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The best TV series of all time? The Shield

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  • The best TV series of all time? The Shield

    The best TV series of all time? The Shield

    Hello folks, time to recommend my absolute favourite TV drama, a series that changed the way I see TV shows and that proved to me that TV can surpass cinema.

    There have been series that started really well, to then fall to the abiss because the writters didn't know how to finish it.
    Breaking Bad for example, very nice premise but not a very good execution. Or Lost, a series that started really well until the writters gave up and decided to insult the fans. Oh, and the most recent example. GoT, even if in that case it was more the writters being awful but having a ton of great material to adapt, deciding they would no longuer adapt such material and not wanint to waste any effort in the writting of the invented parts, turning what was one of the best written shows in the history of TV into one of the worst.

    But the shiled is an example of the opposite: a series that goes from worse to better, and gets so good that it has the best ending of any TV series ever written (well, at least, that I've seen).

    So what is The Shield?
    The shield is (the most badass) policiac series that takes places in Los Angeles, and it focuses in the lives and job of some police officers of a newly formed police station in the fictional district of "Farmginton".
    I won't enter on the details to not spoil anything, but let's say that this series best quality is that it never retcons anything it has done. What's done it's done and it's coherent with all and every single decision their characters will make.

    And here is this series strongest point: it's characters.

    Every single one of the main cast of characters and a good deal of the secondary ones could be argued to be among the best written in the whole industry. The strike team, Dutch & Claudette, Dani, Julien, Acebeda even fucking Tina... it's absolutely incredible the amount of different characters this series creates, how well and naturally they integrate themselves and how none of them feels artificial. They're human beings, even if the series is usually so over the top (without breaking it's plausability even a fraction of what your usual cop show does) that one wouldn't expect it.

    Vic Mackey for example. Who would guess, at first glance, that he is a genius when it comes to reading people and scheming things? His best ability is not to that he is a beast physically (and believe me, he is), but his capacity to alwas be one step ahead without any plot bullshit on his side (well, in the first season a couple of scenes could be debated in this sense, but for very minor things and it's something that doesn't happen ever again, even when the situation turns much more tense, critic and dramatic).
    Breaking Bad's Walter White? A fucking noob.

    The other strong point of the series, THE PACING.
    I'm not exaggerating if I say that in 2 chapters of this series (from when the series actually gains it's identity, which is something I'll explain later) happens more relevant things than in 1 season of Breaking Bad (and depending on the chapter, even in 1 of them). In fact, the pace of each chapter tends to be so good that you can take them as individual action shorts even if it's one of the policiac series where the overall plot has more presence between chapters and it's always advancing the bigger story besides the usual cases of the week.
    It's as fast paced as Sons of Anarchy, and can concatenate chapters and chapters of pure, nonstop adrenaline wihout ever getting as cheap as Sons of Anarchy when resolving it's plotpoints (SoA resolves some of them quite well but some others... pfff).

    In my opinion, in terms of quality this series can be divided in 3 parts:

    Season 1, Chapters 1-11: A solid 7/10. The series has still not found it's identity but there's some good foundations already.
    Season 1 Chapter 12 - Season 3 Finale: 8.5/10 The series has found it's identity and the pacing & filming of the chapters (besides 2 or 3 exceptions) is excellent.
    Season 4 - Season 7 Finale: 10/10. Besides not losing it's identity, the quality of the writting skyrockets from good/great to legendary (comparable to GoTs best seasons, and I'm not exaggerating).

    So you have one of the best pacings on a TV drama ever (only Sons of Anarchy compares to it in that sense) coupled with one of the best writtings in the whole industry that culminates in the best seasons of any TV drama ever made.

    What's not to like? Seriously, if you hadn't seen this series yet, do yourself a favour and do it. Oh, and be warned: after seeing this series, any other policiac series will automatically become dull and retarded.

    PS: One good hobbie of mine was re-watching Breaking Bad after seeing this series. The parallelisms between both series are so huge, and it's after seeing this show that you really understand where Breaking Bad fails miserably in comparison. Breaking Bad becomes such a joke that it's even funny to compare Walter with Vic: the first a character the entire show revolves around just to tell you how awesome he is supposed to be, the second a character so awesome that makes the show revolve around him even when it has a ton of incredible, independent characters rich enough to be the main protagonists of their own TV series (if they had one, that is).

    PS2: The best dialogue ever written between two characters I've seen in any TV show, for both how simple it seems on the surface and how deep it really is, belongs to this series (chapter 7x05). It's like GoT at it's best but with a disguise of a much simpler thing. I've seen pretentious shows that tried to seem much more than they really were through their editing (hello Amercian Gods, what's up Breaking Bad, even GoT in it's weakest seasons constantly does this), but a show that's MUCH MORE than one could think seeing it at first glance (and no, it's not because of a bad editing at all, in fact it's the best it could possibly be)? This show man, THIS SHOW.