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5 Reasons to Watch Southland’s Season Four Premiere “Wednesday” 

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

Warning: Spoilers Discussed

I am seriously passionate about this show. I can’t claim to have been a fan of Southland since the beginning because I didn’t even watch it until it moved to TNT. Part of me has to applaud NBC for trying something so audaciously different but the other part of me has to applaud more loudly for TNT for saving this diamond in the rough. This show belongs on cable and TNT has done a lot to support it (namely, continuing to renew it). I know loyal fans like me can’t wait for Season 4 to premiere, but I hope new watchers won’t be scared away. You don’t need to know everything that’s come before to enjoy “Wednesday.” Here are five reasons to watch the season premiere of this great drama.

1. We don’t often see Lucy Liu like this and she’s a bit of a revelation here. I heard John Wells called her up and offered her this part because he wanted to see her do something different. I can’t say I’m complaining because I’ve liked her in a lot of things but I’m especially loving her as Officer Jessica Tang. Yes, it’s a ridiculously obvious last name to give her – can’t you just hear the nicknames in your head? – but I like what she’s done with this role. I like seeing her tough – like she’s been in Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill – and I’m loving her partnership with John Cooper so far. Bonus: She’s notorious in the department, but not in the way you might expect. You’ll find out why by the end of the hour.

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

2. Michael Cudlitz is back and looking better than ever. After his John Cooper went to rehab at the end of last season it wasn’t difficult to imagine he’d be in even worse shape. But as the show starts he’s the first person we see and he’s in the middle of a bruising workout. I can’t tell you how happy I was to see him in such good shape. He’s had back surgery and finally knows what it’s like to live pain free. And there’s a great moment of miscommunication between the new partners that will definitely make you uncomfortable. Perhaps the most interesting part of his first day back on the job? His encounter with old boot Ben Sherman.

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

3. Benjamin McKenzie‘s Ben Sherman and Shawn Hatosy‘s Sammy Bryant are partners now. Sammy made the decision to trade in his detective’s suit for a patrol uniform to help train officers. And Ben Sherman’s training is now over. While I loved the drama of Sherman and Cooper I’m loving the drama of Sherman and Bryant in an entirely different way. Bryant’s trying to co-parent his kid with Tammy and Sherman’s sowing his wild oats, which is something we haven’t really seen from him before. But more than that he’s trying to be a good cop and do things by the book, which is causing waves with some of the elder statesmen. Bonus: There is a tense scene with Sherman that is so well played you’ll be on the edge of your seat. His safety is seriously compromised and you’ll wonder if he can make it out.

4. Lou Diamond Phillips is making all kinds of trouble and mostly for Ben Sherman. He plays Danny Ferguson, a veteran cop who’s seen too much and can’t necessarily be bothered to go by the book. He and Sherman butt heads in a big way and it’s Bryant who acts as a sort of go-between to keep the peace. And just when you’re about to write Ferguson off, he does something surprising. I won’t say more than that but I’m looking forward to getting to know Ferguson better.

Photo Credit: Doug Hyun/TNT

5. Regina King‘s Lydia has a new partner. That bit of information should come as no surprise because Lydia’s like a revolving door when it comes to partners. Despite that drama, Lydia is and remains a tough, dedicated cop. I love her chemistry with her new partner and in this episode we see her continuously try to do the right thing by a CI, even though that CI makes it tough. By the end of the hour we see what those decisions cost Lydia.

I plan to watch the season premiere at least one more time. I’m sure there are some things I missed and it’s definitely good enough to watch again.

Season 4 of Southland premieres Tuesday, January 17th at 10/9c.

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