Southland Part THREE-the early series-re-posting of archive material (this was originally posted on 19/1/13) this is for those interested in the new & final series of Southland starting tonight Thursday February 13th 2014 on More 4 or Channel number 147 on Virgin TV in the UK @ 11pm.

Southland
The new series of Southland, once so very good, is still wavering:fast at risk from becoming not just message serving but soppy too.  Cooper, my favourite character as readers of my original Southland reviews here will know, has a new partner in Lucy Liu, Officer Tang.

Fortunately just as I thought this was all getting too deep and meaningful and Cooper and Officer Tang
(who does seem a bit diddy to be a Policewoman but when you carry guns nearly as big as you are guess it don’t matter) were gettin way too chummy it transpires that Officer Tang may well have an evil streak.  Interesting..

Plus I am not going to give the game away with what is happening with best Women Detective ever Lydia but I do wish she would make her mind up soon.  I mean we have already had the stereotypical running scenes where we are waiting and watching for Lydia to fall to the floor and clutch her stomach and call for the “R.A bus”.  Thats already happened.  Clue:normally Lydia runs like the wind.

Oh and guess who Cooper’s ex-pain-killer addict Narcotics Anonymous sponsor is?  D’Angelo Barksdale from The Wire.  Both of them, Cooper and D’Angelo, (haven’t caught his Southland name yet) on screen together are pure gold.

Southland is slow moving and it takes a while to get enough together to write on it.  Suffice it to say that the episode starts with a shot that is then freeze-framed of some standing tableau of awfulness or anarchy that resulted from something that happened earlier in that day.  Then we go back in time to the beginning of that day when  all was sunny and bright.

 Well actually its mostly is sunny and bright, which is one of the main things i like about Southland, the Southern Los Angleles sunshine.  The shots of it in all its many varied forms are quite spectacular i feel. One episode , truly shocking it was, it rained.  No, it can’t rain in L.A…

Southland Part THREE-the early series-re-posting of archive material (this was originally posted on 19/1/13) this is for those interested in the new & final series of Southland starting tonight Thursday February 13th 2014 on More 4 or Channel number 147 on Virgin TV in the UK @ 11pm.

Southland
The new series of Southland, once so very good, is still wavering:fast at risk from becoming not just message serving but soppy too.  Cooper, my favourite character as readers of my original Southland reviews here will know, has a new partner in Lucy Liu, Officer Tang.

Fortunately just as I thought this was all getting too deep and meaningful and Cooper and Officer Tang
(who does seem a bit diddy to be a Policewoman but when you carry guns nearly as big as you are guess it don’t matter) were gettin way too chummy it transpires that Officer Tang may well have an evil streak.  Interesting..

Plus I am not going to give the game away with what is happening with best Women Detective ever Lydia but I do wish she would make her mind up soon.  I mean we have already had the stereotypical running scenes where we are waiting and watching for Lydia to fall to the floor and clutch her stomach and call for the “R.A bus”.  Thats already happened.  Clue:normally Lydia runs like the wind.

Oh and guess who Cooper’s ex-pain-killer addict Narcotics Anonymous sponsor is?  D’Angelo Barksdale from The Wire.  Both of them, Cooper and D’Angelo, (haven’t caught his Southland name yet) on screen together are pure gold.

Southland is slow moving and it takes a while to get enough together to write on it.  Suffice it to say that the episode starts with a shot that is then freeze-framed of some standing tableau of awfulness or anarchy that resulted from something that happened earlier in that day.  Then we go back in time to the beginning of that day when  all was sunny and bright.

 Well actually its mostly is sunny and bright, which is one of the main things i like about Southland, the Southern Los Angleles sunshine.  The shots of it in all its many varied forms are quite spectacular i feel. One episode , truly shocking it was, it rained.  No, it can’t rain in L.A…

Southland-the early series-PART TWO-Archive material re-posted write up on Southland (original date of post 17/2/12) for those interested in New and final Series of Southland tonight-Thursday 13th February 2014-Channel More 4 in the UK or Channel number 147 on Virgin TV@ 11pm

As i have said before Southland is good, in fact very good. i have lost track of how many series i’ve watched. Hope it’s not finished.

Nb. The veteran male Cop is Cooper, his rookie is Sherman.

My favourite characters in it were many in number. i particularly liked the women characters as being the antithesis of the usual supposedly positive role models in American shows which are not positive at all. By that i mean with the exception of Olivia Benson in the Law & Order series Special Victims Unit most supposed tough female Cops are not tough at all and are squired around and protected by their male partners. Much like the God awful female roles in vampire shows in which the women are surely subject, but apparently loving it, to the most sinister old school sexism of all.

In Southland we have two female Cops as partners and we see they can do it all. They are mean and bad ass. They don’t need a man for the heavy lifting eg. chasing a perp down, cuffing him, or going on very dangerous shoot outs alone against a deranged mass killer (Lydia).

As in my previous write up Part One-i also really like all the men characters. We learn more about their lives, loves, passions than the women. We see their tragedies unfold before us. One male character is shockingly and surprisingly murdered. We follow his partner through his grief and obsession and fear frozen freak out when he can’t identify the suspect in a line-up.

We even find the big hatchet-faced Chief drop everything to find his daughter one night at a pill popping party when she calls him just as she’s coming up and losing it. He doesn’t know where the hell she is. But he finds her.

We follow the first day of the fresh faced baby boy recruit, owner of a silver Porsche and from a well off background. Partnered by rough tough gruff heroic veteran Cop. The older Cop who turns out to care about small children and has a convict for a father, a disintegrating back and an addiction to painkillers of the heavy duty kind. When his back is bad he can barely move, he has a waist girdle on, begs his various sources for more pills, and travels around zoned out with sunglasses on.

Luckily towards the end of this series, his rookie recruit has grown so tough and learned so much from him he is operating single handed whilst his veteran partner drives. “Sunglasses on-it’s night” is a classic line from his rookie to his trainer as he ends one shift.

You grow to care about and be interested in the lives of all these male Cops. They are genuinely affecting in both their baby-faced innocence and sweetness. Certainly one of the anti-gang crew and the rookie for me. The anti-gang guy in particular with his tempestuous relationship with and abiding love for his wife. I cared less about the back story for Lydia which consisted of her living with her Mother who moaned a bit at her, then got an elderly boyfriend and kept Lydia up all night.

We come to admire the rookie’s steadfastness and perseverance in the face of ribbing and piss taking about his background. His early morning runs up some some giant steps in time with the tram. Lydia goes running too-she runs like the wind. The rookie meets his rich friends sometimes who are embarrassed he’s a Cop, like they were in a restaurant and he turned out to be their waiter.

We find out, with a beautifully fleeting scene, which nicely crushes our held stereotypes, with just a flash of a naked male bum next to him in bed one morning, that someone we would least expect to be, is gay.

The only sad thing about Southland is the unexplained disappearance of the most beautiful Police Chief ever who had an astounding Afro, wore fabulous trouser suits but was having an affair with the anti-gang chief who was married. That might have been why, and i may have missed that bit, but she was replaced.

Also a very slight tilt towards jumping the shark for me was showing my favourite woman Cop Lydia in bed with the admittedly gorgeous and moustachioed Rodriguez, who turned out to be her partner’s son, oops. American shows are funny:they boringly and predictably just have to show the main woman Cop in bed at some point (there is no escaping this trope) for a bit of shagging, yet they require her to be ever bra-ed up/covered, why? Hypocritical or what?

Plus, although it is so subtle you barely notice it, Southland is filmed in beautiful hues:sometimes washed out sepia like old faded photographs, sometimes black and white faded light like a newspaper, the sunlight often glows and plays throughout. It is down town Los Angeles after all. South L.A. We see old Spanish buildings, sometimes with a beautiful courtyard and an empty fountain, houses, motels that people live in, flats and the occasional nice pad.

The male Cops eat outside mostly, sitting at counters. The female Cops eat inside, in nice places. The women sometimes treat a suspect to a slap up meal as they do with and alcoholic ex TV star. Even buying her cocktails to keep her sweet before Court.

Sometimes the sunlight blares in full force:golden yellow as in my favourite probably stand out scene. When veteran Cop comes back from a journey visiting his Convict Dad. Or rather appearing at his parole hearing to speak against his Dad ever coming out. He drives along an empty desert free-way and somehow or other drives off the road. He doesn’t crash since everywhere is flat. He reaches for his
ever ready painkiller tablets container and it pops open as he opens his car door.

The veteran male Cop is terribly upset although he hasn’t shown it all this time leading up to the prison visit, instead becoming increasingly terse and bad tempered with his rookie whilst he is planning all his mysterious arrangements and special pass to go to prison. He tells nobody. It is only when we see him, and it is only us, stand up in front of the parole board and reject his father’s plea for clemency and claim of having found God that we discover exactly what his father had done. Without giving it away his father is very, very bad.

As his pills spill out over the desert scrub and he crawls, prostate on the ground in the dust to try and find them, he is alone in the shimmering sizzling heat. He has nearly crashed and near weeping, he won’t, and lets out a loud and strangled bellow of pain that stretches on and on into the air.

The sun beats down on him in the dust. He is weeping but not weeping, crying but not crying, yelling out hurt hollerings like a grieving lament. You can feel the heat and the dryness of the desert. The light is a golden glow. This is my favourite scene, and all in all, my favourite character in Southland.

Southland-the early series-PART TWO-Archive material re-posted write up on Southland (original date of post 17/2/12) for those interested in New and final Series of Southland tonight-Thursday 13th February 2014-Channel More 4 in the UK or Channel number 147 on Virgin TV@ 11pm

As i have said before Southland is good, in fact very good. i have lost track of how many series i’ve watched. Hope it’s not finished.

Nb. The veteran male Cop is Cooper, his rookie is Sherman.

My favourite characters in it were many in number. i particularly liked the women characters as being the antithesis of the usual supposedly positive role models in American shows which are not positive at all. By that i mean with the exception of Olivia Benson in the Law & Order series Special Victims Unit most supposed tough female Cops are not tough at all and are squired around and protected by their male partners. Much like the God awful female roles in vampire shows in which the women are surely subject, but apparently loving it, to the most sinister old school sexism of all.

In Southland we have two female Cops as partners and we see they can do it all. They are mean and bad ass. They don’t need a man for the heavy lifting eg. chasing a perp down, cuffing him, or going on very dangerous shoot outs alone against a deranged mass killer (Lydia).

As in my previous write up Part One-i also really like all the men characters. We learn more about their lives, loves, passions than the women. We see their tragedies unfold before us. One male character is shockingly and surprisingly murdered. We follow his partner through his grief and obsession and fear frozen freak out when he can’t identify the suspect in a line-up.

We even find the big hatchet-faced Chief drop everything to find his daughter one night at a pill popping party when she calls him just as she’s coming up and losing it. He doesn’t know where the hell she is. But he finds her.

We follow the first day of the fresh faced baby boy recruit, owner of a silver Porsche and from a well off background. Partnered by rough tough gruff heroic veteran Cop. The older Cop who turns out to care about small children and has a convict for a father, a disintegrating back and an addiction to painkillers of the heavy duty kind. When his back is bad he can barely move, he has a waist girdle on, begs his various sources for more pills, and travels around zoned out with sunglasses on.

Luckily towards the end of this series, his rookie recruit has grown so tough and learned so much from him he is operating single handed whilst his veteran partner drives. “Sunglasses on-it’s night” is a classic line from his rookie to his trainer as he ends one shift.

You grow to care about and be interested in the lives of all these male Cops. They are genuinely affecting in both their baby-faced innocence and sweetness. Certainly one of the anti-gang crew and the rookie for me. The anti-gang guy in particular with his tempestuous relationship with and abiding love for his wife. I cared less about the back story for Lydia which consisted of her living with her Mother who moaned a bit at her, then got an elderly boyfriend and kept Lydia up all night.

We come to admire the rookie’s steadfastness and perseverance in the face of ribbing and piss taking about his background. His early morning runs up some some giant steps in time with the tram. Lydia goes running too-she runs like the wind. The rookie meets his rich friends sometimes who are embarrassed he’s a Cop, like they were in a restaurant and he turned out to be their waiter.

We find out, with a beautifully fleeting scene, which nicely crushes our held stereotypes, with just a flash of a naked male bum next to him in bed one morning, that someone we would least expect to be, is gay.

The only sad thing about Southland is the unexplained disappearance of the most beautiful Police Chief ever who had an astounding Afro, wore fabulous trouser suits but was having an affair with the anti-gang chief who was married. That might have been why, and i may have missed that bit, but she was replaced.

Also a very slight tilt towards jumping the shark for me was showing my favourite woman Cop Lydia in bed with the admittedly gorgeous and moustachioed Rodriguez, who turned out to be her partner’s son, oops. American shows are funny:they boringly and predictably just have to show the main woman Cop in bed at some point (there is no escaping this trope) for a bit of shagging, yet they require her to be ever bra-ed up/covered, why? Hypocritical or what?

Plus, although it is so subtle you barely notice it, Southland is filmed in beautiful hues:sometimes washed out sepia like old faded photographs, sometimes black and white faded light like a newspaper, the sunlight often glows and plays throughout. It is down town Los Angeles after all. South L.A. We see old Spanish buildings, sometimes with a beautiful courtyard and an empty fountain, houses, motels that people live in, flats and the occasional nice pad.

The male Cops eat outside mostly, sitting at counters. The female Cops eat inside, in nice places. The women sometimes treat a suspect to a slap up meal as they do with and alcoholic ex TV star. Even buying her cocktails to keep her sweet before Court.

Sometimes the sunlight blares in full force:golden yellow as in my favourite probably stand out scene. When veteran Cop comes back from a journey visiting his Convict Dad. Or rather appearing at his parole hearing to speak against his Dad ever coming out. He drives along an empty desert free-way and somehow or other drives off the road. He doesn’t crash since everywhere is flat. He reaches for his
ever ready painkiller tablets container and it pops open as he opens his car door.

The veteran male Cop is terribly upset although he hasn’t shown it all this time leading up to the prison visit, instead becoming increasingly terse and bad tempered with his rookie whilst he is planning all his mysterious arrangements and special pass to go to prison. He tells nobody. It is only when we see him, and it is only us, stand up in front of the parole board and reject his father’s plea for clemency and claim of having found God that we discover exactly what his father had done. Without giving it away his father is very, very bad.

As his pills spill out over the desert scrub and he crawls, prostate on the ground in the dust to try and find them, he is alone in the shimmering sizzling heat. He has nearly crashed and near weeping, he won’t, and lets out a loud and strangled bellow of pain that stretches on and on into the air.

The sun beats down on him in the dust. He is weeping but not weeping, crying but not crying, yelling out hurt hollerings like a grieving lament. You can feel the heat and the dryness of the desert. The light is a golden glow. This is my favourite scene, and all in all, my favourite character in Southland.

Southland- the early Series PART ONE-Archive material (re-posted from original post dated 9/1/2012 for convenience)-for those interested in the New Series of Southland (tonight Thursday 13th February 2014-More4 Channel or Channel 147 on Virgin TV) First Few Series of Southland Part ONE

Going from when i first started watching it:

Southland is brilliant. The reviewers describe it as like the Shield. i think it’s more like that brilliant series that was only on for a while (the name of which i can’t remember) That series showed the crime from every character’s point of view. Southland gives you a clip and freeze frames it. Then a title with the words ’10 hours earlier’ or some such time frame appears and we go back in time to what led up to that moment.

My favourite character in Southland is the lead female detective Lydia. She is the hero or rather the heroine. Lydia is tough, cool, fit. She jogs but somehow this is not a stereotype. Perhaps it’s because she can run fast, really fast. Which she does after a baddie with her hands chopping the air up and down like a piston, palms inwards, straight as an arrow. Like short distance athlete runners did in the old days.

Lydia lost her partner to a gunshot wound although he recovered he can’t come back. it became clear in the last series when this awful incident happened (a random occurrence when he had gone to help someone outside of work) that Lydia loved her partner and was possibly in love with him. Whichever, Lydia deeply loved her partner. When he was in hospital she practically stalked him. By phone and appearing randomly and frequently by his bedside.

i have spoiled my enjoyment of Southland somewhat by watching a youtube video. The video was ahead of time and i found out that one of the main characters is killed horrifically. i wish i hadn’t seen it now.

Southland is brilliant though. i love the women being such bad ass babes and hard as nails. My favourite scene in the first series is when Lydia goes all paramilitary and holds off a whole gang one night in her house whilst protecting a girl witness.

The men gain more sympathy since they are portrayed as more vulnerable. You really feel for them. They bitch and gossip together. They worry about their daughters and wives. The young white anti-gang guy who manages to look throughout like a high school kid with his innocent face is married to the stereotypically quirky and painted as a bit mad wife who smokes dope and wanders the city at one point with a giant Hasselbad camera that he bought her. The camera gets stolen of course. He buys her another one, smaller this time, even though he spent a small fortune he couldn’t afford on the first one.

The last scene we see of them was deeply touching (and i don’t get deeply touched much from TV) When he comes home from a hideous days work rushing from the car to see her and she tells him she’s pregnant as the snow falls around them in the front doorway. She manages to be lovably vulnerable, both emotionally and physically all at once.

The end of the next episode, which seems to be their scene, we see him rush to see his wife again to spot a strange man leaving. When questioned, somewhat sharpishly by our sweet and teenagerish looking hero the guy speaks in a Mexican accent and says he’s her photography teacher, is in love with her and they have to work this out “for the baby’s sake”! oops..

So ended that series.
to be continued…
next series up till end of last one in UK recently will be added on here soon

Southland Part TWO: a slight overlap occurs since i found this missing bit in an old book however i’m going to put it up as i wrote it..

Southland just gets better all the time. There was a truly awful debacle last week in Southland which i had already seen on Youtube quite by chance when looking for a trailer to put up here. The music in the intro being really rather good too. It was very sad. I won’t give it away here. Let’s just say something shocking happens. Well more shocking than usual for Southland.

There is a video on youtube with the classic scene where Lydia, my favourite woman Detective ever (ok it may be a toss up between her and Sarah Lund in the Killing/Forbrydelsen but they have different styles) is given a young girl who witnessed a gang shooting to look after for the night at Lydia’s house.

The anti-gang guys have become very fond of the young girl and fuss and cluck over her protectively. Particularly the young-faced anti-gang guy who has no children. They take her with them everywhere they go and install her in the Police station, feeding her and quietly, gently talking to her. Let’s just say when he and his partner are forced to go off and leave her they don’t bring her round to Lydia because they think it’s a woman’s role or anything to look after the young girl.

In fact in Southland it is the men we see as caring, gossiping, worrying, mainly about their daughters and wives. They have freak outs over love affairs. One is seen hunting down his daughter in the dead of night on the strength of one plaintive, querulous phone call from his daughter from one of those crazy parties where she got wrecked. We see her in amidst a bunch of heavy looking guys. Her Dad not having a clue where she is. Her having taken a pill and feeling wobbly and a hair’s breadth away from losing it. Ah..

more to come..

Southland- the early Series PART ONE-Archive material (re-posted from original post dated 9/1/2012 for convenience)-for those interested in the New Series of Southland (tonight Thursday 13th February 2014-More4 Channel or Channel 147 on Virgin TV) First Few Series of Southland Part ONE

Going from when i first started watching it:

Southland is brilliant. The reviewers describe it as like the Shield. i think it’s more like that brilliant series that was only on for a while (the name of which i can’t remember) That series showed the crime from every character’s point of view. Southland gives you a clip and freeze frames it. Then a title with the words ’10 hours earlier’ or some such time frame appears and we go back in time to what led up to that moment.

My favourite character in Southland is the lead female detective Lydia. She is the hero or rather the heroine. Lydia is tough, cool, fit. She jogs but somehow this is not a stereotype. Perhaps it’s because she can run fast, really fast. Which she does after a baddie with her hands chopping the air up and down like a piston, palms inwards, straight as an arrow. Like short distance athlete runners did in the old days.

Lydia lost her partner to a gunshot wound although he recovered he can’t come back. it became clear in the last series when this awful incident happened (a random occurrence when he had gone to help someone outside of work) that Lydia loved her partner and was possibly in love with him. Whichever, Lydia deeply loved her partner. When he was in hospital she practically stalked him. By phone and appearing randomly and frequently by his bedside.

i have spoiled my enjoyment of Southland somewhat by watching a youtube video. The video was ahead of time and i found out that one of the main characters is killed horrifically. i wish i hadn’t seen it now.

Southland is brilliant though. i love the women being such bad ass babes and hard as nails. My favourite scene in the first series is when Lydia goes all paramilitary and holds off a whole gang one night in her house whilst protecting a girl witness.

The men gain more sympathy since they are portrayed as more vulnerable. You really feel for them. They bitch and gossip together. They worry about their daughters and wives. The young white anti-gang guy who manages to look throughout like a high school kid with his innocent face is married to the stereotypically quirky and painted as a bit mad wife who smokes dope and wanders the city at one point with a giant Hasselbad camera that he bought her. The camera gets stolen of course. He buys her another one, smaller this time, even though he spent a small fortune he couldn’t afford on the first one.

The last scene we see of them was deeply touching (and i don’t get deeply touched much from TV) When he comes home from a hideous days work rushing from the car to see her and she tells him she’s pregnant as the snow falls around them in the front doorway. She manages to be lovably vulnerable, both emotionally and physically all at once.

The end of the next episode, which seems to be their scene, we see him rush to see his wife again to spot a strange man leaving. When questioned, somewhat sharpishly by our sweet and teenagerish looking hero the guy speaks in a Mexican accent and says he’s her photography teacher, is in love with her and they have to work this out “for the baby’s sake”! oops..

So ended that series.
to be continued…
next series up till end of last one in UK recently will be added on here soon

Southland Part TWO: a slight overlap occurs since i found this missing bit in an old book however i’m going to put it up as i wrote it..

Southland just gets better all the time. There was a truly awful debacle last week in Southland which i had already seen on Youtube quite by chance when looking for a trailer to put up here. The music in the intro being really rather good too. It was very sad. I won’t give it away here. Let’s just say something shocking happens. Well more shocking than usual for Southland.

There is a video on youtube with the classic scene where Lydia, my favourite woman Detective ever (ok it may be a toss up between her and Sarah Lund in the Killing/Forbrydelsen but they have different styles) is given a young girl who witnessed a gang shooting to look after for the night at Lydia’s house.

The anti-gang guys have become very fond of the young girl and fuss and cluck over her protectively. Particularly the young-faced anti-gang guy who has no children. They take her with them everywhere they go and install her in the Police station, feeding her and quietly, gently talking to her. Let’s just say when he and his partner are forced to go off and leave her they don’t bring her round to Lydia because they think it’s a woman’s role or anything to look after the young girl.

In fact in Southland it is the men we see as caring, gossiping, worrying, mainly about their daughters and wives. They have freak outs over love affairs. One is seen hunting down his daughter in the dead of night on the strength of one plaintive, querulous phone call from his daughter from one of those crazy parties where she got wrecked. We see her in amidst a bunch of heavy looking guys. Her Dad not having a clue where she is. Her having taken a pill and feeling wobbly and a hair’s breadth away from losing it. Ah..

more to come..