"The Shield" Gang Strains to Slap Self on Back
Because FX's "The Shield" is about to start its final season, TV critics naturally greet the cast and crew of the series who show up at Summer TV Press Tour 2008 with one topic of discussion: the finale. Will it be "Seinfeld" dreadful? "Sopranos" pretentious? "St. Elsewhere"/"MASH" brilliant?
"I think if and when you watch the finale, it will feel like 'The Shield' universe," series creator/executive producer Shawn Ryan tells the throng of adoring critics.
" It will feel completely appropriate."
"It's the greatest finale ever, that you'll ever see anywhere -- hands down," actress CCH Pounder jumps in. "Blew my socks off. I'm not a great fan of 'The Shield' as a watcher in the sense of I'm like a cringy person -- I'm a bit of a chicken, even though my role is so huge and non-chicken-like," she says while looking not at the critics in the audience, but rather at herself in the monitor. "But this finale is what [lead actor Michael Chiklis's character] Vick Mackey deserves."
"With 'The Sopranos,' it's been mixed reviews about that finale, but I will tell you about this finale: There will be no mixed reviews. You will get your money's worth. Money-back guarantee!" brags cast member David Marciano.
"You guys are talking to the critics!" warns Chiklis, who is appearing via satellite from somewhere or another.
"Yeah, that's a real dangerous thing," Ryan says of the actors's boasts to the critics. "You know, you guys will decide what you think about it," he told the critics. "All I can talk about is what we attempted to do and what we attempted to do was give FX, the network, an ending to the series that the network deserves...an ending to their first scripted drama that they could be proud of and could set a template for their other series to come."
Yeah -- that's not boasting.
"What thrills me about the finale is you will not see this coming," Chiklis enthuses a few minutes later. "You will not know what we do. That when you look back at it you'll go, holy cow, yeah, that's exactly right!"
"But I also think something, you know, that's important to remember too -- my husband is a huge sports fan and he's really into football and we have to TiVo the games and he doesn't want to know how the game ends and he wants to be able to watch the game from beginning to end," cast member Catherine Dent says, leaving many critics wondering why they should care.
"It's going to be a great game that you're not gonna want to know how it ends. You're going to want to watch every quarter, every minute of that game because it's so intense...It's a kick-ass show," she says, finally getting around to her point.
"We're verging on being very self-congratulatory," Ryan notes, in a moment of way-crazy understatement.
"I don't mean to congrat -- but I think it's like a good game, though. Don't you think that you want to watch the whole game?" Dent says -- we think her feelings were a little hurt.
"Yeah, no, you're absolutely right in many ways," Ryan concedes.
"The second-to-last episode is extraordinarily as satisfying as the final," he adds, throwing his verging-on-being-self-congratulatory worries to the wind.
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