Tuesday, November 25, 2008

R.I.P. To The Second Best TV Series, Evar.

This blog has always been a fan of the FX original series The Shield. Heck, one of my first posts ever here was about the Season 6 premiere. So it's with a heavy heart that the show's long, criminally slept-on run is ending with tonight's 90 minute series finale.

It's always amazed me just how few people even know about this show. Yeah, it's hidden in the recesses of basic cable, but after nearly a decade of brilliance, the fact that the show doesn't have the same cult following as such inferior network drivel as NYPD Blue or CSI says a lot more about the state of television than it does The Shield's quality.

I suppose being on an obscure pay station, the late airtime (10pm), and the extreme violence and occasional nudity hurt the show's cause, but you can't possibly fake on the acting and storylines. Even the handheld camera and unconventional direction were unique. Still, the fact that this show didn't garner many awards or particularly good ratings is puzzling. I mean seriously, how many shows can seamlessly mix in legit actors like Forrest Whittaker, Glenn Close, and even Anthony Anderson (in a dramatic role) without having them overshadow the cast?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: this show and HBO's The Wire are in a virtual tie for best dramatic TV series evar. Evar. The Wire got more acclaim because it had HBO's hype machine, but asking me to pick the better of the two is like asking me to choose the favorite of my two sons. It's not possible, nor would it make any sense if it were. I suppose it's some odd poetic justice that both shows concluded in the same year.

If you never gave this show a chance, you seriously have no idea what you've missed. You could tune into tonight's finale, but it would be like reading the epilogue of a 1,400 page book. You'd know what happened, but you wouldn't know why. Hit Neflix. Start with Season One.

R.I.P. to good television.

Question: Have you ever watched The Shield? Any guesses on who gets offed in tonight's series finale? Which show is better, The Shield or The Wire? Any suggestions on decent non-reality shows for me to watch now that TeeVee officially sucks again?

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