Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I heart The Shield

Been watching Season 4 of The Shield as a wind-down mechanism and to plug those gaps when there's nothing better to watch on TV (i.e. most of the time). Would have watched it when Channel 5 broadcast it last Summer in the UK, but we can't get Channel 5 without a satellite dish and are reluctant to have one. The Government's announced our region will be the first to have its analogue TV signal switched off - in 2008, I think - and unless somebody spends a wad of cash to improve reception round here the satellite dish will become an inevitability. Ho-hum.

Anyway, loving Season 4 of The Shield. The addition of Glenn Close as the new captain has added a fresh element to the mix, giving cental character Vic Mackie the chance to redeem himself. Vic's Strike Team imploded at the end of the previous season - this season seems to be about putting it all back together. Rumour has it Season 5 will be the last for this great show. Created for the FX cable network in the US, it's not as hardcore as HBO's The Sopranos, but it's way tougher and grittier than CSI or the late, often great NYPD Blues. If The Shield is pulling the plug, I'll be sad to see it. But I'll definitely be watching out for whatever creator Shawn Ryan does next. Anybody who's ever thought of writing for TV drama, I heartily recommend getting the DVDs of The Shield Season 3, just for the documentary that takes you inside the writer's room. The documentary on Season 4's discs is good, but not so gripping or cohesive.

I've got a list of DVDs to buy while I'm in LA for Gallifrey: Proof, Grey's Anatomy Season 1, Moonlighting Season 3 and - finally coming to DVD - Season 1 of Hill Street Blues. I can't wait to see how the daddy of gritty ensemble cop dramas holds up after quarter of a century. Meanwhile, I need to get back to some writing after giving myself the luxury of a day off yesterday to tidy the study and empty my brain of WWII, vampyr and the like. Time for some radio drama, methinks.

Let's be careful out there.

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