Commentary — 06 March 2012

Actor Michael Cudlitz who stars as Officer John Cooper probably said it best. “It’s not

Michael Cudlitz

about the crimes or even the criminals. It’s about how both affect the characters…how they react to them. There is truth in their reactions.”

That “truth” in which Cudlitz referenced, is even more astonishing given the fact that NBC somehow thought canceling the show 6 episodes in was a good idea back in 2009.

NBC’s loss has been everyone’s else’s gain since that time.

I could write some long, drawn-out expository piece on the superb writing of the TNT cop drama Southland, or wax poetic on the exceptional performances given from each and every member of its ensemble cast. Neither of which is really necessary, even though both are true. This is a time when less is more…

Southland is quite possibly the best action drama in a generation. It’s not hyperbole when it’s true.

The ethnic and gender diversity of its cast is equally complemented by the diversity of its writers. The authenticity of its presentation of life as an L.A. cop is no doubt buoyed by diversity of its creative team and technical advisers.

Ben McKenzie (Sherman), Regina King (Adams)

In some ways, the reboot on TNT offered a blank canvas with a wider palette of color, hue and texture. The imagery became more graphic, the dialogue more raw and both were undergirded by an overall more daring brand of storytelling. There are just some stories better told amid the freedom of cable; not constricted by the confines of network television. Southland challenges you to like and loathe each of its supposed protagonists, each of them fabulously flawed in his/her own way.

Now, in the midst of its fourth season, the Southland team gathered for minute to mingle and mix with one another and a few from the media. Despite the hustle and bustle of The Foundry in Hollywood, I was still able to get a few moments with some of the members of both cast and crew to hear what has made the series so successful and their collective expectations for the future of the show.

Another EXCLUSIVE from The Mo’Kelly Report!

  Mo’Kelly Visits Cast and Crew of TNT’s Southland by The Mo’Kelly Radio Report
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Morris W. O’Kelly (Mo’Kelly) is a columnist, radio and television commentator. Visit for the latest from Mr. Mo’Kelly. He is heard weekends from 6-8pm on KFI AM640 in Los Angeles. The program is available via the iHeartRadio app and for download on iTunes and all podcasting apps.

Contact Mo’Kelly: @mrmokelly

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