It’s been a year since I said goodbye to the members of Southland’s incredibly attractive, incredibly damaged LAPD, and I still can’t let them go. You can blame it on the fact that we left John Cooper lying on the ground bleeding, or you can blame it on the fact that the finale was one of the show’s greatest episodes to date, but honestly, I think it’s simpler than all that. I blame it on the fact that I still can’t wrap my head around the idea that some people think a show that good didn’t deserve a future.
For five seasons, Southland had delivered rich stories, complex characters, and mesmerizing performances. And personally, I felt like season 5 was the culmination of all that. I don’t think I’ve ever been more captivated (and scarred) by an hour of television than I was by season 5, episode 9 titled “Chaos.” And just one week later, before I’d even recovered, we were saying goodbye.
At the time, the only thing holding me together was a rumor of a Southland movie, and even though that never came to be, I recently spoke with EP Christopher Chulack, as well as stars Michael Cudlitz, Ben McKenzie, and Shawn Hatosy about the idea, and everyone is still on board.
So now that we know what the show’s cast and crew would want out of a two-hour movie, I have a few thoughts of my own:
John Cooper: I’ve been promised that my favorite character would be alive, but the rest is unknown. And as much as I’d like to see him happy, I’d prefer it if he were still struggling with his demons. But with that said, I need the series to end with some sort of glimmer of hope for him. Even if it’s just Ben Sherman sitting next to him on a bar stool, and the two of them sharing a moment. So long as Coop is alive and not totally at rock bottom, I’ll be happy. (And I’m serious about a Ben-Coop moment. I want one.)
Sammy Bryant: Sammy’s a complicated one for me. The one thing I know I want is for Tammi not to make an appearance. I guess I want Sammy to have found a sane woman to come home to, and I want him to have found some success at training young officers considering what happened with Ben. However, during the two hours, I also need a face-off between Sammy and Ben, if only because their last scene together is my favorite in the entire series. Give me anger, guys! I can take it.
Lydia Adams: Lydia was the one character on the show who really ended things on a good note. She and Russell had rekindled a little something, and it felt like her personal life was falling into place. So, I’m not sure what comes next. Maybe you take the happiness down a notch and show her trying to navigate life having both a boyfriend and a baby daddy. I’d also like to request that she sprint at some point and carry a rifle, because let’s face it, Lydia was the biggest badass on the show.
Ben Sherman: For the longest time, I thought I wanted to see Ben find his moral center and find his place in the sun. But honestly, after chatting with Ben McKenzie, I think it’d be fascinating to see Ben Sherman in a new position – maybe on SWAT – not having learned anything from his past mistakes. Maybe that will cost him something in the movie. Maybe we’ll end the series with him finally realizing the difference between good and bad. Or maybe we won’t.
The bottom line is that I’d watch anything, even if, as Hatosy pitched me, the entire cast of Duck Dynasty showed up and killed everyone.
So if this movie happens, what would you all like to see? And who’s starting a Kickstarter? Let us know in the comments below.