Michael Chiklis often grabs the plaudits for his portrayal of detective Vic Mackey, controlling the dealers and gang-bangers of LA's fictional Farmington with his renegade Strike Team, but this DVD release of The Shield's first series is a jolting reminder of how creator Shawn Ryan conceived it as a complex ensemble piece steeped in moral ambiguity. Ryan exposes the politics and brutality that underpin police work, while the handheld photography makes gunfights, rape and murder hideously real. Brilliant.

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Television Roundup

Michael Chiklis often grabs the plaudits for his portrayal of detective Vic Mackey, controlling the dealers and gang-bangers of LA’s fictional Farmington with his renegade Strike Team, but this DVD release of The Shield’s first series is a jolting reminder of how creator Shawn Ryan conceived it as a complex ensemble piece steeped in moral ambiguity. Ryan exposes the politics and brutality that underpin police work, while the handheld photography makes gunfights, rape and murder hideously real. Brilliant.