26 August 2009 | Bokononist1917
Good for its time, but you'd be better off with The Wire.
Brooklyn South was an innovative and Gritty show when it hit the air. Focusing on street cops in uniform over detectives, and making a thorough commitment to realism, it was unlike most anything else on TV. The writing and acting was top notch, and the show is able to serve up verbal confrontations just as vicious as the physical ones.
Still, it hasn't aged well. Given the time period and the fact that it aired on CBS, Brooklyn South is relatively tame by today's standards. This isn't necessarily bad, such as in most classic Victorian literature, where the author invents a way to refer to sex and violence much more entertaining than a straight description. The problem is that Brooklyn South presents itself as gritty and revealing, (which it was for the time) and the actual content of the show ends up being a let down, rather than a delicious metaphor. Many of the issues that Brooklyn South is obviously trying to tackle, such as abuse of power, the slippery slope of committing evil deeds in the name of good, and what constitutes morality when your paid to use violence, it can only hint at. Thus the watcher is slowly drawn into these issues, only to be let down when the show switches subjects just before truly exposing them.
Given this I'd recommend Brooklyn South to hardcore fans of the crime genre, because even after aging it's still entertaining, and for it's historical importance as one of the first cop shows to focus on realism and morally ambiguous characters. Beyond that it's safe to say that HBO's The Wire is everything Brooklyn South wanted to be, and better done to boot.