[REVIEW] SouthLAnd

In the television world, no show, no matter how original and smart is completely safe. Some of my favorite shows of all time have been cast into the awful world of cancellation. From the hilarious and poignant Freaks and Geeks, to the over-the-top (and apparently over people’s head) intelligent humor of Arrested Development to the tension and sadness of The Black Donnellys, sometimes network T.V. audiences are just not the right venue for a particular show. These shows have all disappeared into the darkness of cancellationville, only to be remembered through DVD’s and in people’s minds.

Luckily, sometimes great shows that just weren’t the right fit for network T.V. are picked up by cable networks and are given another chance to prove that they belong. This is the case of SouthLAnd. A gritty cop drama that in my opinion is smarter, edgier and more entertaining than most that have come before.

The star of the show and central character is Officer Ben Sherman (played by the OC’s Ben McKenzie). Sherman is a young cop with a lot to prove. He’s a rich kid who seemingly has no reason for being a cop. His partner Officer John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) doesn’t believe that he has what it takes to be a cop and is constantly testing him. The ensemble cast also includes Shawn Hatosy, Regina King, Michael McGrady and Tom Everett Scott along with many other notable characters that make appearances throughout.

The opening to season two couldn’t fit the theme of the show any more than it does. With the revolving ensemble cast, this show can sometimes feel like a car flying down the highway without brakes. The chaotic pacing and mood of the show is one of its strongest qualities. It’s even filmed in an almost documentary style, as if you are somehow watching footage of the characters daily life as it happens.

Season two begins in the midst of chaos and confusion, a mob scene in South Central. An angry mob is attacking police cars and the tension and fear that the actors portray seems to be authentic and sets the stage for a tense and exciting second season. If you want to know more, you’ll just have to tune in.

The season two premiere is Tuesday March 2nd at 10 EST on TNT.

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