Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Best Of The Best

For my money, frame for frame, TV's best show is "The Shield."

Never has there been a TV character wrapped in shades of gray like Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis), who constantly does the wrong thing for the right reasons. Machiavelli has nothing on Mackey.

Whether it's killing a member of his own team (who was a spy), skimming money and ripping off drug dealers so that he can pay for therapy for his autistic children, or allowing lesser drug dealers to stay in charge (so long as they answer to him) in order to keep the piece in his Farmington section of L.A., Mackey is a master manipulator and one of TV's best-ever characters.

What makes "The Shield" so great is that the rest of the cast is up to the challenge. Be it his former captain-turned-mayoral candidate (Benito Martinez), straight-laced Det. Wyms (CCH Pounder), Mackey's duplicitous right arm, Shane Vendrell (Walton Goggins), or the fantastic guest stars the show has brought in, including Glenn Close, Anthony Anderson and Forest Whitaker, "The Shield" has been compelling viewing the moment it hit the airwaves.

It finally returns tonight (FX, 10 p.m.) picking up where it left off a season ago, with Internal Affairs lieutenant John Kavanaugh (Whitaker) tried to bring down Mackey and his team. The interplay between Whitaker and Chiklis was among the best on TV a season ago, and Whitaker was shamefully robbed of an Emmy nomination.

The show picks up with Mackey trying to find out who killed his teammate Lem (Kenneth Johnson), unaware that he himself unwittingly inspired Shane to do it. Of course, Kavanaugh thinks the deed was done by Mackey. With his back against the wall, that's when Vic is his most dangerous.

On a network that consistently has brought out TV's most interesting shows, "The Shield" has been the cream of the crop.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Assuming you aren't in the midst of your Passover seder (the reason why God invented the VCR), you've got a pretty good slew of new stuff.

Incredibly, I'm recommending "American Idol" (Fox, 8 p.m.) for the second time in three weeks, simply because the inimitable Tony Bennett is the guest. It's followed by a new episode of "House."

CBS is airing new episodes of "NCIS" and "The Unit," while "AI" rival "Dancing With The Stars" (ABC, 9 p.m.) returns.

1 comment:

Zodin2008 said...

I am not sure if I can say this is the single best current show on Television but it wouild probably make my Top 5 of all Dramas (and there are a lot).

I agree completely that Whitaker was robbed, horribly last year and he (like Edie Falco) should have been MAILED their Emmys. The premier is just an hour & 20 minutes at this point--can't wait.