The Shield

As /The Shield/ premiered on FX Tuesday March 12 at 10p.m. one can almost feel the paradigm for cop shows shifting. /The Shield/ doesn’t merely push the envelope  – it shoves it.


The hour-long cable show features Michael Chiklis (/The Commish/) as Detective Vic Mackey. He’s the leader of an elite crime-fighting unit in Los Angeles called the “Strike Team.”


The “Strike Team” is a group of corrupt cops using brutal tactics to elicit confessions and conjure up evidence.  On top of that they employ drug dealers and prostitutes.


 The “Strike Team” was inspired by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) scandal, “Rampart”, which had to do with their anti-gang unit and allegations of police brutality. Originally the series was named after the scandal but it got a lot of flack from the LAPD and realized that people outside of LA wouldn’t get the reference.


The focus isn’t just on corrupt cops; /The Shield/ features a motley crew of up-and-coming stars whose characters’ personalities are equally diverse.


To contrast the tough-guy persona of Vic Mackey we see rookie officer Julian Lowe (Michael Jace). Officer Lowe is a deeply religious man who is still learning the job.


He has a hard time fitting in with his fellow officers because of his strict Christian beliefs. His beliefs also make it difficult for Lowe to accept himself as a homosexual. He’s a man torn between his lover and his lord.


/The Shield/ is full of violence, crude language and homoerotic scenes.  But make no mistake about it, its not /NYPD Blue/ on crack – its /NYPD Blue/ selling crack.  If you’re not easily offended and want to see a realistic cop drama set anywhere but New York I suggest you check out /The Shield/.


/The Shield/ is on cable channel FX Tuesday nights at 10p.m.