Monday, April 29, 2013

"SouthLAnd" -- My Favorite "Bad Ben" Moment

"SouthLAnd" again.  Yeah.

As you know, if you are a "SouthLAnd" fan, Officer Ben Sherman has -- put simply -- gone from being a kind-hearted, wide-eyed rookie to being "Bad Ben" (as my Bridget likes to call him).  He began the series as a new cop eager to do the job as it was taught to him at the Police Academy, but has become an "ends justifies the means" type of dude -- seeming to proclaim himself the ultimate "arbiter of good and evil."  The path taken by Officer Ben has been executed beautifully by the "SouthLAnd" folk -- creators, producers, writers, directors, costume designers, hair stylists, make-up artists, and, of course, the actor (Mr. Ben McKenzie) himself.  Our ride-along with this character has been an unexpected journey -- filled with heroism, hope, adventure, romance, suspense, and heartbreak.  And the whole thing culminated in the Season 5 finale with Officer Sherman lying (laying???) on the ground in seeming defeat, suffering the consequences of his misguided decisions.

This Tale Of Officer Sherman has been wonderful for the show and for the actor.  It has brought depth and complexity to "SouthLAnd," and has shown the extraordinary ability of Mr. McKenzie to portray different types of characters.  Nobody will ever be able to pigeon-hole this guy from here on out.  The whole thing has also been, perhaps, just a little bit hard on the hearts of us viewers.  I have to admit, though, that it can be kind of fun watching Officer Ben be a bad guy.  At times, it has even been amusing.  And I would like to share with you one of the moments in which -- I admit -- I was actually grinning.  And giggling.

In Episode 10 of Season 5, Officer Ben is, basically, panic-stricken.  The walls are closing in around him, and the heaviest of those walls involves the fact that he had his girlfriend's rather dim-witted brother break into his partner's house to steal a potentially career-ending videotape.  The escapade, naturally, went awry; and now Officer Ben is trying to keep his very bright, former-detective partner from figuring the whole situation out.  Part of Officer Ben's strategy is to threaten his girlfriend's brother and convince him to leave town.

So, we see Officer Ben lurking behind a wall in his cop uniform, awaiting the arrival of the unsuspecting brother, whose name is Chris.  Chris comes nonchalantly walking along, not a care in the world, when he is spotted by Officer Ben.  Officer Ben peeks out from around the corner -- where he is hiding like a hunter in a duck blind -- and whistles at Chris.  HE. WHISTLES.  In a way that is both menacing and rather hilarious.  And I find myself in a fit of giggles on my sofa.  And I am thinking to myself, "I have no idea who thought of that whistle thing right there.  I have no idea if it was the writers or the director or Mr. McKenzie.  But, whoever thought of it was freaking brilliant."  Officer Ben then marches (?), strides (?), walks authoritatively and with great purpose (?) over to Chris and proceeds to deliver a rather frightening speech about how he's gonna "bury him" if he tries to pull anything that would incriminate Officer Ben in any type of way, etc.  Officer Ben "encourages" Chris to make himself scarce and backs this encouragement up by stuffing what appears to be a wad of cash into the ignorant fool's pocket. (Officer Ben always has plenty of cash on hand.  Trust fund from his dysfunctional parents, I suppose.)

I find myself just loving this whole scene.  I find myself gleefully imagining what I would do if I were Chris's mother.  Because, frankly, if I were Chris's mother, the boy would not be able to leave town without me wresting from him all the facts about what in the hell was going on.  Actually -- if I were Chris's mother -- I would have had a handle on the whole situation long ago, and it never would have gotten so far and Officer Ben would not be hanging out with my either of my kids.  But, anyway, once I had extracted all the information about this ridiculous situation from my ridiculous son, I would have given Officer Ben a little speech of my own that would have sent him -- tail between his legs -- back to that Castaic place from whence he came.

(Excuse me, please.  I am having too much fun here.)

So, back to my point.  Which was???  Oh, yes.  I remember.

My point was -- and is -- that although the phenomenon of "Bad Ben" is rather hard on us Officer Sherman fans, it can also be a fascinating thing to watch -- and sometimes even a lot of fun.  And I am grateful for this to all of the people who bring us "SouthLAnd."  It has been quite a roller coaster ride.  And I do love roller coasters. ;-)  

1 comment:

  1. Wait, his partner is NOT about the dimmest bulb possible on the tree along with being incredibly self-absorbed and so dirty that no soap will do the trick? Honestly, the only word that goes with the other half of that horribly contrived, forced, unrealistic, forced by TNT partnership is the furthest thing from bright.