DVD Review: Perfect Final Season of ‘The Shield’ Gets Fantastic Release

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CHICAGO – There was no better show on television in 2008 than FX’s “The Shield” and the seventh and final season is now available on DVD. The dark and often brilliant series about life lived in the gray area between right and wrong had its ups and downs over the course of six seasons but the seventh and final chapter in the life of Vic Mackey was stunningly perfect and I find it hard to disagree with Maureen Ryan of The Chicago Tribune, who is quoted on the cover of the recently released DVD set - “…the most brilliant series finale I’ve ever seen.”

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 5.0/5.0
DVD Rating: 5.0/5.0

One of the things I always loved about “The Shield,” a show that I think I have written about more than any other in the decade I’ve been writing about entertainment, was how brilliantly the team behind the show wove together themes and subplots not just from episode to episode but through the entire fabric of the series. At its very core, the entire show was about the end of the first episode, when Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) killed a fellow police officer. The rest was just the seven-season unraveling of Vic and his crew.

The Shield: Season Seven was released on DVD on June 9th, 2009.
The Shield: Season Seven was released on DVD on June 9th, 2009.
Photo credit: Sony

The final season of “The Shield” focused on the battle between Vic and his former ally and new nemesis Shane (Walton Goggins). Shane resorted to kidnapping in his dangerous dance with the Armenian mob, Dutch (the great and underrated Jay Karnes) became closely involved in the life of a woman who he thought had a killer for a son, and the Strike Team moved to take down a deadly drug lord. Corrupt politics continued to play a role and the entire squad threatened to come apart.

The questions leading up to the finale of “The Shield” were as suspenseful as any since “The Sopranos”. Would Shawn Ryan kill of Vic Mackey? Was there a chance he could let this character “get away with” the crimes he had committed over the years? The end of one of the most interesting characters of the ’00s was absolutely perfect.

Last week, “The Shield” was nominated for Program of the Year by the Television Critics Association and received four total nods, more than any other show. See why with the seventh season now on DVD.

The competition for the TCA’s award for Program of the Year include “Lost” and “Mad Men,” two great shows released in perfect Blu-Ray editions. Why is the most nominated program only available on standard DVD? “The Shield” has never had the technical emphasis of a show like “Lost,” but we’ve reached a point where all programming should be available in 1080P, especially the best program of the year.

Once you get over the fact that it’s standard-only, the season set for “The Shield” is one of the best of the year. Every single episode includes a commentary track by a variety of cast and crew members including Chiklis, Ryan, Paula Garces, Karnes, Frances Fisher, Laurie Holden, Goggins, Cathy Cahlin Ryan, David Rees Snell, Benito Martinez, David Marciano, and Michelle Hicks.

Nearly every episode includes deleted scenes with optional commentaries and the last disc includes two great featurettes about the show called “Last Call: The Final Episode” and “Nobody Expects to Lose, Nobody Expected to Die: The Shield’s Final Season”.

The final season of “The Shield” lived up to fan expectations as much as any beloved series in recent years and Sony has wisely given the show the season set that it deserves. We’ll miss you Vic Mackey.

‘The Shield: Season Seven’ was released by Sony Home Video and stars Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, David Rees Snell, Jay Karnes, CCH Pounder, Cathy Cahlin Ryan, Laurie Holden, Paula Garces, and Benito Martinez. It was created by Shawn Ryan. The show was released on June 9th, 2009. It is not rated.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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