Southland was a pretty decent NBC cop show that did not last as long as Conan’s Tonight Show. Southland Season One features all 7 episodes on 2 DVD. The show was picked up by TNT and will last another 6 episodes. After that, who knows. This is a bit of a shame as this was a promising series. A couple of the scenes involving corpses are on the graphic side.
Southland has a few things going against it. There are a lot of crime and cop shows already. A TV cop show needs something new for it to work and this one does not have it. It also follows too many characters and story lines in each episode and the story lines themselves are continued in the next episodes. To make the show’s case worse the second episode adds a new character or two. It does grow and get better as it goes along.
The show follows Ben and Salinger, a rookie cop and his sergeant supervisor (Ben McKenzie and Michael Cudlitz). Other central characters include a female cop and a few detectives. There is also a young girl witness to a gang shooting who wants to become a cop. As the show progresses you get to know more about Salinger and Ben. Each show features a series of incidents and cases in what is a typical cop’s day on TV.
Southland skillfully mixes the comic with the dramatic. My favorite scene is when Salinger gives a couple an instant divorce. Another good one is on DVD 1 of Southland The Complete First Season. A reporter asks a detective what she doesn’t like about her and the detective gives it to her with both barrels.
Southland the Complete First Season ends on a cliffhanger and not one you see coming.