The Shield: Season 1 (2002)


Season 1
The Shield

Critics Consensus

While there is certainly no shortage of cop dramas, The Shield's thrilling first season offers a unique perspective and provocative performances that will leave viewers breathless.



Critic Ratings: 15


Audience Score

User Ratings: 55
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Air date: Mar 12, 2002
Air date: Mar 19, 2002
Air date: Mar 26, 2002
Air date: Apr 2, 2002
Air date: Apr 9, 2002
Air date: Apr 16, 2002
Air date: Apr 23, 2002
Air date: Apr 30, 2002
Air date: May 7, 2002
Air date: May 14, 2002
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The Shield: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

A corrupt and brutal LA detective runs an elite squad by his own rules in a neighbourhood ravaged by drugs and gangs.


Michael Chiklis
as Det. Vic Mackey
Benito Martinez
as Capt. David Aceveda
CCH Pounder
as Det. Claudette Wyms
Walton Goggins
as Det. Shane Vendrell
Catherine Dent
as Off. Danny Sofer
Michael Jace
as Off. Julien Lowe
Kenny Johnson
as Lemonhead Lemansky
Jay Karnes
as Det. Dutch Wagenbach
Elimu Nelson
as Derrick Tripp
John Diehl
as Asst. Chief Gilroy
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Critic Reviews for The Shield Season 1

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (8)

After the shocking events of last season's finale, The Shield has now entered into one of its most ominous and engrossing plotlines yet.

Mar 29, 2019 | Rating: 8.5/10 | Full Review…

Mackey and Aceveda are just two of a show full of interesting characters played by a strong cast that includes CCH Pounder, Jay Kames, Catherine Dent and Michael Jace.

Jan 9, 2019 | Full Review…

Boy, is Mackey one angry guy. And, man, do I love that kind of anger in a cop drama.

Jan 9, 2019 | Full Review…

It's not just Ryan's plotting that makes "The Shield" stand out. The dialogue simply captures the odd, humorous conversations people have every day.

Nov 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Choosing to build a series around an antihero is one thing. But making it impossible to root for him doesn't bode well for repeat business.

Aug 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Chiklis plays this role to the hilt, lavishly displaying Vic's arrogance while letting us catch an occasional glimmer of his conscience.

Aug 8, 2018 | Full Review…

By this week's season finale, [Vic Mackey] has become the most memorable, divisive and hard-to-pin-down character of the TV season--and his series, a lesson in the difference between network and cable TV making.

Jan 9, 2019 | Full Review…

Surprisingly... all of this feels extremely new, which, of course, it isn't.

Nov 7, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

From the first the last...[the pilot] is a riveting, unsettling introduction to a show that will be all about, as Mackey (Michael Chiklis) describes himself, not a good cop or a bad cop but "a different kind of cop."

Aug 17, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

[The season 1 finale] is easily the hardest episode of The Shield yet.

Aug 17, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

No, this is not a show for sissies.

Aug 8, 2018 | Full Review…

The writing is superb, the acting performances top notch, and there are plenty of other nuances that, compacted, make this cop show one painful punch in the gut.

Aug 8, 2018 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Shield: Season 1

  • Jun 12, 2019
    I was excited to finally give this show a watch, but I'm underwhelmed by the quality of its writing and its insanely high scores from the audience and critics. It's a grittier version of the Rockford Files or Hill Street Blues or NYPD Blue, but the writing is SO heavy handed and some of the performances are just awful. The tone is all over the place from melodrama to overwrought preaching to dark humor to simple farce. They tried to pack too much into this show, and I honestly don't think they could decide what they were trying to be except different. The execution of what is a perfectly fine concept is just sloppy and inconsistent. Some good, sure, but nowhere near the top of peak TV of the last 20 years. It's simply trying way too hard and the humanity of its characters gets lost. There is no one to care about because they are all drawn so thin. At times it feels like an SNL skit about a gritty cop TV show.
  • Jun 11, 2018
    Gripping immorality.
  • Jun 04, 2017
    Still one of the best TV crimes dramas there has been. So gritty, so entertaining. Vic Mackey is such a great character. Maybe went a bit crazy in the last couple of seasons but still a brilliant show.
  • Jul 12, 2016
    Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, and unique cinematography for this genre of TV. But after an absolutely phenomenal first episode, it stops being as good, and it honestly kind of waters down or diminishes what happened in the pilot.

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