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4.5 out of 5 stars
146
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 12 April 2017
An entertaining and darkly humoured cop series. The stories are compelling and the dialogue is slick and intelligent. A real departure from the run of the mill crime dramas. And joy, THERE'S NO SWEARING!!! This series is testament that a well crafted drama doesn't need the cheap trick of effing and blinding to get peoples attention. I fervently hope that the later series don't resort to swearing as I've just bought 2 through 7!!
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First shown in 2002, this is utterly brilliant TV that went on to become a cultural phenomenon studied on various TV and Film degree courses. The reason for the adulation is the complex moral ambiguity shown throughout the series - but what grips throughout is the sharp writing, the snappy dialogue, the interplay between series narrative and weekly stories and - most of all - the sheer charisma of the acting. At its heart is Chiklis' Vic Mackey with his swaggering violence and his lethal stare offset by his protective love for his family and his genuine tenderness for working girls and children.

The storylines are brutal and hard-hitting, but leavened every week by cynical cop humour and edgy bantering. Watching this makes every other police/thriller series look slow, dull and anodyne - it's a blast, but the very fact that we so often are complicit with the morally-compromised Vic is precisely what makes this so daringly unnerving.
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on 28 September 2016
I enjoyed it but it's no breaking bad
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on 5 May 2017
Cut your teeth on this great show
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on 31 March 2017
Great ! First - class service !
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on 21 November 2014
Powerful and shocking show very good action
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on 10 July 2007
I recently moved house and was looking for something to entertain me whilst without tv coverage (long story). I have already quite a few tv series (including The Wire, Sopranos, 24, Firefly) and so was not too hopeful of finding something else as entertaining, thinking I'd already seen the good stuff.

I had read a lot of the reviews here, saying how great The Shield is, but I was under the impression that this was more of a CSI type show with one episode storylines, rather than a 'proper' series like The Wire, where the story advances through each episode. I am a big fan of The Wire by the way.

I was wrong to dismiss The Shield..

It is true that each episode deals with a different sub plot, eg a murder, but each episode also advances the overall story arc, and will go back to earlier stories and give further developments. Perhaps more importantly each episode also fleshes out the characters in the show.

In amongst all the action and gritty violence and dodgy dealings and stress and heroism that goes on in this cop show, you really start to learn about the characters, and care about them, to a degree that really surprised me. This is proper drama, with action. You won't get bored.....apart from perhaps in the first couple of episodes which seemed slow to me as they basically just set up the series.

Once it gets going, you won't want to stop watching. I have had a fair few late nights staying up..just to watch one more episode...and then another...

The end of the Series is great.

I am now into Series 2 and can attest to it being brilliant also, since I stayed up after midnight last night watching it!
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on 24 November 2016
.

I live in an all male household (husband and two 20+ sons) and this isn't the type of programme I watch:

Them - Breaking Bad. The Wire. The Sopranos.

Me - White Collar. Blue Bloods. Castle.

You get the picture. Sons away and so I join the chap to watch a new series with him - The Shield - otherwise our evenings
would be rather separate!!

Anyway, not terribly interested or impressed. But then we ran into the second series and I liked it more. The Writers/Directors/Producers
obviously realised that people need to have a character in ANY programme that they can sympathise or emphasis with - and so gradually
they have started changing the personalities so that there is something reasonably good about all of them. Not perfect. Still very gritty and breaking the rules to collar the baddie, but not necessarily for their own financial benefit.

So we're now watching Series 5 and I quite enjoy watching an episode every couple of nights. I would say that if you usually like the same kind of programme as my three chaps then you would probably like this (our sons have seen them all online anyway). Season 6 and the final Season 7 have been purchased to go in my hubby's Christmas stocking - and I know that he'll be delighted.

.
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on 20 March 2004
I will not argue with the other reviews here. This is a 5 star product from beginning to end. Everyone who sees it seems to love it- but why?
The first and main reason is Michael Chiklis who plays the anti-hero cop (Vic Mackey) who stars in the show. Resembling a squatter Grant Mitchell, this cop is unlike anything you have seen before. As head of the local "strike force" he likes to "bust the ass" of any criminal who gets in his way. This is not always so that the public are safe (unless children or police are threatened at which point he becomes very upset), but mainly so that he can continue to get rid of crime his own way- that is by what could be described as managing the risk. He decides who deals the drugs, which prostitutes can ply their trade etc. Anyone who does not fit in with his management plan pays the price.
Drug dealers/ rappers involved in a turf war? Vic grabs them, locks them in a container and sees who kills who first (why get his own hands dirty?)Drug dealer not lying low when ordered to do so by Vic? He gets rid of them, authorizing a rival to deal on that patch instead-"I am your boss" he tells a dealer.The dealer does not argue.Internal affairs probe by an undercover cop? Vic simply shoots him in the head- no longer a problem.
Whilst he is a psychopathic man of 2 characters (the bad cop, but loving father), he is a real anti- hero. You actually want him to carry on being successful in his dirty deeds. The character surprises you and it is not until episode four that you see he is sometimes a real man of principle("Vic Mackay cannot be bought" he says when a rap star offers him a large lump sum) in his own, slightly deluded way.
It is rare that you want the bad guy to win so much,but you do here, which is testament to the writing and acting.
A classic moment- when pursuing a criminal along an alley, the criminal reaches a wooden fence and scrambles up over it. Vic does not bother- he runs straight through it! Nothing stops him when on a rampage.
Aside from Vic, all performances are top notch and the gritty storylines are brilliant. With all those hookers, dealers and gang bangers this is more Boys in the Hood than Hill Street Blues so be prepared.
The box set contains all season 1 episodes, commentary on each by the main cast and half a disc of extras which are great for fans.
Buy, Buy , Buy!
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on 31 March 2016
The Shield - what can I say? This is an epic tv series that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end and is absolutely compulsive viewing that will leave you emotionally exhausted and totally involved. Gritty, tragic, realistic, thought provoking, hard hitting, powerful, sad, violent, touching.......the adjectives are endless. Don't expect to like all the main characters as they are equally flawed in their own way, although they do also have some redeeming qualities, but that actually seems to be the point of the whole drama. Just and unjust punishments and retribution are dealt with unflinching realism, so expect to be shocked and relieved, but NEVER expect to be able to predict what might happen next or why. Great casting, acting, scripts and production values - each episode is almost like a mini movie in itself. If you loved Hill Street Blues and like your cop shows to have a happy ending, then this definitely isn't for you, BUT, if you want to get lost in one of the best US series to make it over the pond then this is absolutely for you. Love it!
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