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The Shield

From Academic Kids

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Theshield.jpg
Promotional shot circa season 1

The Shield is an American police drama television series on FX Networks. The show is notable for its controversial portrayal of corrupt police officers.

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.

On March 3, 2004, Sammy Studios annouced a videogame 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.

Cast

  • Detective Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) - Leader of the Strike Team, corrupt cop, devoted father.
  • Detective Shane Vendrell (Walton Goggins) - Vic's friend and member of the Strike Team. His short temper and racism often lead to trouble.
  • Detective Curtis "Lemonhead" Lemansky (Kenny Johnson) - Member of the strike team.
  • Detective Ronnie Gardocki (David Rees Snell) - Member of the strike team.
  • Captain David Aceveda (Benito Martinez) - Politically ambitious police captain. Leaves "the Barn" for a seat on the City Council at the beginning of Season 4, although remains a regular character.
  • Detective Claudette Wyms (CCH Pounder) - Detective, was passed over for the job of captain.
  • Detective Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach (Jay Karnes) - Claudette's partner, an intellectual but not very streetwise detective.
  • Officer Danielle "Danny" Sofer (Catherine Dent) - Patrol officer who aspires to become a detective.
  • Officer Julien Lowe (Michael Jace) - Begins the series as Officer Sofer's trainee. Deeply religious and committed to his new family, although troubled by his closet homosexuality and tempted to follow the unethical behavior of his fellow officers.
  • Assistant Chief Ben Gilroy (John Diehl) - Vic's long-time friend and supporter, although not without his own hidden demons.
  • Detective Tavon Garris (Brian White) (as of Season 2) - A late addition to the Strike Team, though treated as an outsider.
  • Captain Monica Rawling (Glenn Close) (as of Season 4) - Succeeds Aceveda as captain of the Farmington precinct.
  • Armando "Army" Renta (Michael Pena) (as of Season 4) - A Marine reservist returned from Iraq, Shane's new partner in Season 4.
  • Antwon Mitchell (Anthony Anderson) (as of Season 4) - Supposedly upstanding black community leader with ties to the criminal world.
  • Detective Steve Billings (David Marciano) (as of Season 4)

External links

it:The Shield

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