Police show makes the grade
December and January are traditionally slow months for New Zealand television. The big series have wrapped up and networks are holding their new programming for launches in early February. But nuggets can still be found, and TV One fills a gap at 9.30pm Mondays with Southland.
The first episode was especially good: rookie cop Ben Sherman (Benjamin Mckenzie) is thrust into the ungentle hands of police training officer John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) to learn survival on the mean streets of south Los Angeles.
‘‘You do what they teach you in the academy, you will die,’’ the pro tells the rookie.
Meanwhile, detective Lydia Adams (Regina King) solves a child abduction.
The pilot had one the strongest endings I’ve seen in years. It was mean, gritty and surprising.
The series was mistreated by American network NBC, which aired an initial seven episodes and ordered a second series, but then got cold feet and canned it mid-production. US cable channel TNT then bought the rights, finished the second season, aired a third and will launch the fourth in January.
Give a Southland a go. It’s promising.
If you missed the first episodes, find them on tvnz.co.nz’s on demand service.
Southland: Is Ben Sherman, left, strong enough to police south Los Angeles?