Southland: Season 3 (PREVIEW)
Never having seen Southland, I was a little apprehensive about watching the season premiere to the show’s third season.  Would I feel lost and left behind because I missed two seasons worth of storyline?  I’ll credit the writing and strong performances (and cliché stock characters) that let me catch on quickly to all that was going on in the world of Southland.
The episode starts by throwing you right in the middle of a vehicle pursuit, where you don’t know the circumstances until nearly the end of the show.  At least it doesn’t take as long to get a feel for who the characters are on this show and how they interact with each other.  This episode (and probably this show) mainly focuses on three pair of cops.  You have Michael Cudlitz as a veteran beat cop dealing with severe pain from years of bodily abuse.  Ben McKenzie is his rookie partner who still seems to be trying to grasp what it means to wear a shield.  Shawn Hatosy is on the gang squad and doesn’t seem to be above lurking around this side shy of corruption.  His partner Kevin Alejandro wasn’t too clearly identified in this episode, so not sure what he’s about.  And finally you have Regina King and Jenny Gago, two headstrong female detectives with differing styles of police work, who have been recently partnered up, with each wanting to be the top dog in their relationship.  
With so many sets of characters, there are an equal amount of sub-plots going on this episode.  There’s an investigation for the killer of an office building cleaning woman, an attempt to link a gang with the murder of some rival members, even a major firefight in downtown LA.  There are also a few spoilers that I don’t want to ruin for anyone.  But I’m sure if you follow the show, it’ll be something you’ll want to see.  And since I don’t watch the show myself, I can’t tell you if anything from last season’s finale was resolved or answered.  
I’ve heard a lot of good things about this show.  I even have a couple of friends who regularly tweet about it during the season.  But I’ve just never bothered to watch it.  I guess I’ve been spoiled and ruined on layered, multi-character cop shows by Boomtown.  That series was so well done and ahead of its time, that I can’t help but compare any other cop show to it.  And I also fear that any commitment to a similar show will quickly end, much like Boomtown did.  But I will admit that this episode I watched of Southland gets pretty close to my beloved Boomtown.  And knowing it will have at least three seasons under the belt just might be enough to get me to record a season pass.
Review by John Piedrahita