Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Like Sweet Butter

The final season of The Shield premieres tonight on FX at 10 and it is the best show on TV. It's about dirty cops in LA, namely Vic Mackey and his Strike Team. The Strike Team is corrupt and dirty. They are also gangsters who do whatever they want at all times.

Many shows strive for realism but few hit that mark as cleanly as The Shield. The acting is incredible, and the storyline throughout the whole series has been tight and well-constructed. It reads more like Shakespeare or a Greek morality play than it does a cable TV show. I've always thought it made the Sopranos look like 227. Now, maybe you're not into a television show reaching the artistic heights of great literature. Perhaps that's not your thing. To that I say: Vic Mackey burns a dude's face on a stove.

That should be enough to draw anybody in.

The problem with watching the show is that now I've got a couple friends who are cops, so now I always want to talk them into going dirty. I wouldn't advocate anything serious like murder or blackmail. But how about a little graft? Minor graft never hurt anybody. Maybe sell a little evidence on eBay. It's not like it's going to be in the description online: "This is a great addition to any family room, and the Feds were going to use it to send a coke dealer up the river." And I'm not saying you take drugs out of there, either. Basically, if something innocuous like a lamp, or a bust of Beethoven, is in the evidence room, I say you should sell it. You're underpaid anyway. Wet your beak.

(Unrelated to the rest of the post: how is it that the term "wet my beak" came to describe paying someone off? Do beaked animals inspire fear in other beakless animals, to the point where all the unbeaked animals have to skim off the top of their kids college fund just so a fat Italian platypus in a white fedora won't break their thumbs?)

I never ask for any kind of special treatment though, because I know my limits. I know that once I start, it will go from avoiding parking tickets to actively breaking the law because I know I can get out of it. Of course, there's always the chance that I could go the vigilante route, using my law-breaking ability to do good for society. But a more likely scenario would be me just throwing stuff off a skyscraper to see what happens. And pawning fur coats I stole.

The hardest part about having a friend who's a cop are the hours. One of my boys works the midnight shift, so he's up all night and he calls me while I'm asleep. Last week he left me a message at 2:30 AM that there was a maniac on the loose, and that they were looking for information on his whereabouts.

Okay....tell you what, if I see him in Dreamland, I'll file a report. His last known whereabouts? Last I saw him he was on the moon, and we were bowling. Also, based on what I saw, possible accomplices may include Captain Crunch, my barber, and this nefarious looking character:



I can't bust my friends' balls for being lazy anymore, either. It was easy back in the day when you and your boys all had douchebag-teenage-retail jobs. But there's always a chance he's going to get involved with something crazy as a cop.
"So I bet you're hardly working tonight, huh? Bet you'll get some donuts and coffee, right? Haha! Yeah, I bet you're sitting on your ass right now! What was your first call of the night, anyway?"

"Some dude ripped off another dude's head."

"Oh."

Bottom line - if you haven't started watching the Shield, go out and buy the Season 1 DVD. Start from scratch, and then thank me later. And by thank me, I mean become a cop and then bend over backwards to make sure I don't go to jail for robbing banks.

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