CHICAGO – Mention the name Harry Lennix, and images of his many character roles are bound to emerge – Harold Cooper in the TV series “The Blacklist,” General Swanwick from “Batman v Superman” and Commissioner Blades from Spike Lee’s recent “Chi-Raq.” The deeply knowledgeable Lennix brings his years of dramatic expertise, as he directs the Congo Square Theatre Company’s world premiere stage play “A Small Oak Tree Runs Red.’
CHICAGO – I don’t believe it’s gone. TNT’s “Southland” shouldn’t be over. Not only do I not believe that the writers and producers meant for the dark finale of the fifth season, recently released on DVD, to be the close of this brilliant series, but I know they had more stories to tell. Considering the show was once canceled by NBC and rescued from its near-death experience, I suppose we should be happy with got five years but it’s still bittersweet.
CHICAGO – The 2013 Emmy nominations were announced this morning, leading to the natural hand-wringing and chest-beating over who missed the cut. Before we get to the most egregious snubs of the year, a few places where the Academy unexpectedly, happily got it right:
CHICAGO – I know I’ve said this before but the season premiere of TNT’s “Southland,” airing tonight at 9pm CST, feels even darker than last year or the year before. It could be just a show trying to top itself in terms of edgy subject matter but it feels genuine here, like the show is increasingly reflecting our darker times.
CHICAGO – TNT’s “Southland” continues its remarkable run tonight with a fourth season premiere that is as confident, accomplished, and entertaining as anything yet produced by this once-canceled program.
CHICAGO – Loyal readers of HollywoodChicago.com will know that this TV critic is a HUGE fan of TNT’s “Southland,” the best cop drama currently on television and one of the best dramas, period. How anyone at NBC let this stellar program go will remain one of the great TV mysteries of the new millennium. Its unusual second season has recently been released by Warner Archive along with a program forty-five years its elder in “The F.B.I.”
CHICAGO – TNT’s “Southland” has found that rare balance that evades most modern cop shows. In fact, it may be the best show of its type since “NYPD Blue.”
CHICAGO – The great “Southland” has been officially renewed for a third season, the first produced by TNT, that will air in January of 2011. The John Wells police drama started at NBC, where production began on a second season, but it was then canceled. TNT picked up the episodes already produced and aired them early this year but will now produce episodes of their own.
CHICAGO – The most notable casualties of the disastrous “The Jay Leno Show” may have been Conan O’Brien and the reputation of “The Tonight Show” but the fate of scripted drama on NBC also took a hit, exemplified by the fact that the network let arguably their best show go without much fanfare.
CHICAGO – One episode of the excellent “Southland” should tell you all you need to know about what NBC thinks about quality dramatic writing. They don’t care. They looked at this show, one of the most expertly-written on television, and canceled it, even after starting production on the second season. They’d rather give you “The Jay Leno Show”. Show them the error of their ways and make “Southland” a hit on DVD and with upcoming new episodes on TNT.
CHICAGO – NBC’s loss is the TNT Network’s gain as the excellent police drama “Southland” re-emerges on basic cable with a premiere Tuesday, January 12th. Michael Cudlitz plays the conflicted veteran officer John Cooper in the show.