Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Familiar Faces in Unfamiliar Roles

These days I don't have much time or inclination to watch TV dramas, especially those being aired on Nova TV. However, I made exception in the case of The Shield. I watched the first episode yesterday and I must say that it looked very good.

Since this happens to be a cable television show, there is more bloodshed, nudity or bad language than usual. So I didn't have to suspend much disbelief in order to enjoy this story about darker side of police work.

The best thing in the show seems to be Michael Chiklis. I remembered that actor from The Commish, very good comedy/drama series in which he played police commissioner. The show was light-hearted, shot in Vancouver and written by Glen Morgan and James Wong. Since I used to be huge X-Files fan, I appreciated familiar brand of humour, Vancouver setting and many supporting players.

Here the setting is completely different, the tone is completely different and, last but not least, Chiklis is completely different. That actor was so heavily associated with Commish that some serious dramas in which he had appeared (like Taxman) simply couldn't be taken seriously just because they had him in the cast. How could someone take story about Russian mafia seriously when the mobster happens to be played by the guy from Commish?

But this is not the case with The Shield. I actually never recognised Chiklis. He looks differently, acts differently and his character is light years away from the one played in Commish.

The ending of the first episode was completely unpredictable and, needless to say, I look forward for next episode.


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