Anyone out there a fan of The Shield? Or, should I say, used to be a fan of the show since it’s officially over and done with? Wes and I were big fans of the show for a long time now. He got me into it back during the very beginning of our relationship. Back then, if I was watching TV it was either because of a good movie or because I wanted to kill some time watching the Classical Arts Showcase. When Wes suggested The Shield to me, I initially balked. The show was on too late, it was really violent, and he never wanted to come watch it with me.
Then, I went to college. College changed things, the most dramatic changes being that I was now a good three hours’ drive away from Wes the majority of the time and I was watching more TV than I ever had before. I was ready to try this show he was so excited about. Every week, Wes and I would commandeer a TV (him at his house, I in my dorm room) and watch the program while on the phone with each other. Mind you, this entailed a solid hour of cell phone call, none of it spent talking. We watched the show together from opposite sides of the state, and it was something we looked forward to every week.
As you can see, this show’s been with us for a long time. Seven years, in fact. A lot has changed in our relationship during this show. We’ve broken up, gotten back together, gotten engaged and then married; we’ve gone from living with parents to living on our own; this show’s seen me through high school, college, and now worker-bee-dom. I know I butchered the syntax of that sentence, but I hope you get what I’m trying to convey. This show meant a lot to us. We kind of grew up with these characters, and while we despised virtually every decision they made, we watched and we hoped for the best outcome because there was a connection there.
The last season, which we just finished almost a year behind everyone else because that’s how we roll, was a dismal finish for us. Both Wes and I were horrified by how the show writers chose to leave it. The last episode in particular was perhaps the most hurtful of all. The show writers left a few loose story threads dangling, they chose an abhorrent and upsetting end for some, and left the main character’s fate maddeningly ambiguous. I don’t think it’s artsy to leave readers/viewers guessing, I think its downright inconsiderate.
I’m not saying the acting wasn’t superb, or that the story ended in a way that I would consider inconsistent with the other seasons. It’s just that after everything these show writers have put us through, watching characters we liked die too soon while watching the evil ones flourish and take others down with them, to leave it on such a vague and unsettling tone was a slap in the face. As much as I used to love this show, I honestly wish I’d never started watching it. Not well played, not well played at all.