DVD Review: The Shield - Season 5
Release Date: March 27, 2007
· Michael Chiklis
· Benito Martinez
· Walton Goggins
· Official Site
· Season 4 DVD Review
by Chad Maddux
Published: March 28, 2007
The gritty FX cop drama The Shield has returned for another DVD release. The fifth season of, arguably, one of television's best shows, features eleven episodes that originally aired from January 10, 2006 through March 21, 2006.
The television airing schedule of The Shield is sporatic, making it easy to miss. The show airs about a dozen episodes over about three months before disappearing for as long as a year before re-emerging. I'll admit to watching very few episodes when they originally aired on FX. And that's a good thing.
The Shield can best be described as an addiction that needs to be satisfied in large quantities over a short period of time. The show is very engaging, and the benefit of watching it (for the first time) on DVD is that you can cruise right on through to another episode as soon as you finish one.
With that said, The Shield's appeal drops off considerably on repeat viewing. Unlike other police dramas, the intensity of the show is what makes it so appealing. When you watch an episode again, the intensity fades because the suspense-of-the-unknown is gone. Although that is true for all programs, it's more pronounced in this series. I couldn't explain exactly why but that's my observation.
The Strike Team is lead, as always, Detective Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis). This season, they have plenty of intense action. My favorite episode was "Rap Payback." In that episode, a serial killer re-emerges. Also, Lt. Kavanaugh, played by the terrific Forest Whitaker, establishes a new base of operations. Although the action in this episode is not as intense as some of the others, there is a better personal element involving the characters.
The bonus features compliment the season well. They begin with a prequel of the sixth season (currently airing on FX) as well as a tribute to Scott Brazil, a producer who died in April 2006 from complications of ALS. The Fox Movie Channel has a behind-the-scenes featurette on scene production that was straightforward and dull. Chiklis, Whitaker, and Shawn Ryan, the show's creator, sit down for a discussion. A documentary on one of the bigger story lines of show rounds out the offerings.
As I said earlier, ths show isn't as good the second time around. However, that may not be true for everyone. At an average online price around $45, it's hard to recommend an 11-episode season. However, if you didn't see this season when it aired on FX, it's not a bad purchase. If you want to stretch your entertainment dollar further, you might try another series with more episodes.