The Southland Premiere
South Los Angeles, 9:45 AM: There is a teenage boy stealing his younger sister's cell phone. They engage in some youthful banter about why they aren't in school, and how the brother shouldn't be texting with a girl who is a ho. Normal teenage stuff. Brother takes off. Sister yells that she hates him. I'm not sure what teenage boy would be caught dead with a pink, outdated cellphone.
Gang Unit, some untold time of day: Det. Bryant is on a cell phone explaining that he didn't have a woman in the car with him, until he's called away. He answers his boss's question about a case then starts chatting with his fellow cops. We learn that his wife recently kicked him out and that he apparently took in a drug dog with some issues. His wife hates the dog. That's his backstory in a nutshell.
Figueroa and 120th Street (thank goodness for the informative little bugs that pop up): We see the annoying brother from before, hopping off the bus and happily chatting with someone on the pink cell phone. He's wearing a white shirt. (Which might mean something in gang land, who knows.) Three guys drive up in a loud car and ask him where he's from. When he responds that he doesn't bang, they shoot him. A lot. The bus driver looks on. I feel slightly bad about the "wouldn't be caught dead" comment before. But not that bad. He is fictional, after all.
Det. Bryant is on the scene, where all of the homeless people around claim that they saw nothing. Not three guys in a really loud vehicle shooting off entire clips into a teenage boy? Nope. Minding their own business. Hey! It's that Mad Men guy, Jimmy Barrett. Here he's playing a cop. He gets around. Some homeless guy loudly tells the cops that the cure to all gang evils is free marijuana. Couldn't hurt... I suppose.
Alvarado Station: Det. Adams (played by the awesome Regina King) is talking to a man who has a missing daughter. He turned around for a second and she was gone. The mother comes in and starts screaming at the irresponsible, presumably ex-husband. Det. Adams calms her down while Det. Clarke (Tom Everett Scott) just stands by quietly.
John and Ben's Patrol Car, Some random time of day (Seems like they've stopped being so nice with the indicators now that we've got the gist of who's who): They pull over a flashy yellow sports car. I'm not good with makes and models, but if I had to guess, I'd say it is Ferrari-esque. The driver is a pretty blonde boy, who sasses back at John, with that petulant "Do you know who my father is" crap. John's heard this before and sasses back without a beat, "Why? Your mother didn't tell you?" I think I'm in love with one officer John Cooper. Seriously. Mike Cudlitz is perfect in this part. Blonde, rich boy sees Ben and thinks that he's being punk'd. He seems to know Ben from rich-boy circles. Ben ignores him and goes into the car and finds his stash. Blondey goes on his whole "just cause" shpiel that he learned from watching COPS. Ben gets to handcuff him, but while doing so, Blondey asks him to help him off the hook. When Ben denies him, Blondey says that he's going to hire Ben's dad to bail him out. (Sandy? Could it be Sandy Cohen? What I wouldn't give to see Peter Gallagher and his amazing eyebrows on this show.) Snotting that Ben's dad must be real proud of his son the cop. This show is shaping up to be good, but it would have been better if Ben just smacked him once. Just once.