Saturday, May 12, 2007

Hoopla! - Episode 21: The Shield!!!

Hello and welcome to Hoopla! Normally this column focuses on comic-book-y things, like comic-book news, reviews, etc. This week, however, is going to be a little different. I just recently finished watching Season Five of The Shield, the phenomenally cool TV series about a group of cops led by Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) who aren't above planting evidence on suspects, beating confessions out of people, stealing drugs and money from other criminals and, if necessary, murder.

In fact, there's nothing that they're above. And that's what makes them so damn lovable.

Michael Chiklis, as a warm and compassionate teddy-bear of a cop.

As I go through today's feature, I'll do my best not to "spoil" any surprises from the show because my hope is that each and every one of you will rent/buy/steal The Shield ASAP. It is the single best program currently on TV. Yes, better than The Wire... better than Battlestar Galactica... better than Deadwood... and roughly a bazillion times more suspenseful than Lost even when Lost was at its best!

Anyway, an interesting trend in the past couple of seasons of The Shield has been the inclusion of actors one wouldn't normally expect to see on a TV show. Season Four featured Glenn Close as Police Captain Monica Rawling (Close), the new Captain of "The Barn" (the building where Vic and the others work). I was dubious about Glenn Close being on the show, but her character fit in perfectly and her acting was superb.

Even more impressive was Forest Whitaker in his outstanding guest-star role as Det. John Kavanaugh, the upright, tormented Internal Affairs cop determined to destroy Det. Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) and his corrupt LAPD Strike Team.

Normally, I can take or leave Whitaker, but his performance in The Shield is one of the best I've ever seen. By anyone. Ever.

Anyway, this got me thinking what other famous stars and celebrities might be a good fit for the show, and that's what this week's extra bonus feature is all about...

The Top Three People I'd like to see guest-star on The Shield...

1) John Cleese.

Brought in as yet another new commanding officer, John Cleese would play a by-the-book captain transferred from Scotland Yard to help whip Vic and the gang into shape.

Drawing on his years of experience at the Ministry of Silly Walks, John Cleese would bring a much-needed sense of structure and dignity to the Barn.

2) Vice President Dick Cheney

Usually, Vic and his strikeforce have to contend with superior officers who want to punish them for breaking the rules. What would they do, however, with a superior officer who wants to nail them for being too soft on crime?

Cheney: Officer Mackey! I just saw that suspect from the arson case going home. What the hell is going on here?

Mackey: Sorry, sir. It turns out he was innocent.

Cheney: Innocent of this particular crime, sure, but what about other crimes? Did it ever occur to you to interrogate him about some of the other crimes we're investigating? He's sure as hell guilty of something!

Mackey: Well... I guess we could do that. But, wouldn't we need to charge him with something?

Cheney: Heh. That's pretty good, Mackey. "Charge him with something." Heh. I gotta remember that one.

Mackey: But...

At first, Mackey and the strikeforce would be excited to have a superior officer who sees the world the way that they do, but after a while it would get to be too much for them. Brutal torture of suspects, people detained without charges being brought... the possibilities are endless!

"Don't you Miranda Rights me, you lousy son of a #!@& !!!"

3) Hugh Grant

Bringing a much-needed dose of romance and whimsy, Hugh Grant could guest-star for a season as a potential love interest for Officer Claudette Wyms (CCH Pounder). At first, Vic and the gang would be willing to ignore Hugh Grant, but after a while he would become an impediment to their work as he shows up at the Barn with bouquets of flowers and serenades Claudette while she works at her desk.

There's only one way this story could end, and that's with Vic and Shane beating Hugh Grant to death. Possibly as a prank.

As a final dramatic touch, as the camera pulls back from Hugh Grant's grave, a single flower would rise from the earth in full bloom, suggesting that love, like a Marvel super-hero, never truly dies.


Well, that's it for my top three people I'd like to see guest-star on The Shield. If any of you in reader-land have any ideas, I'd love to hear 'em and if they're good enough, maybe we can do a sequel to this feature soon.

In the meantime, stop reading those dang comics and watch The Shield. As the kids like to say, it's da bomb.

NEXT WEEK: I don't know. Comic-book reviews, maybe? Yeah, let's say that. Let's say... next week there will be comic-book reviews. In fact, let's say that next week we'll be debuting a brand-new monthly feature. And looking at sneak peeks of what's coming in August.
Until then, I leave you with this...

- Paul

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