NBC's new cop drama Southland
features a gay cop.
Officer John Cooper (played by Michael Cudlitz) is not the
effete character of yesteryear but a tough guy who pockets a big gun
and happens to be gay.
Thursday's premiere episode revolved
around rookie cop Ben Sherman (played by Ben McKenzie), a rich kid
with a star-lawyer dad whose initiation into the Los Angeles force
proves rocky at first. (But, lucky for us, Sherman looks good in
those police blues and decides to stick around.)
The ER replacement is not about crime
solving per se; it could be described as an intimate portrait of the
men and women that fight crime everyday.
“What we're trying to do is
different,” McKenzie told Entertainment Weekly. “It's not so much about the
resolution of the crime. Who gets punished or doesn't, who goes to
jail or not, but about the people who are working on it, the people
that are first responders to it, the patrol officers in particular.
How are their lives affected by seeing it, by being involved with it,
by being involved with the crime. How does it affect them
emotionally, on the job and off the job.”
It's Sherman's mentor, Training Officer
Cooper, a rugged seasoned cop that turns out to be gay. We first
gleam a bit of the gay in the show's premiere episode when the
sharp-tongued cop turns to a gay bar after a hard day on the beat to
“He is a gay police officer,”
executive producer John Wells tells EW, “[but] certainly at the
LAPD that's not an extraordinary event. It will simply be a fact of