I said goodbye to an old friend on Tuesday night as I watched the finale of The Shield">. Although there are other shows that I have also loved (The Wire, The West Wing), no show consistently kicked me in the throat quite like the Shield.
To be honest -- I was late to the party on both The Wire (watched it in its entirety this summer) and The West Wing (thank you, Bravo reruns). I was able to watch The Shield from the very beginning and have done my best to keep up with the show on a consistent basis over the years.
It was with mixed feelings that I said goodbye to the show. I think that some parts of year 4 and 5 got a little stale with the "strike force" seemingly always one step ahead of the consequences of their actions. On the other hand, the performances from the ensemble cast were always terrific. If you haven't had an opportunity to watch this series -- I strongly encourage buying or borrowing the DVD sets.
Writer Shawn Ryan did a great job tying the show together -- with every character facing being forced to consider their fate after six years on the job. Immediately after the show I found myself checking the Internet for audience feedback on the end of the show. There are some particularly good articles from Salon.com and the New York Times (watch for spoilers!)
FX also did a great job creating both one on one and cast conversations from the cast and crew. There's a lot of great stories in this collection (I spent the better part of Wednesday listening to this clips). Sometimes the brilliance of a show can be seen by the respect that a cast has for one another. I loved when the West Wing cast talked about the family atmosphere on the set. Here is a great one on one between two castmates and friends, Ken Johnson and Walton Goggins. Thanks for the memories and for paving the way basic cable dramas.