I love television. I really do. I think it all began in university when I discovered Mighty Big TV (now Television Without Pity) while on a break in between classes. I thought that website was so funny (now, not so much – it’s lost a lot of its edge that made it so snarky in the first place) and that I could totally be a writer for that site. I wanted nothing more than to be a writer for that site. I emailed a few times, and never got anywhere, and stopped pursuing it (obviously didn’t want it that bad), but still read the site. It was through this site that I discovered shows that I normally wouldn’t give watch, and reveled in the fact that someone loved Dawson’s Creek cheesiness as much as I did. This site also fostered a “why can’t I do that” kind of attitude in me as well. Like, why can’t I write a book or a blog about something as inane as TV – these people aren’t smarter then me. And so I did. My friend and I decided that we would write a book about television characters that we loved, and see how they would fit in the ‘real’ world. A bit of an abstract idea, but we gave it a shot. And by gave it a shot, I mean, I wrote one blurb about one character and filed it under “The Book” – I don’t recall if my friend ever wrote anything, or if we only brainstormed a list of people we should write about. That was on October 19, 2007. Needless to say, we didn’t pursue the idea (I’m noticing this is a common theme), but here it is nonetheless.
Some things to note: I love The Shield. I thought it was the greatest show on television at the time, it still holds up well. When I originally wrote this, I had literally watched at least 3 seasons of it in a matter of six weeks – I was living and breathing Vic Mackey for a while, so it is pretty intense. I also turned my cousin on to the show and lent him the entire series on DVD – I’m still waiting to get it back.
I don't know about you, but when I find a kilo of uncut heroin in my glove compartment, the first guy I call is my neighborhood detective, Vic Mackey. Why do I call him, before say, Andy Sipowicz? Well, Andy would breathe heavily and wonder how the hell he's going to get me out of this mess, all the while thinking of how he is going to financially support his new daughter from his super hot and super younger girlfriend, Connie, especially since he's so close to retiring. Vic Mackey will deal with my problem with a clear head because he isn't worried about finances--he gave his ex wife 25 grand of stolen money to pay for their child to attend a specialized school for autistic children. Added bonus? If I am down trodden and really vulnerable, there is a good chance that he will probably take advantage of the situation and go down on me too – win win for everyone!
The morally ambiguous center of The Shield is just the man you need to take care of your problems if you don't have an issue with crossing the line every now and then and are okay with him pushing the limits, potentially framing someone else along the way, and committing at least 3 other crimes while trying to cover up the first one. Vic Mackey - you can't just call him Vic, it's Vic Mackey--is always willing to help the less bad people then the really bad people, as long as there is something in it for him (see: the Money Train of Season 4), he is the type of guy your mother told you to stay away from, but you knew that when the shit really hit the fan in your low income housing, he was the first guy your mom called--reason being? He gets shit done.
But like any super cop, he doesn't do it all alone. He has his Strike Team to help him do his work. Ronnie Gardocki is the computer savant of the team, and also had the pleasure of taking a hit for his fearless leader, Vic Mackey, when Armadillo, one of the Strike Team's adversaries of Season 3 burned part of Ronnie's face off using a stove. Shane Vandrell, someone you find yourself oddly attracted to, even though he has a severe overbite, is probably 120 pounds on his period, and is mildly racist is Vic Mackey's go to guy and confidante. He is my number 2 cop to call in case shit hits the fan--willing to go even further than Vic Mackey (spoiler alert: he killed the fourth member of the Strike Team, Curtis Lemansky, the true conscience of the show in the Season 5 finale to ensure his part in the Money Train heist was never revealed) to cover his -- and if he really likes you -- your tracks.
But does the world really need guys like these in law enforcement? Probably not, but does my pretend world, where the chance of someone planting drugs on me is indeed very real need it? Absolutely. They work the mean streets of Farmington, where there are barrios and street walkers, not the quiet streets of suburbia where there are Starbuck's and soccer moms. Which is why unfortunately, Vic Mackey is a necessary evil; he knows the difference between bad guys, and even badder guys, and is willing to do something about it.
Seriously, I love television. How can you not with guys like these?