Tonight at 10 pm on FX, the next to last episode of The Shield debuts. If you've never watched this show, go get the DVDs right now. Sean Ryan's masterpiece is rapping up a 7 Season run that has truly broken ground in television. Ryan, also the man behind CBS' The Unit, has consistently delivered with this program and is going out at the top of his game.
Now, there's no doubt I consider HBO's The Wire the greatest all-time TV show. But Hickman argues The Shield is better and he's got a strong argument. The Wire was able shift focus each season to basically tell an entirely different version of the same story. That meant that each season, Chase and Simon got new central characters to be catalysts for their world. The Shield has been going 7 seasons revolving around the same central characters. Sure, Ryan pulled in season long guest stars to stir the pot, like Forrest Whittaker and Glenn Close. But they were still players in Vic Mackey and the Strike Teams world.
I can't wait to see what happens to end this series. The way Ryan is, you get a feeling there will be no happy ending. It has been a break-neck pace for quite a while. Not bad for a series whose original trailer left me cold: "Good cop, bad cop left for the day. I'm a different kind of cop." I thought it would be cheesy. Cheesy it ain't.