I can't say that you won't enjoy "Southland," which airs Thursday night at 10 in the old "ER" slot.
It's got a very good cast (The OC's Ben McKenzie; "Ray" actress Regina King; "That Thing You Do's" Tom Everett Scott). It's got piercing drama. It's gritty.
But you've seen it before.
Take a pinch of "The Shield" a bit of the movie "Training Day" and add the sensibility of "ER" and you've got "Southland." It even has the shaky camera thing going, though not as shaky as "The Shield."
It takes place in South Central L.A., and it's Ben Sherman's (McKenzie) first day on patrol. And since the trailer has already shown this, I'm not giving anything away to say it's a bad first day for him. He ends up shooting someone. The episode works backward from there.
We learn his story, his new cop hazing by his partner (Michael Cudlitz), and we see Lydia Adams (King) and Russell Clarke (Scott) working a missing child case.
I'm a bit of a wimp, and the tension the show builds got to me. I had to walk away from the screen.
But since this is network TV, don't expect the full "Shield." Basic cable can get away with a lot more. There's some cussing (because that's how cops talk!) but the words get bleeped. I think that's called compromising with the artist (producer John Wells, the big guy behind "ER"), although other crude terms make it through.
It's pretty bold to take on another L.A. cop show after "The Shield" and I'm not sure there's a whole lot new to add. But you could have said the same thing about "ER" and look how long that lasted.
It's all about the execution.