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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 2 October, 2002, 10:51 GMT 11:51 UK
The Shield: Your views
The Shield
The Shield has already proved popular in the US
A television police drama that triggered a storm of controversy in the United States is now being screened on Five in the UK.

The previously unknown Michael Chiklis has become an Emmy award-winning star because of his role as Detective Vic Mackey in the show.

"Just at the moment it is not quite the wonderful series it is said to be - but in America it has already reached its second season and there is every sign it gets better and better," said the BBC's William Gallagher.

But what do you think?

What is new about this cop drama? Will it be a hit in the UK too?

BBC News Online users had their say.


Excellent. About time TV faced up to the fact that life is grim - bring on more. It is nice to have a gritty drama rather than a lank real -ife docusoap or Popstars yawn-fest. Those who operate outside of the law should be dealt with in ways outside the orthodox. A new show to replace the gap left behind by 24. Well done Five.
Howard, England

I watched The Shield last night and thought it was very good indeed. In only one episode, you know enough about the main characters to want to watch them develop and Mackey is intriguing. I'll be watching again!
Fiona Young, Scotland

The Shield is one of the best police dramas I have seen from across the pond

Mark Nelson, UK
Brilliant, a gritty drama that may not be to everyone's taste but a strong script, a plot that hooks you immediately and some brilliant acting make this a series that looks worth following!!! Well done C5.
Stuart, UK

Interesting so far. I'll give it a few more weeks. Let's hope it does not get completely stupid like 24 did.
Parm, UK

I liked it, it's easy to watch even though some of the issues are tough, such as police corruption, I think it will be a big hit, apart from with the old fuddy duddies - they are sure to complain about some part of it.
Luke, UK

The Shield is one of the best police dramas I have seen from across the pond and marks another coup for Channel 5 after capturing CSI. It is now widely accepted that the LAPD is not whiter than white and this show superbly handles the tensions that exist between the "good" cops and the "bad" cops.

Michael Chiklis as detective Mackey is superb (shame he looks like Grant Mitchell). His actions are indefensible but it is a mark of how good this drama is when you root for him when "interrogating" a paedophile suspect only later to witness him shooting in the face a fellow officer who was going to spill the beans... Can't wait for episode two.
Mark Nelson, UK

All it does is try and be as violent and disgusting as possible for shock value ratings

Charles, US
Has to be one of the best cop shows ever. How come it is on Five?
Ashley, UK

Hard hitting cop drama, first episode set the tone of what's to come. Much better than the British cop shows which wouldn't dare be so controversial. The Shield and Oz, two great American cop/prison dramas, why can't we make such programmes?
Mike, UK

A good show with a refreshing range of cast and very few cop stereotypes, although I keep expecting Michael Chiklis to break out in a cockney accent due to his uncanny resemblence to Ross Kemp.
Donato Spampanato, UK

The good shows and bad shows have gone home for the day. The Shield is a different kind of show!!! That Vic Mackay is one bad mamma jamma. Makes Denzel Washingston's cop in Training Day look like a rookie! I'll be setting my alarm for next Sunday, and buying the DVD too. Well worth watching!
Mark Folson, London, England

This show is horrible. All it does is try and be as violent and disgusting as possible for shock value ratings. Chiklis is a fine actor, however, screaming and fighting for an hour doesn't seem too difficult. I highly recommend that UK viewers watch reruns of Cracker instead of this!
Charles, US

The world is ugly enough and we all know it. Let's not make it OK in the name of entertainment!

Tanja, UK
Currently there is an omnibus of nightly Shield episodes on television XFX, starting with the first episode. They are excellent! They are also quite ground-breaking, as the amount of profanity is raising the bar of what can be heard on basic cable.
Jason, USA

Refreshing? What's refreshing about a cop drama that shows inner city violence and crime and the people who supposedly are fighting it? The Grant Mitchell look-alike plays a glorified thug. There are lots of other people running around him. The crimes are secondary, all it does is show just how tough he is. Great. I'm intrigued ... NOT.

If solving crime was all about beating up the criminals because we think they are guilty and force them to confess to whatever we want, then surely we are not solving the problems but exacerbating them and becoming criminals ourselves. To portray crime in this way on TV will only perpetuate the myth that this is acceptable behaviour in the real world. The world is ugly enough and we all know it. Let's not make it OK in the name of entertainment!
Tanja, UK

It looks pretty good, maybe a little pretentious in some aspects, but can we all see what's going to happen in the next few episodes? The premise is good but it all seem like it all going to be so predictable.
Sam, UK

I was gripped the whole way through. Very good to see some decent programmes coming to TV

Neil, UK
To be honest, I didn't want to watch it, yet another cop drama from the USA which I just assumed would be rubbish. I am pleased to say that it wasn't, it was very, very entertaining! I loved the whole American hardman "Grant Mitchell" type action hero who has the bad/good cop image. The programme was a little cheesy in places but all in all a good story with a good plot that's left you guessing and waiting for the next instalment. I wouldn't say this was as good as Six Feet Under but as the first series of that has finished this is a good substitute, I think what shocked me the most was the fact that there was a good programme on channel 5.
Angela, Bristol

I was gripped the whole way through. Very good to see some decent programmes coming to TV. A few more and we'll never have to watch another reality game show again.
Neil, Berks, UK

I thought the first episode was very good although I couldn't get the image of Ross Kemp out of my head the whole time. Chiklis seems to have modelled himself on him in every way.
James Guion, UK

Unfortunately, I only saw part of this programme. But what I saw was excellent, disturbing, thought provoking and horribly realistic. I like my world to be peaceful and safe and if guys like these are really out there protecting me from the maniacs then "go for it guys". I have a feeling this show is more for the victims than the criminals and I'm all for that.
Shirleigh Kirk-Marston, UK

It didn't really do anything new, the characters were pretty unlikable and the storylines were clichéd

Nick, England
One of the best police shows around, it deals with the issue that not all policemen are squeaky clean! A wickid programme for a usually dull night!
Clare, London, UK

I have never felt so divided about a programme. It is, indeed, a compelling dramatic series - but it is also a celebration of fascist behavior artfully disguised as a cop show. And the popularity of this programme with police officers in my country is a cause for worry.
Robert del Valle, USA

Cracking show, well scripted, powerful characterisation and a bit of kick to glamorize it. All the reasons why UK shows pale in comparison to our brothers over the pond.
James Aldrich, UK

I can't understand why everyone seems to be in love with The Shield. It seems to smack of "the emporer's new cop show". It didn't really do anything new, the characters were pretty unlikable and the storylines were clichéd.

It wasn't terrible. A decent diversion to the dross on every other channel, but not by any means compulsive viewing.

It reminds me of The Simpsons, where the TV execs said their cop show Police Cops had grown '"organically" to appeal to the demographic, after mooting the idea of Badge Patrol.....
Nick, England

What a refreshing change to watch something that doesn't skirt around the real issues and actually explores the other, grittier side of the police

Lucy McGee, UK
A superb programme for Channel 5 to schedule on an otherwise dull, Songs of Praise filled night. A good, solid first episode, and the storylines within it were very difficult, especially the way in which the peadophilic activity was portrayed, the bartering of children was as shocking as the final shot of when they found the girl, very brave and very up front.

There was a point made in a review above about treating criminals in such a way that we become criminals ourselves, this is the whole point of the Mackey character, he is so used to fighting fire with fire that he has set up an intriguing plot that could play out like LA Confidential. A round of applause is due for Channel 5 for The Shield, CSI (which is one of the best programmes on TV) and their new image. At last it feels a bit more of a TV station and less of a third year TV project.
MatFlat, UK

I thought the programme was insightful and thought provoking. What a refreshing change to watch something that doesn't skirt around the real issues and actually explores the other, grittier side of the police and not the sweetened/generalised version we normally see on our TVs. The characters were also very well portrayed and interesting and as hardhitting and disturbing as some of the scenes and issues explored, were there were still also pieces of humour. Bravo !
Lucy McGee, UK

As this was the pilot I'm hoping it'll improve. Vic is a little too much like a caricature of the bad cop doing the best he can, in a bad world. I was waiting for him to strip down to tights and underpants at any moment but I assume his character will become a little more complex and less tight t-shirts with chest puffed out when the series starts properly. I should hope so - this guy did beat Martin Sheen and Kiefer Sutherland, he'd better start proving he deserved it. I¿ll keep watching and give it a chance.
Liz, UK

See also:

29 Sep 02 | Entertainment
01 Aug 02 | Entertainment
22 Jul 02 | Entertainment
02 Aug 02 | Entertainment
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