Dec 24, 2022·edited Dec 24, 2022

I am not sure I would call their attitude “right wing”. I have family who lived (and stayed, post 1960s/70s riots) in decaying inner cities and were part of the Democrat machine running the city (some also worked in police and fire depts). They voted Dem religiously but held similar views to the Shield folks. There were a lot of white, otherwise “liberal” and loyal Dem voters and city residents from FDR days to Rizzo and Koch who felt that way.

Nowadays these sorts of views (against crime, disorder, a collapse in standards, mixed in with some racism or at least condescension ) in cities is mostly found amongst the Asian communities in Dem-run cities (and most of this community votes Dem- the Republicans amongst them tend to flee sooner to the suburbs).

The governments of San Francisco and other big cities might eventually even make a case for a Shield remake (except this time the cops let the city and its people rot?)

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Yeah IDK, it's very clear from the first episode that the Michael Chiklis character and Strike team are incredibly dubious characters. One of my favorite shows of all-time (but never really got its proper due imo) and I thought the ending was great.

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My own take is that everything the Strike Team does is self-interested. They make money off the criminals and enterprises they encounter, skimming a percent, getting kickbacks, or clearing the way for their other criminal partners, and they get paid to do it. Even the rare 'effective altruism' they employ gives them currency to continue in their position, with improved status and credibility, to exploit their situation.

As discussed in 'Difficult Men' by Brett Martin (7/10), Walter White and Tony Soprano are other examples of dark patriarchs who convince themselves that "a man provides." Also, a reason Mackey is good at his job and focuses on what he wants, might be that he himself has a sprinkling of the Autistic condition. Lots of irony in the show, i.e. double-meaning of 'The Shield', Shane's marrying of Mara to prevent the possibility of her testifying against him, locations of urban blight-and-crime referred to as 'The Farm', and headquarters located inside of a church. Vic pointing out the 'shame' Shane would feel if Vic visited Shane's kids set up the ending nicely. Shane couldn't leave his kids alive, and Mara was 'ride-or-die' and had to go, too. Rob's comment about Shane caving under pressure was spot-on. That commentary had Benito Martinez (Acevedo) saying "Shane didn't understand the win-win", very true, and he painted himself into his corner. Mara and Shane lay down together, turned off the lights, and closed their eyes. It was the plan for them. btw, I learned of 'Difficult Men' through Rob's twitter and Will Storr's recommendation to Rob. Awesome.

Production budgets were about 1/3 of broadcast one-hour drama on FX, per the DVD commentary. The show is given credit for innovating the walk-around steadicam technique to tape a conversation with multiple characters, i.e. four detectives standing in a circle, the camera walking around them as they exchange lines back and forth. No setup, blocking lighting, editing required. And it looks great. Commentaries were well worth the time, watching the episode again with actors, writers, directors talking about the show in general and episode in particular. In example, Clark Johnson directed the pilot and series finale of both “The Shield” and “The Wire”, plus helped with fight choreography and stunts. During the show's original run 2002 - 2008, FX was also doing rebroadcast of network syndicated shows that were cheap to acquire, like Dynasty, Batman, Fantasy Island, Eight Is Enough, Grizzly Adams, etc. at that time. Original programs like this. done cheaply, was risky but put FX in the mind of the public.

Appreciate Marc's assessment of the spiking violent crime rate in South L.A. at 5x. There is another theory, that L.A. politicians are at war with police. It is a proxy for the crime rate, criminals vs. citizens. City and County Affirmative Action hiring, there is no downside to exceeding quotas. The incarceration rates and crime rates by race are an embarrassment to those responsible for keeping order. Small hints of race-talk, Vic Mackey saying "like white on rice" and "not even on Cinco De Mayo" but it seemed to me Vic was just pushing buttons, not speaking with hate. Vic's humanity is also shown in keeping new officer Julien Lowe's homosexuality private. "Last time I saw you, you were with someone a little more...male." Also, there didn't seem to be any payoff for Vic to do so, other than pure meanness. The street gang "Spook Street", that wouldn't play in 2023. Noticed the nervous chuckles from Richard and Rob when Marc blurted out "crime is going absolutely bananas." You all handled it well.:-)

Interesting observation by Richard and Rob, about character Ronnie. The actor was a roommate of show creator Shawn Ryan. Shawn Ryan asked him a favor, and to do the pilot for the show as an extra, because there wasn't budget for a speaking part. Kind of a big 'ask' because David Rees Snell was already a working actor. Ryan promised him if the show was picked up, he would hire his old roommate as a regular, and was good to his word. Ronnie also contributed to the Strike Team by acting as IT support. Still cringe thinking about his face burned on the stove. Strike Team is not for sissies. Loved the show, thanks for all of your very considered words in discussion this (and every) podcast.

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Vic Mackey, in the end, was a rat.

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Shane killing his family was an echo of the Christ Benoit murders-suicide which happened in 2007.

Interesting in how the Sopranos Tony commits his worst act late in the series while the Shield does it in the pilot. Although a true Shield fan would consider his betrayal of Gardocki his worst act.

I had never heard the Suge Knight conspiracy theory of seeding LAPD with Bloods until this podcast.

All day, today, I was trying to historically recast the Strike Team with Black and Puerto Rican actors. All I could think of was Nestor Serrano and the guy that played Tavon. Tavon had an edge to him and it would have been interesting to explore Vic bring him into the fold if Mara hadn't clocked him with the iron. What TV guys would you cast in that role?

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My recollection is that the Strike Team stole money for themselves, and then committed a very large number of crimes to cover up their crimes (and then more crimes to cover up the crimes they committed as part of that cover up and so on). The two detectives who weren't part of the Strike Team just did their jobs to stop crime directly rather than engaging in all that BS.

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Didn't watch "The Shield" so really shouldn't comment.

But folks we're turning into a servalience police state. Cameras everywhere. Every stroke of key board watched and put into an algorithmic AI node. Cancel culture omnipresent. Voter right supression.

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