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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cops with character
Southland is a gritty police drama set in LA, where the focus is as much on the characters as the crimes. It throws together a large ensemble cast of both patrol officers and detectives, giving equal time to each. Rather than forcing connections between them, the show is quite happy to have patrol discover a crime, then have the detectives take over the scene with little...
Published on 17 Jan. 2011 by M. Hepworth

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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The people in blue
A well-acted LA cop show that focuses more on the people in the uniform rather than providing intriguing crime stories. It brings to the forefront the usual police department issues of insufficient resources and allocation thereof, corruption, young guns and old players, loyalty, broken marriages, the Cop Family etc., but it is for the most part done very well and as the...
Published on 18 Mar. 2012 by Amazon Customer


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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cops with character, 17 Jan. 2011
By 
M. Hepworth (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Southland is a gritty police drama set in LA, where the focus is as much on the characters as the crimes. It throws together a large ensemble cast of both patrol officers and detectives, giving equal time to each. Rather than forcing connections between them, the show is quite happy to have patrol discover a crime, then have the detectives take over the scene with little or no chit chat.

The tone and visual style is striking. The show aims to show the seedy underbelly of LA, and uses an almost documentary style to help this, as the camera avoids smooth TV shots to feel more like a fly on the wall show at times. It certainly doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the crimes and characters, showing them warts and all.

The large main cast includes rookie patrolman Ben Sherman and his trainer John Cooper; another patrol officer "Chickie" Brown and her various partners; Homicide partners Lydia Adams and Russell Clarke; and Sammy Bryant and Nate Moretta, of the gang unit. Of these, Sherman, Adams and Bryant are the most immediately interesting. Sherman has the classic rookie storyline, but he is a rich Beverley Hills boy who became a cop to deal with some personal demons. Regina King plays Adams as a fascinating mix of emotional but effective, never falling into cliché, while Bryant is a young detective with an even younger wife who drives him to distraction.

There's a good mix of ongoing plots and crime-of-the-week, including a teenage girl prepared to testify against a gang, a series of home invasions, a lost police weapon, and a large number of murders. The detective and patrol stories are kept well balanced, but more importantly it's the character's private lives that really draw you in. Whether it's Bryant bickering with his wife, Sherman and Cooper becoming friends, or Adams dealing with her elderly mother, they come over as real people, and you want to find out more.

Southland is consistently good, and at only seven episodes in this season is well worth your time.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southland DVD, 22 Oct. 2011
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This review is from: Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Watched most of the first and second series on TV, and thought it a stunning, but almost criminally under publicised and watched series. Saw that the whole lot was on DVD and waited 'til it eventually came out over here. Watched it again, and still have the same opinion: great series, fresh and totally involving from start to finish. Very highly recommended. Mike
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southland - the underrated cop series, 21 Feb. 2012
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This review is from: Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Southland was hidden away on a digital channel, and I only came across it because it kept being highly recommended in the Radio Times. It's a brilliant series, with real, believable characters, edgy filming, good scripts (some situations come and go in no time, other stories unfold over one or more series). The cops are real people who don't always get it right, and often get things tragically wrong. Can't recommend it too much - a 21st century successor to series like Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written compelling drama, 24 Jan. 2012
By 
D. Noel (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Southland is beautifully observed, well written and acted drama. The subleties in the characters, their flaws and personalities, are what makes the drama work and what drives the show. It manages to be moving, humourous and shocking all within one episode. Complex characters such as John Cooper are rare in tv series and the show should be commended for sticking to an understated portrayal of the various cops on the force. Would recommend this without reservation, each series goes from strength to strength and season 3 is also wonderful. Probably one of the best written shows in the last 2 years, long may it continue.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southland: 'The Shield' without the strike team?, 28 Feb. 2012
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R. J. Knight (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Imagine 'The Shield' without the ongoing dubious shenanigans of the strike team and that just about sums up Southland.

There is, thanks to the use of hand held cameras shooting from a variety of angles; the busy editing; the seemingly off-the-cuff script; the easy but difficult to do well naturalistic acting, and; the somewhat haphazard jumping between multiple story lines, the same immediacy of 'The Shield'. You feel as if you are watching real events unfold; that you are seeing something for the first time. Also, as with 'The Shield', though events, the dialogue and character interaction, do not often go the way you would expect - there is not that 'predictability' as to the course of things that you often sense in, say, films - upon reflection they make sense.

So, along with a healthy dose of bright Californian sunshine beaming down on some of LA's less salubrious locations, what Southland offers is a high quality, realistic look at what police work entails in that city. Dutch, Claudette, Danni, Julien and Billings from 'The Shield' would be at home here. As it is, the ensemble cast for Southland do as good a job as Dutch et.al. did for 'The Shield'.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth the wait!, 14 Nov. 2011
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This review is from: Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
I dipped in and out of Southland on TV, and decided to wait for it on DVD..didn't expect it would take so long! The plots are brilliant, unexpected, fast paced and fresh. Characters are believable and likeable..even when they are flawed. Ben McKenzie has come a long way since his O.C days giving a thoughtful performance as the new recruit.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent cop drama, 14 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Since enjoying Homicide Life on the Streets and NYPD Blue plus Law & Order I have spent many hours and even more pounds looking for an intelligent cop drama to match these gems.I am pleased to report that this exactly what I am looking for.The characters are believable,well written and the acting is excellent.The threads of some of the plot lines continue through a number of episodes and these blend in well with the stand alone episodic story lines.
I note that series 3 is currently being shown on Channel 4 which I am recording.Downsides? too few episodes in each series but I understand from Wikipedia that this is due to the American TV industry and their reticence to sanction grown-up programmes.
First rate stuff,and I am very fussy with what I will watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Southland, 5 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
TV channels are awash with American cop shows and, reading a summary of the show, it might be hard to see how this one can stand out from the crowd. After all we have already seen many police procedurals that feature ensemble casts dealing with heavy workloads and problematic home lives.
Southland is a cut above, though. Episodes often commence with the quiet moments that follow a scene of high drama. The action then spools backwards several hours so that we can see how the events culminate. This device ramps up the tension. Of course, this would be for nothing if the script, acting and plotting were below par. Thankfully they are all top notch.

Southland is a great programme - gritty, tense and authentic-feeling. Probably my favourite cop show since Hill Street Blues.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Southland, 18 July 2012
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This review is from: Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
What a great series following in the great "cop" show tradition of Hill Street Blues , NYPD BLUE and The Wire. Saw it previously on tv , but what a pleasure to see again without ad breaks every 10 minutes! Can't wait for series 3 DVD to be released.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best thing since sliced bread., 5 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
Southland is without doubt the best new t.v programme to come along since Prison Break... (In my opinion) its amazing, have watched it through 3 times now. Worth every penny and hopefully it wont get cancelled like all of my favourites do!!!!!!!!!
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Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011]
Southland - Season 1-2 [DVD] [2011] by Ben McKenzie (DVD - 2011)
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