DVDs in Review #6 - The Shield, Season 1

Category: , , , By Rev/Views

I'm watching through The Shield again right now, so each season is going to get it's own review followed by an overall rating.


The Shield is one of 'The Big Three' as far as I'm concerned, one of the few shows that has raised its game so far ahead of the pack that it's premier league material. Currently there are only three drama shows that I've allowed into the premier league, others are close - but I've only let in "The Wire", "The Shield" and "Dexter" so far.

The Shield is in essense a cop show with a twist, it depicts a darker tone than most cop shows out there. Willing to show cops as being corrupt and performing actions which break the law themselves. While the police in "The Wire" are willing to step over the line at times, The Shield's strike team permanently live in the shadow. Still they're not cartoonish villains by any stretch of the imagination. They're portrayed as having both good and bad sides quite well.

Watching the first season again (I'm halfway through it now) I'm reminded just how good this show is. While I often tout it's brilliance to people I know, rewatching it has reminded me that it's better than I remember. Able to balance a mix of 'case of the week' and metaplot so perfectly that at times it just doesn't feel like a traditional cop show at all. "The Wire" is 'a case a season' and CSI is 'a case per episode' but "The Shield" is such a wonderful mix that it actually feels natural. The main plot threads of this season happily wind their way through fantastic scenes, both in home and in 'The Barn' (as the station is called). It's no wonder that this season was nominated for the highest number of Emmys in a single year ever and Michael Chikilis won one. It's close to perfect, if a little hard for the average TV watcher to stomach. But we have nothing but scorn for the average TV drone don't we?



The Shield is a pretty standard looking box. Not flashy or clever in appearance, it mirrors the shows style quite well. It's has 4 DVDs in a 2 page plastic book contained within the standard dust sleeve. Functional, smart looking and it does the job. There's nothing to get overly excited about, the graphics on the DVDs and the case all fit the style of the show perfectly and it doesn't take up too much shelf space. But there is also nothing to complain about either. It's well executed and looks good.



Every episode has commentary on it and there are a selection of special features on the fourth DVD. I'll have to get back to this once I've reached the final DVD. (Yes I'm writing this prematurely... but who cares, it's not like anyone ever reads this blog anyway.)

It has listed:
  • Audio commentaries
  • 'Behind The Shield' featurette
  • 'FX' featurette
  • Screenplay for the pilot episode
  • Cast audition footage
  • Outtakes and deleted scenes
  • Easter Eggs (hidden features)
  • Interactive menu
I'll get back on this when I've had a chance to browse it.

I've been through them now. They're very good, but not amazing:


The Shield can be had for the amazingly low price of £12. It has 13 Episodes, running for a total of 9 hours and 35 mins. That's just over 2p per minute. Which puts it right up alongside Skins. This is such incredible value that everyone who likes cop shows, gritty drama or shows that challenge their viewpoint on life should purchase.


Show: 10
Packaging: 8
Features: 8
Price: 10
Final Score: 90%

We have a new leader in the DVD arena now. This is the very definition of Must Buy TV!


2 comments so far.

  1. Anonymous 1 June 2012 at 18:46
    Good review, but Dexter sucks a lot.
  2. Rev/Views 19 July 2012 at 13:31
    Yup, Dexter does indeed suck. But it didn't at the time I wrote this review, the 1st season of Dexter was a masterpiece.

    Dexter has fallen far from my top 3 in the years between. :)

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