Reflecting on the L.A. of Southland

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Michelle Togut

Michelle Togut resides in North Carolina with her husband and pets. She has worked as an adjunct professor of history, contributor and writer, and small-firm attorney, among other things. These days, she's trying to sell real estate. For fun, she reads political blogs of all persuasions, practices yoga, drinks wine, hikes, reads, and volunteers for a local animal rescue.

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Tod Kelly
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    says:

    Great post. But…

    Here’s my big question, Michelle: I’ve never seen Southland, and if it’s in its 5th season I hesitate turning it on. Can I jump in the middle, or will I be hopelessly lost if I don’t commit to many weekends of Netflixing seasons 1-4 first?Report

  2. Avatar Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Can someone who’s seen both compare it to The Shield (also a dark cop show set in LA)?Report

    • Avatar trumwill mobile in reply to Mike Schilling
      Ignored
      says:

      If you liked The Shield, you should like this, too. It’s not as ambitious or as much a morality tale, and has less in the way of long arcs, but has more of a real feel to it (bleeps aside).Report

  3. Avatar Major Zed
    Ignored
    says:

    I <3 Southland. Glad it's back.Report

  4. Avatar Aidian
    Ignored
    says:

    NBC executives allegedly nixed it because it was too dark and disturbing.

    Actually, FWIW, they nixed it because it cost too much to produce. This despite being one of the few bright spots in NBC’s dismal ratings at the time. It wasn’t that the network wasn’t making money off it, but that they figured they’d make a lot more money off something that was a lot cheaper to produce, even if it got lower ratings. An NBC exec was quoted in one of the trade magazines as saying they were “programming for margin.” Which, translated from executive means something like “we’re not even trying to make hit shows anymore.”Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Aidian
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      says:

      I’m sure they’ve crunched the numbers on this, but I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around how spending a bit more on a hit show, which brings in viewers for your other less expensive shows, and therefore makes you more money on those, doesn’t beat getting lower ratings for everything.Report

      • Avatar Barry in reply to Chris
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        says:

        I guess that the top executives have given up on growth, and are figuring to just harvest things, so to speak. And you could make a good case for an expensive new show, but it’d mean nothing if the execs simply refused to believe.Report

        • Avatar Michelle in reply to Barry
          Ignored
          says:

          My understanding is that TNT produces the show on a smaller budget. They did this, in part, by culling down the cast, which has worked out because it allows for more focus on the main four or five characters.Report

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