April 5, 2010

props to southland's shawn hatosy

I watch a lot of television. All kinds. I can rely on many shows to deliver noteworthy moments every week - shows like Mad Men and lately Modern Family make me want to post clip after clip on this blog.

Other shows fall further below the radar with actors who will likely never receive golden statues, but still deserve recognition for some great performances. Shawn Hatosy's performance in last week's episode of Southland called "What Makes Sammy Run?" was one of those for me.

If you don't know, Southland was a discarded NBC cop series dropped by the network for being "too gritty" but quickly picked up by TNT. Although it remains to be seen if the show will live to see a third season, TNT proved to be a good home for their second season.

There are a few kinks with the characters and storytelling that need to be worked out, but this show has something special that many cop dramas haven't since the days of NYPD Blue and Homicide. The stories written and performed for Ben McKenzie (Officer Ben Sherman) and Michael Cudlitz (Officer John Cooper) have been particularly strong.

All of that said, nothing has moved me more than Shawn Hatosy's performance as Detective Sammy Bryant last week. There were no monologues or action scenes, nothing too crazy, but just damn good, subtle dramatic acting. I won't give too much away, but these scenes involved a young boy who has appeared continually throughout the series. He's a kid living in a gang-ridden neighborhood in a family with a deep history of crime and gang activity. Detective Bryant is trying to save this kid from that life by encouraging his other interests, which include reading books that most young boys wouldn't go near. It's a sad ending for this kid (though not the one you would expect) and the raw emotion and grief that Bryant feels is beautifully played by Hatosy. It's the kind of scene that sweeps you up and gets your heart racing.

I've been a fan of Hatosy's since his performance in the Farrelly brothers' comedy Outside Providence, which took place in the area where I grew up. Shawn, if Saved by the Tube was handing out little golden statues, there'd be one with your name on it. Made of chocolate.

Check out "What Makes Sammy Run?" on the TNT site, which has full episodes available. TNT also runs repeats quite often if you want to catch up on this season. That episode alone has me on board for season three. What say you, TNT?


Crazy said...

Come on TNT! Are you listening???


Anonymous said...

This show is one of the best on TV right now and your review just gave me goosebumps. It was an awesome episode! I really hope TNT keeps it going!

Anonymous said...

Please sign this Petition to Renew Southland.

You can also send a tweet to:

And send an email to these individuals.
Philip I. Kent
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Turner Broadcasting System

Steve Koonin
President, Turner Entertainment Networks

Michael Wright
Executive Vice President
Head of Programming
TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies

Join the Southland Facebook.

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