jay Karnes, Benito Martinez, CCH Pounder and Kenny Johnson with new additions joining later in the series including Glenn Close, Forest Whitaker, Laurie Holden, Alex O’Laughlin and Anthony Anderson. For whatever reason I never watching this show during its original run and sorry I missed it then. Thankfully I was able to fix this problem with this new collection, but there is just something about witnessing a show like this at the time it is released that makes it all the better. The first few episodes felt pretty straight forward, but it didn’t take long before it was clear this was its own animal.

The entire cast is excellent across the board. While Chiklis lead the charge for the most part this is an ensemble series with everyone getting their own arcs and great storylines. Most of them are intertwining causes numerous effects across the board, but also further growing the characters in different directions. There were a few story lines that they seemed to be growing something and then just kind of dropped the, but for the most part they all not only delivered but came full circle for the finale. There are numerous shows that have pushed these similar boundaries since, but realizing when this show aired you can see how many gritty new directions they went with.

I applaud this shows direction and the actors commitments to bring something special to life. One of the always great things with shows like this is also seeing so many young relative unknown actors pop in an out including Marvel’s Agent Coulson himself Clark Greg and so many more. Whether you are already a fan or never had the chance to see the show, this new collection is a must have to everyone that love a good gritty cop show.

Hit the streets and grab your copy of The Shield: The Complete Series available now on DVD from Mill Creek Home Entertainment.   

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