WHAT TO WATCH ON TV
Stream On: Rogue cops

By on October 24, 2019

Police officers often find themselves frustrated by the constraints of the legal system. Sometimes cops have to improvise in Southland.

How far will police and detectives go to sort their private lives? Did the avuncular sheriff murder his wife’s killer, or his deputy’s powerful father? And just what is the English cop running from in Canada?

Southland

This 2009 series flew under the radar when it was first released on NBC, so much so that it was cancelled after one season. But on November 2, 2009, TNT announced it had purchased the rights to Southland‘s original seven episodes, as well as six completed episodes from its second season. Southland began airing on TNT on January 12, 2010, where it ran until 2013, garnering two Emmys and a Peabody Award.

The series was created by Emmy Award-winning writer Ann Biderman, who began her television writing career on the first season of police drama NYPD Blue. The series’ executive producers were Biderman, Christopher Chulack, and John Wells. Wells and Chulack, both also Emmy Award winners, had previously worked together on critically acclaimed medical drama ER and emergency services drama Third Watch.

The talent shows in this excellent character-driven study of detectives and uniform police in South Los Angeles, centered around four main characters but including a half-dozen more, all fully formed, complex people with a sharp sense of the limits of their jobs, which they will cross.

Here is a 2:31 trailer produced by TNT. “The only thing harder than living through it is living with it.” It can be seen with a subscription on Hulu and at $.99-$1.99 per episode on other services.


Walt Longmire is the dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming. Widowed only a year, he is a man in psychic repair but buries his pain behind his brave face, unassuming grin and dry wit.

Longmire

A&E’s 2012 drama is another series that switched networks mid-stream. Longmire became the highest-rated original drama series on A&E; however, following the conclusion of the third season in August 2014, the network announced that it would not renew the series. Warner Horizon Television offered it to other networks, and Netflix picked it up, starting with season four and completing six seasons.

Another award winner, Longmire was based on Craig Johnson’s series of novels about a modern-day sheriff in fictional Absaroka County in Wyoming. In his sixties, Walter Longmire (Robert Taylor) butts heads with the 21st century, not even owning a cell phone but still equipped to solve his jurisdiction’s crimes. Haunting his days is a Denver investigation into the murder of his wife’s killer which seems to point to Walt. He becomes locally notorious when his deputy’s influential father (Gerald McRaney, Deadwood) is killed by Walt. His daughter seeks to open a legal aid service on the local Cheyenne reservation funded by a corrupt casino owner, and his best friend, Henry Standing Bear (Lou Diamond Phillips), falls under suspicion of being a secret vigilante, presumably taking over the job from a prisoner who dies in police custody.

It’s a good-looking and effective drama with attractive characters and gripping drama. Here is a minute-long trailer. Longmire can be seen on Netflix with a subscription.


Ex undercover UK cop Jim Worth turned police chief of a small town in the Canadian Rockies does what he must to defend his family from those in power whether it’s oilmen, preachers or gangsters in Tin Star.

Tin Star

This ongoing Amazon Prime series stars Tim Roth (Lie to Me) as Jim Worth, an ex-undercover policeman from Great Britain who relocates with his family to  become chief of police of a Canadian town in the Rocky Mountains. Strangely and prophetically his five-year old child is killed soon after in an attack on the family that has its roots in England and which reveals perhaps the ultimate rogue cop when Jim prepares to retaliate. His shocking history is gradually shown to the audience and members of his family as the drama moves forward. Elizabeth Bradshaw (Christina Hendricks, Mad Men) is the ambitious Vice President of Stakeholder Relations for North Stream Oil. She has the job of trying to maintain a peaceful working relationship between the invasive operation and the local populace, which is made difficult by another dispute with Chief Worth and her own company’s head of security (Christopher Heyerdahl, Hell on Wheels).

The third and final season of this head-snapping roller coaster of a show will debut next year. Here is a one-minute trailer.

Join me next time for more underrated or obscure streaming gems. Email me and follow Stream On OBX on Twitter.

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