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"Critics are a lot like infants. They want new toys, and they want them now, because none of the old ones is good enough. The sophomore backlash against The Shield began on schedule with the first published reviews of Season 2: One-dimensional performances, excessive violence, blah blah blah. If only they had watched more than two episodes. The first two episodes of S2 were distinguished by brilliant writing and acting, but episode 3, Partners, was the best of the season. Partners is proof positive that Chiklis deserves his Emmy nomination (and that co-star Benito Martinez and guest star Carl Weathers should have been nominated as well).The critics were outraged over Chiklis' repeat Emmy nomination, but, as rogue detective, Vic Mackey, Chiklis is even better this time around, trying to set limits on a life gone out of control. His scenes with guest stars Weathers and Mark Rolston, Cathy Cahlin Ryan (as estranged wife, Corinne), and Walton Goggins (both appealing and scary as Vic's partner, Shane), were masterful. Even better is Benito Martinez, subtle, volcanic, and fiercely intelligent as the reviled, ambitious City Council candidate Capt. David Aceveda. Martinez is heartbreakingly adept at letting silence speak for him. The look in his eyes, whether he is defying his campaign manager or having a showdown with his new boss, conveys all the moral struggle, passion for justice, and yearning for something better that are The Shield's major themes. Michael Jace also brings a quiet strength and deep, abiding kindness to his role as closeted beat cop, Julien Lowe. These two were the best actors on the show this season, and my only complaint about Season 2 is that they didn't get more screen time. Both bring awsome natural talent and presence to their roles.Kenneth Johnson's Lem is likeable, as is new Strike Teamer, Brian White (Tavon Garris), and I look forward to seeing more of these watchable actors next season. Jay Karnes is always on the money as Dutch, the squad room scapegoat with daddy issues. The Shield has always featured outstanding guest performances and S2 is no exception. The astounding Jamie Brown as hooker/informant, Connie; Danny Pino as the relentless drug lord, Armadillo; Weathers as Vic's down-and-out ex-partner, Joe Clark; the terrific Camilla Sanes as Capt. Aceveda's pragmatic, politically savvy wife, Aurora; and Rolston as a P.I. who turns emotional baggage into a contagious disease, are all superb. The Shield's music supervisor, Evyen Klean, is in top form, too. The S2 soundtrack features brilliant scene-to-song matches, and other, larger networks are taking notice. The transcendent 'Aleluia Melisma', from unsigned artist, Steve Edwards, isn't available commercially. Yet, a few months after it was featured in S2's soundtrack, it showed up on one of the hottest new shows from one of the Big Three networks. S2's final montage -- set to Live's "Overcome" -- is every bit as good as last season's capper, and recalls Miami Vice in its brilliant fusion of music and images. As usual, The Shield was there first. Ignore the critics and check it out."
The best show on TV gets a second DVD treatment!
John | Lockport, IL USA | 03/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Only when I thought this show could bot get any better --- it did. Not only did it get better, it got absolutly riveting. Not only have the characters developed further, the enemies have too. Things have changed in "The Shield" over the course of its second season, and all for the better.It has become much more unpredictable. What was thought to be the seasons big bad guy, actually gets what a sane audience would want, his death in the worst way. He got it. Vic has gotten somewhat out of the rut he was in last season, but it is constantly huanting him with the presence of Claudette, a fellow detective. Not only does she know of his past, she knows how to take him down. But she knows without him, the presinct would fall.The strike team is running and is more action packed than ever. Now with a new fifth member, things get more interesting on each bust. Vics personal side gets more screwed up with every episode. Now his wife, again, has basically banished him from the house, his duaghter no longer cares for him, and his son has slipped further into autism.If you watch this show, you know why it won a Emmy and two Golden Globes. This defines great TV. Hopefully the DVD is as good as the last one, maybe with somE more interesting menus please? Fox, this time you have no excuse about "not enough time"."
Best show on TV, PERIOD!
Kenneth M. Busler | Cleveland, OH United States | 06/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As a police officer myself, I find some of the things Mackey does a little hard to swallow, but it's the things most of us have wanted to do to a thug on the street, but we can't. I can relate to each character on the show, and compare him to a cop I know . That is what makes great TV, being able to relate all the people and experiences to yourself. I feel that in Season 3, Mackey is going to learn there are consequences and reprocussions for his actions. But these past 2 seasons have been as well-written, finely acted, and superbly directed as any police show I have ever seen. The use of the hand held cameras just adds to the grittiness of the show. Clark Johnson (himself a fine actor in his own right on Homicide)brings a superb touch to every episode he directs. Can't wait for season 3."
Second season shines for "The Shield" series
Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 06/16/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"he second season, like the second album, second playoff game, second chance, or second anything, is sometimes more important than the first. In the TV series "The Shield" starring Michael Chiklis, it does not fail, but assembles with the steam that rolled out of its debut season to shine in the second. Ongoing storylines get deeper, more intense, and more dramatic. Lives are changed forever, and the beat rolls on. The street crimes are still there, but become less singular and more solid. Overall a fantastic season!
RECAP: The Shield is a series about LAPD police officers and detectives who are part of the Farmington District. They're headquarters are in an old renovated horse stable that is called "the barn". Farmington is very vivid with tough streets, shady characters, and injustices all around. The centerpiece of the show is Detective Vic Mackey (played by Michael Chiklis). Mackey leads a special unit whose job is to bring down the dirtiest of the dirt: The drug dealers, the rapists, and the killers. There is a catch though, in order for Mackey to lure in the mouse, he has to play house with other mice, and therefore many of his actions, which are executed by himself and his crewmembers, are deemed as "dirty" in their own right. Mackey Views it as doing anything to get the job done. The captain said in season one "He's not a cop, he's Al Capone with a badge". Well, he's not far off, but the truth is, its a fictional show, so we aren't worried about the "Strike Teams" outcome being harmful on society since no matter what they do, the ratings of this show continue to increase.
SUBSTANCE: The Shield, as I mentioned in my review of season 1, is very well filmed. Cinematically speaking I think its one of the best series I've seen in a long time. Considering all of the cop series that have come out over the years, that's a great title, though it is just one person's opinion. The Shield shows us the cops and the robbers close up, and the whole time the backdrop of the streets of Farmington go by unnoticed. This is where I, the reviewer, am coming in to say that whether its a rich house, poor house, drug house, car chase, jail cell, drug bust, bank heist, or any other medium this show has in the camera lens, it comes through extremely vivid. Colors are sharper. Dialogue is crisp, or gritty, or gurgling at times in blood. However way you want Action Drama dished up, the shield prepares it in a 3-course meal...L.A. city water not included. Okay, time for me to tell you what you are in for in Season 2. First of all just a disclaimer: If you have not seen season one please do before seeing season 2. This show is linear in storyline and plot and has taken time to build up its characters and multiple ongoing plots. It won't be as special or make much sense if you start here!
SEASON 2: Your going to be exposed to the villain known as Armadillo. He's a bad dude. He puts tires around people and soaks them with gasoline before lighting them on fire. Other bad things he does I won't mention, but suffice to say that he has a major role in season 2. You'll also see a lot going on with the cops of Farmington. Julien, as you know from season one, is trying to change some major things in his life, and though he does so, it comes with paying a high price in humiliation and cruelty delivered by the people of his own department. Vic Mackay has his own troubles at home as you know, from season one. The entire cast is afraid for their jobs after an auditor from the city council is put into the barn to try and expose the corruption that is ultimately centered on Mackey's "Strike Team". Dane tries helping Julien through his troubles but suddenly seems to be faced with many of her own. By the end of this season, nearly every one of these peoples personal lives will be dumped upside down...oh and speaking of upside down, yeah that was them. If you saw the previews it was Shane and Lemon in the back of that garbage truck. What are they doing there?
THE CRIMES: They are there because they have to be. They are hiding. Waiting for an opportunity to strike on of the biggest busts they will ever make. Its called the "Money Train" and its all over season 2. The Armenian mob is moving large amounts of cash out of L.A. to various banks for it to be "washed" before being re circulated. Mackey and the Strike team know that if they can pull off the job, they're retirement will be set. And as you will soon find out, as much that is going on in their personal lives, they may need it! Another great storyline is carried over from season 1 and that is Gilroy, The captain's boss who is ultimately friends with Vic and who got Vic Mackey the job at Farmington in the first place. In season one we learned that Gilroy was purposefully taking police away from a certain part of town to cause crime to go up, sinking the real estate value. In turn he was buying it low and of course in time, to sell high and make a fortune. In season 2 we see Gilroy again, only this time he's escaped house arrest and come to Vic for one final favor: To get him out of the country. Can Vic trust him? The end of this one is intense and also justice in an ironic sort of way. An end to a great little plot that really was very mysterious and showed a lot of themes in terms of loyalty and betrayal.
THE ACTION: The shield is known for being wide open in both the character development as well as the realm of not giving a damn about political correctness. It brings out what it should: That this show is not like other shows, and that these situations need a second glance sometimes before being judged. You'll see bad guys do good, you'll see good cops go bad, and the fireworks that happen in the middle are just as mesmerizing if not magnificent. A mans face pushed onto a range oven grill. Severed limbs. Blood, guts, and beatings, the violence is there, but not in a Rambo or Friday the 13th sort of way. Its done in a way that makes you feel like it is real, or at least convincing. No Hollywood chop shop here, if they say your getting stir-fry, it comes out in flames! You'll see the officer of the strike team known as "Lemon" or "Lemonhead" take a bad, bad fall. And in this happening, the revenge meter reaches level 10. The outcome of this again, is very different than what you would expect. In the meantime the strike team has to deal with a new member. Can they trust him? Will he be the rat that brings Mackey's house of cards down?
Season 2 of the Shield includes 13 action packed episodes. Also featured of course is a special features segment. I found this very compelling as we are shown the cast behind the scenes, and also shown the production and making of the final episode. Its really remarkable to see how much work goes into this show, but also how these everyday people who are actors, are able to mold themselves into a character that is convincing. They do it with conviction and purpose.
In closing, Season 2 for me gets five stars. Singular storylines or ongoing ones blend with a persona of impending doom that creeps in during every episode. Though I mentioned a lot of the things that are going on in the cops personal lives, don't let that description fool you into thinking this is "Melrose Place"...its not, its Farmington district, where the cops can be bad, the villains can be evil, and the corruption heavy. It doesn't mean though that good doesn't show up and cast some white light on things now and again, and with that happening it again shows us just how complex human nature can be. Season 2 is a masterpiece of character development and dramatic action."
The Best Show Ever on any Medium!!!!
Dennis J Guzy | harrisburg, pa United States | 04/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the greatest show ever made. Every week you find yourself stopping everything around you and you have to watch this show. The first season was awesome and the second season did not disappoint. This is the first time in years that I have found that everyone who has the talk "around the water cooler" wants to talk about the show when it was on the night before. Hands down best thing ever to hit the small screen!"