Southland returns for a fourth
season Tuesday on cabler TNT.
Southland, which stars Michael
Cudlitz, Benjamin McKenzie, Regina King and Shawn Hatosy, originally
premiered on NBC, but the network axed the series right before the
start of its second season, prompting TNT to pick up the Los
Angeles-based crime drama.
Cudlitz's tough-as-nails characters of
training officer John Cooper has broken new ground in series
television, yet his sexuality has been mostly overlooked throughout
the show's first three seasons.
Producers haven't ruminated much on
Cooper's sexuality, opting instead to focus on his fall from grace at
the hands of an addiction to pain killers. In fact, so little time
had been devoted to Cooper's personal life that many fans of the show
were surprised last season to see him stumble out of the bed he
shares with boyfriend Caesar.
But Caesar didn't just appear in
Cooper's bed; the pair shared an intimate moment under a cascade of
Memorial Day fireworks at the end of season one.
Last we saw of Cooper he had entered a
clinic for treatment.
Cudlitz has said that he considers his
character's sexuality a reflection of his humanity.
“If I play this character honestly,
and he's looking for all the things that most humans are looking for,
which is human connection and to find love and to be happy, then I
think that I am, by extension, doing the right thing for the gay
community,” he told the Boston
Herald last year.