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  The Shield

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> Description 
The Shield is about an experimental police precinct set up in the fictional Farmington neighborhood ("the Farm") of Los Angeles, using a converted church ("the Barn") as their police station. Although Michael Chiklis has top billing with his portrayal of Detective Vic Mackey, the show has an ensemble cast that will normally run a number of separate story lines through each episode, giving other characters plenty of screen time.

Detective Mackey is the leader of the Strike Team, a brutal four-man anti-gang unit based on the LAPD's real-life Rampart Division CRASH unit. The Strike Team uses a variety of violent and extortive methods to maintain peace on the streets, while maintaining their own profits through drug protection schemes and robbery. Much like its inspiration, the Strike Team isn't above planting drugs on and coercing confessions out of gang members. Twice the team was given a fifth member, and on both occasions this led to near-catastrophe for the group.

The Shield has a variety of subplots specific to the main characters, notably Captain David Aceveda's political aspirations, Detective Mackey's struggle to cope with a failing marriage, and Officer Julien Lowe's internal conflicts between his belief in the teachings of the Bible and his latent homosexuality. This depth of characterization is generally considered one of the reasons the show is held in such high regard as one of the best "cop shows" ever created.

Common themes are the citizens' distrust of police, the social impact of drugs and gang warfare, and the conflict between ethics and political expediency. Most characters are portrayed as having both vice and virtue. For example, Vic's loving relationship with his children contrasts with his thuggish attitude towards police work.

The fourth season premiered March 15th, 2005, with the addition of Glenn Close as a full-time cast member, and ended on June 14th. Before the final episode of season 4 was filmed, Close made it clear to producers that she would not be returning as a regular for season 5. Close's character was removed from "The Barn" in the final episode of season 4. This has caused much disappointment for the producers and fans of the show, as it is believed that Close's presence was primarily responsible for the increased ratings in season 4. Fans are left wondering if the producers will lure another well-known actor to become captain in season 5, or whether an already known character or an unknown actor will take the role.

The Shield has won much praise for its realism, and one area in which this is particularly noticeable is in its portrayal of gang violence in Los Angeles. Although names of actual gangs are not used, the recreations appear extremely accurate. Latino gangs with names such as "Los Magnificos" (or "Los Mags") and the "Toros" are a constant thorn in the Strike Team's side in the early seasons of the show, whilst African American gangs become more prominent in later episodes. In particular, a gang calling themselves the "One-Niners" are central to the plot of Season 4. Like the notorious real-life Blood and Crip gangs, the One-Niners identify themselves strongly with one color (in this case purple), wearing it on various forms of clothing. Interestingly, a street gang in the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas also wear purple clothing, with their rival gang wearing green. The parody of the Bloods and Crips, who wear red and blue respectively, is clear, but the similarity between The Shield's One-Niners and the GTA gang is probably a coincidence.

On March 3, 2004, Sammy Studios annouced a video game version of The Shield for Xbox and PlayStation 2. The game was to be a 3rd person action game developed by Point of View. On March 7, 2005, Sammy Studios, Inc. announced they completed a management buyout of Sammy Corporation of Tokyo, Japan and thus High Moon Studios acquired Sammy Studios, Inc. The fate of the videogame adaptation of The Shield remains unknown.


2005 EMMY NOMINATIONS
Best Drama Actress-Glenn Close
Best Supporting Drama Actress-CCH Pounder

Show Description Credit: Wikipedia
 
> Airing History & Information 
Premiere March 12, 2002
Episodes
Network FX
Format/Time Color / 30 Minutes
Country United States
Upcoming Airs Not currently airing
 
> Cast 
Glenn Close....   Monica Rawling (2005)
CCH Pounder....   Claudette Wyms
Bernito Martinez....   David Aceveda
Jay Karnes....   Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach
Michael Jace....   Julien Lowe
Walton Goggins....   Shane Vendrell
Michael Chiklis....   Vic Mackey

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> News (News Archive) (Post a News Story)
No News has been posted for this show.
 
> DVD Releases & Reviews
Season 4 (Twentieth Century Fox)
(December 27, 2005) Buy It (USA) (Canada)
 


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