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THE SHIELD: IN-"COMPLETE" SEASONS 1-7 [SHORT REVIEW] - WARNING, HEAVILY CUT!!!!
on 14 February 2017
First of all, I would like to note that THE SHIELD is a 5 star series, one of the best series ever made, BUT
despite being advertised as "Complete", this is very far from the truth...
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment UK has released the exact same single season releases combined as one bundle, this means we get the censored (cut vor violence) versions of Seasons 2 & 3 and the heavily edited (non-violence cuts) Seasons 5 & 6. There were already several complaints about this issue when the single seasons were released. This just proves that Sony does not care about their customers.
While even the cut versions are highly watchable, re-releasing these same cut versions as a "complete" set is an audacity, therefore I am rating this box set 1/5 (and THE SHIELD is my favorite series, once again the series is a definite 5/5). Shame on you Sony!
THE SHIELD is one of those series that tell a complete story in its entire run, rather than each episode being a stand-alone with a story arc that lasts only for a season (like BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, earlier STAR TREKS, XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS). Meanwhile more series have adapted this type of story-telling from BABYLON 5, which gives these series even more potential than Hollywood movies.
THE SHIELD also is pre-Obama, which means racism wasn't as big of an issue in the U.S. as it has become through fabrication (note: as big of an issue does not mean NO issue!). Therefore THE SHIELD also does not avoid certain "taboo" topics and it does not remain in a politically correct environment, exactly the contrary: if you are easily offended by realistic depictions of gangs, corruption, terrorism, etc. and require everything to be sugar-coated and politically correct you will hate THE SHIELD and you will definitely get your precious feelings hurt, so avoid.
The series is loosely based on the real-life RAMPART squad in Los Angeles and revolves around the squad leader Victor "Vic" Mackey (Michael Chiklis's best performance), Shane Vendrell (equally impressive: Walton Goggins), Curtis "Lem" Lemansky (Kenny Johnson) and Ronnie Gardocki (David Rees Snell) with recurring cast members including Catherine Dent, CCH Pounder, Jay Karnes and Benito Martinez.
The best season - in my opinion - Season 5 even stars Forest Whitaker as Internal Affairs' Jon Kavanaugh attempting to take down the Strike Team and this has got to be the most suspenseful and thrilling masterpiece of a season ever to be aired. I devoured the season in one sitting (well actually most of the later seasons), but this definitely was an all-nighter on a weekday (workday).
THE SHIELD is a very gritty and realistic show that features three dimensional anti-heroes rather that heroes. It is shocking, morally and in its depiction of strong violence and drug abuse, and though some seasons/episodes are rated 15, overall the BBFC 18 rating is more appropriate.
I do recommend getting the US Region 1 (locked) DVD set if you can playback Region 1 discs. The US version is fully uncut and unedited. As far as I can tell, other European versions contain the cut Seasons 2 & 3 but the uncut Seasons 5 & 6.