Southland Season 4
by Del Harvey
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The best cop show on TV (currently) is back, and in some ways it’s better than ever. I say that with much love for the first seasons when the show was still on NBC and had a very solid cast that fit together nicely. Knowing that, let me simply say that TNT’s current season has added two very well known actors, plus one lesser known, with some hefty experience and great presence who fit perfectly into this already powerful ensemble. I’m talking about LDP and Lucy Liu. Yes, Lou Diamond Phillips puts on the black uniform of the L.A. police and joins the beat. And so does one of the most under-appreciated actresses in Hollywood, Ms. Lucy Liu. And her character is really going to surprise you. The third new addition is Dorian Missick, who takes over as Detective Adams’ (Regina King) new partner (thankfully). And he is a great improvement over Josie. Returning from Season 3 are regular cast members Ben McKenzie, Shawn Hatosy, Michael Cudlitz, and the aforementioned Regina King.
But the best news of all is that Southland returns on Tuesday, January 17 to TNT. It’s been a year since Officer John Cooper (Cudlitz) went into rehab for both his back and his drug addiction. Now he’s out working the streets for the first time and partnered with Officer Jessica Tang (Liu), and in so doing is experiencing role reversal from the seasons previous when he was the older, more capable officer to his ride-along rookie. Cooper’s former rookie, Officer Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie), has been partnered with Sammy Bryant (Hatosy), who continues to struggle with the various traumas of his recent past. And even Dewey (C. Thomas Howell) returns in all his un-PC, un-tactful glory.
I miss Officer Chickie Brown (Arija Bareikis) and Detective Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro), but sometimes a series must lose some of its best characters to survive.
Other guest stars will appear throughout the season, including Carl Lumbly as the new police captain, Lisa Gay Hamilton as a worn-out mother of a talented but troubled daughter, and Martha Gibbs will appear as the relative of a suspect Detective Adams is investigating for murder.
Shot on location in the streets and neighborhoods of Los Angeles (some of the more scary parts of L.A., too), Southland captures a realistic, natural environment where similar situations can and often do occur in real life. The premiere episode for Season 4 opens with a bang, sucks you in and gets you pumped. Don’t miss it, Tuesday nights starting January 17th on TNT. Check local listings for showtimes.
Del Harvey is the founder of Film Monthly, a film teacher, a writer and a film critic in Chicago.
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