Is it just me, or do you find yourself singing along to the opening credits of S.W.A.T.? Now, I’ve never seen the old series, but I have seen the movie version.
You know, with that one actor who’s in everything, Samuel L. Jackson, along with some of my other favorites, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez. I was, and still am, a huge fan of that movie. Those fast paced action packed scenes with some sprinkles of humor here and there.
Well you can expect the same thing from the new series, based on the 2003 film, featuring Criminal Minds alumni, Shemar Moore.
Shemar Moore plays the bad-ass, recently promoted, team leader of the LAPD Metro Division S.W.A.T. Sergeant II Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson.
First off, this guys beard is awesome. Second, he kicks ass in this role. An LA neighborhood kid grows up to wear a badge and wants to clean up the streets he grew up on.
Sounds like your typical clean cop show (boring) — Except, he’s sleeping with his boss! (Gasp!). Scandalous, I know. Hondo respects the neighborhood natives and often relies on their help to solve some serious cases.
Besides the ongoing push and pull romance between Hondo and his Commanding Officer, Captain Jessica Cortez (Stephanie Sigman) - they show a typical day in the life of a S.W.A.T. team.
Jess, as Hondo so lovingly calls her, had a rough past and it shows through her hard work leading the team through some tough times.
She’s determined to rise to the top as cleanly as she possibly can while making the streets a better place for the residents of LA and the cops who patrol them.
Now, the movie is heavily based on the character Jim Street and how his career goes south after an incident involving his partner.
For the show, this is not the case. Street (Alex Russell) is transferred over from another division and is now the newbie of the team. Like the rest of the cast, Jim Street has not had a great past.
We learn throughout the series that his mother is in prison for the murder of his abusive father. If you think that’s rough, the officer that arrested her was the future S.W.A.T. leader Buck Spivey (Louis Ferreira) who was then replaced by Hondo after a bad gunfight. Crazy stuff.
You guys remember the bad-ass cop from the movie who beats up guys twice her size, Chris Sanchez?
Well we have a different kind of Chris, still just as tough beating up those bigger criminals. Lina Esco plays the only female on the S.W.A.T. team, Chris Alonso, Christina for long.
She is also the only Bi-Sexual of the cast, well that is known so far. The series hasn’t really plunged into the characters past yet, still waiting to see what she’s all about.
Hondo’s right hand man Sergeant David “Deacon” Kay (Jay Harrington), has 10 years under his belt and was next in line for the promotion of Team Leader.
Unfortunately, because of Buck Spivey’s misconduct, he was passed over by Hondo to make the police department’s image look better. Politics, amiright? Deacon is the only married member and parent of the team.
We meet his wife Annie, played by Bre Blair, and their kids throughout the series. Happily married and very much in love with his wife, we see Deacon go through the toughest time of his life when his wife ends up having a stroke out of nowhere. I don’t know about you but watching that broke my heart.
Longtime friend of Deacon and his wife, Commander Robert Hicks (Patrick St. Esprit) was the only one around when Annie had the stroke.
Quickly reacting and having her rushed to the hospital where he had to make a life changing decision.
Hicks, being a widower, did everything he could to avoid Deacon the same fate.
This series is no short of leaders and commanders. Sergeant Jeff Mumford, another S.W.A.T. team leader, who often assists on special cases when needed.
These two teams often have friendly competitions/rivalries amongst themselves but ultimately have one goal in mind, put criminals in prison.
Mumford often picks on S.W.A.T. newbie Street until he proves he’s swifter than everyone thinks. He has his own style of leading his team and throws in a few punches of humor every now and then.
Speaking of style, I think Dominique Luca (Kenny Johnson) was a wheel man in his previous life. His driving skills have gotten the team in and out of sticky situations in one piece.
One episode focuses on Luca and his grandfather’s legacy as a previous S.W.A.T member. Before his passing, his grandfather expressed his hate for Hondo leading the team - which ultimately tore Luca apart between respecting his current leader and honoring his late grandfather.
Luca is the go to guy when they require and often rely on precision and speed.
Another S.W.A.T. team member they heavily rely on is Victor Tan (David Lim). He is also my favorite in the ABC hit show Quantico.
This guy has more Confidential Informants than I can count. One of them makes a major appearance as a former CI turned love interest for Tan, she’s also really pissed at him for leaving her in the dust.
Her history and knowledge become valuable for solving a burglary case the team is working on, but ends up crossing Tan in the end.
Where all my Twilight fans at!?! One other face you may recognize throughout the series is Peter Facinelli.
He plays the Police Commissioner Michael Plank who has never spent a day in his life in uniform. Some cops may hate him, others may respect him for entering the law enforcement world.
He’s often seen working with Jess on improving relations between LAPD Officers and the communities they serve. He also shows his loyalty and support for the police force by pulling a few strings for Deacon when his wife needed a life saving surgery.
All in all, I’m a big fan of this series. I love the high action, crazy, fast paced scenes along with the jabs of humor going back and forth between the characters.
I’m a huge believer in having the right cast for the right shows and this works. Every member offers and brings something different to the team making it whole. It’s not always smiles and bullets though.
There are some major heartfelt and goose-bump moments. One that sticks in my head is the very first episode where Buck accidentally shoots an innocent bystander after an intense standoff with criminals, ultimately leading to his termination.
The prison riot episode was pretty good as well. The team was locked inside a prison and outnumbered against a bunch of criminals, trying to stay alive. It was the same episode where Annie, Deacon’s wife had a stroke out of nowhere. Since the team was under a high stress situation, Hondo thought it best not to inform Deacon of Annie’s condition to keep him focused on the task. Once the riot was handled and the team made it out in one piece, Hondo told Deacon what happened. Deacon took off running towards a helicopter that was waiting for him to transport him to the hospital. He tells Commander Hicks about how much Annie means to him and that just gets me right in the feels. I’m not crying, you’re crying!
It’s never easy…
This show does it right when it comes down to relating to ongoing issues within the public-eye today while shining a light on a day in the life of law enforcement.
You see how conflicted they may feel, choosing between their fellow brothers and sisters in arms and their community. The series is taking a short break while the Winter Olympics takes center stage. I can’t wait to see what they have lined up for the next episode.
- S.W.A.T. is currently airing on Sky One, with all episodes available online.