I started watching this show because I was a fan of the movie with Colin Farrell, and I am a fan of Shemar Moore. And the more I got into it, eventually blazing through all four seasons, I have my ups with it and I got problems with it. First and foremost, the level of social programming at play and the PR publicity for cops is immense. Yet, it does manage to call awareness to societal issues that plague current and past times. Almost, nay, every episode is hammering home some sort of social justice which, over time, starts to pile up and become another mindless topic in the background. The fourth season is the only one that I enjoyed because it brought better awareness to the futility and failings of the American justice system. And to the racial politics at play, on both ends, cops and civilians.
That aside, it’s like watching trashy reality TV. You know it’s not great, kind of bad really, but you wanna keep watching to see what happens next. For my case, I had grown attached to the family structure at play between the characters. Between Hondo, Street, Luca, Tan, Deacon, and Chris. And then those outside that family, the Commander, Hicks, extra SWAT members – Rocker, Stevens and Mumford. I really enjoyed the dynamics between all of them, and that sense of camaraderie that follows. This for me was the bread and butter that kept me going. I wanted to see where each character would progress in terms of personal growth. I enjoyed Street’s arc the best, going from a hotshot to a dedicated member of the team. Hondo is the one I had the most issue with. He’s a straight up killer. And the show doesn’t acknowledge that. I’ve lost track of how many people he’s killed, upwards of 50 easily.
I find it ironic his character is trying to fight for what’s right for the black community and for the racial tensions between police and the community. He’s trying to stop the racial profiling at hand, yet if you’re a gangbanger with a gun, you’ll be shot dead. But if you’re a member of society who happened to pick up a gun for some misguided attempt at justice, you’ll be flash-banged and peacefully, albeit painfully, restrained. The show tries to make claims about rehabilitation, but with all the death, it’s clear that they’re trying to say only some lives matter and others don’t. 80% of actual swat calls are for narcotics, more often than not for someone OD’ing. Yet that show would have you thinking they’re used for investigative work (they don’t do that).
As for the acting, camerawork, and music: everything is quite well done. I really enjoy watching the shootouts, as mindless as they are. They give that fix of action in bite size format instead of watching a movie for it. I particularly enjoyed several driving sequences, they were inventive at times. And the camerawork takes some creative liberties that result in fun sequences. Music gets the blood pumping during the action, and pensive when it needs to be.
Overall, if you can get past the social engineering at work then you’ll have a fun time. If you can’t, you’ll not last a whole season. I’m excited for the fifth season, I’d love to see them explore Chris and Street’s burgeoning relationship further. If there was one coupling I was looking forward to the most, it was theirs.