New 'Southland': Anger, pain, and a fine premiere

Wow, what a blast of eloquent energy Southland is. Its new TNT episode last night took off like a rocket. The cops dealing with an angry crowd (and dealing with the cop who made the crowd angry); the triple homicide case; Ben dealing with a hellish date night — there wasn’t a moment in this hour that didn’t draw me in on some level.

While I regret seeing the excellent Tom Everett Scott’s character sidelined with an injury, it makes room for the flashy new homicide detective played by Amaury Nolasco. He’s already creating some fine tension between him and Regina King’s Lydia. And poor Chickie — what she goes through with now not one but two lousy squad-car partners in a row… well, this cannot end well, can it?

What I find impressive about Southland is that it is determined to present us with a series of highly refined, detailed character sketches while also doing the job of being a solid police procedural, with cases we want to follow to the end. I remember when the series first started, I was disenchanted with Michael Cudlitz’s John, who was introduced as a hectoring bully. Well, he’s turned into a far more complex, vexed character, hasn’t he?

That’s just one example of the kind of meticulousness that’s going into Southland in its second season.

Did you watch the season premiere?

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Comments (48 total) Add your comment
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  • harry

    Southland Rocks!!!!

    • Mells

      Southland was great – I really enjoyed it and cross my fingers that the ratings are good enough for TNT to order more episodes!!

      • Lili

        I think it actually have more chances to survive even with low ratings on a network like TNT then on all of the other major networks who have no patience for quality.

  • brandon

    it was good

  • Generation Gossip

    I thought this was one of the best hours of tv we were treated to in a while.

    Check Out

  • Stan

    Best show of the year… glad it’s finally back!

  • TheObserver

    Hells yes I watched. It is such a good show. Thank god for TNT. NBC really missed the mark on this one.

    The campaign for Regina Kings Emmy begins now!!!!!

    • TNTRocks

      I agree. I love this show and NBC was SO nuts to cancel it – but it’s TNT’s and our gain. The characters are so well defined and interesting to follow – Regina King is doin a helluva job too!

  • seattlejohn

    thanks for covering Southland…I’m a devoted fan but am concerned that the show is on at an awkward time and the long-delayed second season premiere has squandered its momentum (perhaps an encore showing weekly would help?)…an absolutely first-rate show and as much as I’m looking forward to the Michael Cudlitz character exploring his gayness I am equally invested in all of the actors and their characters…thank you TNT!

  • petuniafromhell

    As much as i love Lauren Graham, my Tuesday’s @10 pm are dedicated to Southland!

  • Ange

    anyone know how Canadians can catch the 2nd season of Southland?

    • Lili

      sadly you will have to find websites that have it on stream.

  • tracy

    Welcome Back Southland. An awesome episode…and those dummies wanted to end this show? Great job Sucre!!! (he will always be Sucre from Prison Break for me)

  • Blame Leno

    what an Awesome show!! I completely forgot about the Lauren Graham show and I love her but I’m devoted to Southland. It’s as daring as most cable shows. It was just too much for network TV. TNT is a good home for it.

  • Elizabeth

    Yeah, all but the last two minutes when Time Warner decided to hold their EMS weekly test!!! Are you kidding me?!!

    Yeah, I felt bad for Chickie, and I’m completely lost on Ben’s date night (again, muchas gracias TWC!), but so glad it’s back.

    When they were looking for the old man at the end I remember thinking, “I love this show, but I hate this show.”

    And Regina’s reaction after she left the hospital room, man is she good!!

  • Lili

    This show is so good you don’t even see the acting (and because of that it will totally pass unoticed in front of the Emmy voters… :(

    No soundtrack to amplify the emotions and drama and yet you feel the full intensity of them. That’s great TV!!!

    See what you did Leno??? haha

  • aingl

    The hospital corridor scene needs to be submitted as Regina’s Emmy clip.

    • Lili

      They should all lol

    • ElrondL

      So true! She was amazing in that scene. Yeah, can they *all* win Emmys?

  • Tarc

    I didn’t have time to watch it until summer, but Southland was amazing stuff. NBC was insane to drop this show. All the better for TNT, I guess, and, of course, all the better for *us*.

  • sarah

    I loved the first season but, unfortunately, I live in Canada and no one up here is showing it. That I can find anyways, if anyone knows different can you let me know??

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