Southland‘s Gay Beat [SPOILER]


Michael Cudlitz's character John Cooper finishes his day with a stop at the bar for a beer. The pullback reveals the kind of bar Cooper hangs out at.

E! reports: "The very subtle reveal that  Cudlitz's tough-guy cop is gay will be explored in more depth in episode three in a seven-minute scene that was cut out of tonight's pilot for time. Says Wells, 'He is a gay police officer [but] certainly at the LAPD that's not an extraordinary event. It will simply be a fact of his life.'"

One to watch.



  1. Leland Frances says

    They could still fuck it up big time [creater Wells is NUTS—being a gay cop, regardless of official policies, is STILL extraordinary in terms of how many feel accepted enough to be out on the job which research shows are very few. At least in the first episode, Cooper’s being gay was NOT just a “fact of his life” but one he chose not to reveal to his trainee at the moment when, where he totally out on the force, would have been logical: when they pulled up along side the other cop car with the gay guy in the back seat who’s been busted for whatever in a gay cruising area THAT WE THEN SEE again in that final gay bar reveal scene. “ER” was more miss than hit vis-a-vis gays [totally unrepresentative of the number of gay nurses, male and female, there are], so proceed with caution.

    Nonetheless, it’s already made history as [to the best of my early A.M. memory] the first non-gay centric TV drama in which one of the two LEADS is gay, and a butch gay cop at that!

    My other reactions, while mostly positive, were mixed. But that gay character is played magnificently by Cudlitz. His naturalistic delivery of lines often overcomes their inherent cliche/failed eloquence [tough, seen-it-all, no-time-for-bullshit cop]. And, tho it won’t happen here EITHER, I was one of those silly savages who wanted to see “Ryan” [McKenzie, who may have played the gay character in Albee’s “Zoo Story” at U of V & is a 9 on my Gaydar] and “Seth” to civil union in “The O.C.”

    Frankly, I don’t care if “Southland’s” good, by my “artistic” standards [or all ye who live to dis, no doubt, clocking in soon] or not. I just want to see a mostly-positive gay lead character on a show that Middle America will watch. The top pro reviewers like it, with some qualifications, but shows they’ve boned for, particularly premiering this late in the still semi-traditional network season, have been axed before. [“USA Today’s” prissy crtic pans it for, among other reasons, being “foulmouthed”…..cops foulmouthed? Stop the presses!]

    Television is STILL the most influential medium for that demographic who STILL have their voter machine hands around our balls.

    Here’s hoping….

  2. Sean says

    Interesting that Mackenzie is in a show with such a chracter. During his O.C. years I saw him on The best damn sports show period, and when referring to “the make-up guy backstage” he rolled his eyes, flicked his wrist and feigned a lisp. His little demo was met by silence. I didn’t think it was approval, just a quiet, “not cool dude” from the rest of the panel.

    So I’ve been off him ever since. And a cop show!?!?! Now there’s something we needed like another strip mall.

  3. says

    wow. talk about social indoctrination. i’ve spent so many years in gay bars, i didn’t even realize he was sitting in a bar with only men around him. it looked just like any bar to me, lol.

    yes, there are times in my life when being an old queen (51) smacks me in the face. : )

    btw, i enjoyed the show. somewhat predictable writing/circumstances, typical lack of detail execution (the “64 Chevy” the dispatcher called for was in fact a 1963 model), but i think it has promise.

  4. Dhani Darko says

    Yes Johnny, his eye color makes a big difference.

    I’ve been in straight bars before where it was just a bunch of hard legs…so I didn’t get the gay “reveal” either.

  5. Daniel says

    The guy in the bar who said he was also having a bad day and who was sitting near the officer was the gay guy arrested for cruising in the park (he was in the back of the other squad car earlier in the show). I thought it was a fairly blunt reveal.

  6. Mike says

    Watched it last nite, and also thought it was a blunt reveal with the focus on the gay guy who had been arrested in the park. I really liked the show and was refreshing to finally see a gay character which (so far at least) was the same old tired stereotype – and as another commenter pointed out – a lead character, and not an afterthought or a hapless sidekick. Regarding the coming out part – I think it was handled validly. I like the idea that it will be revealed just as a fact of John Cooper’s life. Being gay should be the same non-event to a story line as being straight. No big deal, just a normal part of life. We’re finally being main streamed. I think that is fantastic – and will definitely help in educating straight folks we’re just the same as them.

  7. dean morris says

    notice the look he’s giving the younger guy in the photo at top? ew! stay in your age range and grow a nice ‘stache!!! then i’ll watch every minute and every rerun!

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