Last night, NBC's Southland finally
outed its gruff gay cop, becoming only the second network series
during prime time to feature a leading gay character.
Training Officer John Cooper (played by
Michael Cudlitz) has been giving off a gay vibe from the show's first
Our first tip off came during the
show's April premiere, when the sharp-tongued cop turned to a gay bar
after a hard day on the beat to unwind.
Cooper also came to the defense of a
transgender streetwalker who was being harassed by thugs in an
episode titled See The Woman.
But the best evidence we found came
when the tough cop took one for the fairies in last week's episode.
On the beat with partner Ben Sherman
(played by Ben McKenzie), the pair responded to an emergency call at
a tattoo parlor, where an angry, mean looking skinhead has called the
police after a tattoo artist has mistakenly inked Dennis instead of
Denise in bold letters on his back.
“Do I look like a faggot?” the
“I don't know,” Cooper calmly
responds. “What does a faggot look like?”
Up to this point, viewers might still
have been inclined to believe Cooper was just a tough-talking cop
with a sensitive side for queers. After all, he does have an
But such notions were put to bed last
night as Southland became the second network drama to feature
a leading gay character during prime time. ABC's Brothers and
Sisters features three gay men.
Under a cascade of Memorial Day
fireworks, Cooper stops to admire a garden retaining wall built by
Caesar, who comes from behind to join him. Caesar reaches for
Cooper's beer and takes a swig as the pair exchange a tender glance
before Caesar leans in on the policeman.
Cooper might not be perfect, but he's
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