The Shield: Season 4 (2005)
Genre: Crime Drama Series
Starring: Michael Chiklis ("The Commish", Fantastic Four), Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction, The World According To Garp)
Created By: Shawn Ryan (Writer / Producer of "Angel")
Overview: In a precinct in a rough L.A. neighbourhood, we follow the lives of those who work there, from the corrupt cops to the straight and narrow. Season four's focus is on the tough new captain and her controversial seizures policy, Shane's corruption and Vic's drive in putting community leader Antwon Mitchell behind bars.
Acting: Alright, for those few frequent readers out there (Hi Mom!), you already know that I dig the Chicklis, I like the Pounder and the Dutch, everyone's great in this, and season three took this to new highs. How better to raise the stakes than bringing in Glenn Close, film star extra-ordinaire? It's neat because she has this non-aggressive look about her but she's tough as nails and can be as intimidating as anyone with her threats, since they hold so much truth, given all the power she wields.
Cinematography: There's nothing new or innovative compared to any of the other seasons of this series, but why mess with perfection? We have a gritty style of filming that is perfect for this style of show, always dynamic and interesting, and don't even get me started on the action. This season had one of the best and most realistic shootout scenes of the series. I only wish it had been longer.
Script: There's something a little new here this time around and that's a lot of dialogue between the cops and the community they're serving. The new captain has a lot to prove and she's written in this no-nonsense, tough way that make you realize that she's perfect for the job. The usual head-butting politicking is still the order of the day too, but there's even more of it. These writers deserve more money, because they're no way they're getting paid what they're worth.
Plot: Less intense than previous seasons, the show goes in a more bureaucratic direction. Of course there's killing and intimidation and gangland action, but there's a lot more going on behind the scenes in the station house, more interpersonal stuff, and a touch less of the corruption we've grown accustomed to. For as much as I love this show, I'll say that this isn't the best season of the bunch, but I still couldn't stop as I neared the end. The end is intense for sure, the last five episodes span six days I think?
Mood: I can't imagine not giving this the highest rating every season. Only if they stopped teaching me the everyday operations of a precinct from interrogation to arrest, or maybe if they started having the streets fill up with ballerinas or stopped being as gritty and hard-edge as they do with their not-quite-made-for-TV style, then maybe I'd stop being this into it. But until then, I'm into it. You should get into it.
Overall Rating: 90% (Hard As Nails!)
Aftertaste: When committing yourself to a season of a show, you're saying a lot about the kind of spectator that you are. Those of you out there who work your schedule around a show, either setting your VCR if you're not there or planning your meals around "Fear Factor" or "Lost" are saying that this entertainment is not only worthy of your valuable mindspace and attention, but are also saying that it's worthy enough to allow something to wedge it's way into your life significantly enough that you may stick through to the end, be it six hours for a British Series or 60 hours (as would be the case with HBO's "Six Feet Under" or more if talking about "The Sopranos". I'm not only proud of the fact that I let this show wedge its way into my life, but I'm proud of the experience and truth it brings to me. Who can say that about the bickering masses in "Survivor"?