In 2002 the FX Network was still searching for its audience. It found it tenfold when the Shield burst onto the scene. Receiving six Primetime Emmy Award nominations and a win for Michael Chiklis for Best Actor in a Drama series the show not only exploded but it set the standard for all other shows from the FX Network. It ran for seven seasons and followed a linear pattern throughout the series.
The show focuses on a police station based of Farmington in Los Angles. It’s a high crime gang area and a special team of police are stationed there to deal with the criminals. There called The Strike Team and led by Vick Mackey (Michael Chiklis). His men include Shane Vedrell (Walton Goggins) Curtis Lemansky (Kenny Johnson), and Ronnie Gardock (David Rees Snell). They have a reputation for being violent, and using a lot of illegal tactics to bring down the criminals they encounter. They are constantly at odds with their captain David Acevde (Benito Martinez) who suspects they dabble in criminal activity. Other notable officers at the station are beat cop Danielle Sofer (Catherine Dent), Dutch Wagenbaugh (Jay Marnes), and Claudette Wyms (CCH Pounder).
For those who watched, and if you have not yet don’t worry, this is no spoiler, Vic and the Strike Team are dirty cops. Extortion, robbery, bribes, murder, you name it. They protect the public, but take everything they can with no remorse. The focal point of the first few seasons is Captain Acevde trying to bring them down as they manage to stay one step ahead. Later seasons feature conflict on the team itself.
Violent and well written the show was a hit and is considered by many one of the greatest, not only cop shows, but television shows of all time. One thing that I really enjoyed was how the final episode really was a final episode and wrapped up the main characters story lines, giving them all fitting endings. I can’t praise the acting and writing of the show enough.
A few years back it was given a collector’s edition DVD release. It was packaged in a giant slip cover book. The transfers were simple dvd quality. The packaging, although nice on the outside was very poorly done. The discs would rip the pages when you slid them out if you were not extra careful. Plus let’s face it a show of this caliber should get a Blu-ray release. Now thanks to the good people at Mill Creek we are getting just that.
Packaged in a sturdy book bound set all 88 episodes are presented on 18 gorgeous Blu-ray discs. The box itself is fantastic, and sturdy. It has Vic’s police badge etched into the cover. The discs slide out perfectly in this set, as the packaging is extremely study. Each page of the bound case contains tons of photos and notes from creator Sean Ryan. It’s even loaded with special features.
"The Shield Reunion" cast & crew reunion special to reminisce and reflect on being a part of this landmark series
"The Shield: A Retrospective" a look back at the lasting impact the series has had on TV and how its themes are still relevant today.
"Restoring The Shield" a behind-the-scenes look at the technological processes involved in the High Definition upgrade
"The Critical Response to The Shield" how critics initially received the series and if/how their opinions changed throughout the duration of the series' run.
"The Shield Writers Room" Reunion from the ATX Festival Panel
This is a definitive set that all fans of the series should own. If you have never seen it before this is the way you must watch it. Beautiful transfers on a truly groundbreaking series. Order it now for Christmas.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars