S.W.A.T.: Season 1 (Blu-ray) – Review
Follow Genre: Action
Distributor: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Episodes: 22
Duration: 45 minutes per episode

S.W.A.T.: Season 1 (Blu-ray) – Review

Site Score
6.4
Good: Intruiging moments
Bad: Acting is not always up to snuff
User Score
5.7
(3 votes)
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Rating: 5.7/10 (3 votes cast)

When looking up ‘S.W.A.T.’ on the internet, you’ll have to be certain that you put in ‘Season 1 2017’ in the search bar. Otherwise you’ll get information on the movie which was directed in 2003 which is based on the television story which aired back in 1975. Now the funny thing is that the season which aired in 2017 is also based around the series the movie was based upon. So a television show based on another television show. Because of the inspiration the show gets from the earlier released television show, there are some very big similarities. The latter can be shelved as more of an ‘homage’ thing but could come across as downright uninspired copying. Whichever lane you want to pick, it’s clear where director Shaun Ryan and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas got the biggest chunk of their content from.

It can all go to shit in a matter of seconds. Race car racers can testify, speed runners of video games will probably yell: hallelujah when that sentence is uttered and William ‘Buck’ Spivey (Luis Ferreira) becomes aware of that fact after a raid goes sideways and he shoots a civilian. The higher ups want to keep the outcry of fury from the general populace to a minimum so ‘Buck’ is replaced by Sergeant Daniel ‘Hondo’ Harrelson (Shemar Franklin Moore). Though he is the perfect bridge between the people living there – as he has lived in L.A. too – and the police, things don’t go too smoothly when he takes the helm of the S.W.A.T. team and he becomes stuck in the crossfire between angry inhabitants and his duty as a S.W.A.T. team leader. It’s a team for a reason, and he’s not alone against the vast array of bad guys who just want to see the world burn.

As William ‘Buck’ Spivey leaves so enters Jim Street (Alex Russel), he and ‘Hondo’ don’t see eye to eye as Street is a rather lone hawk with a devil may care attitude and the new leader of the team wants him to realize that flying solo in S.W.A.T. means getting yourself or, even worse, your team mates wounded or killed.

This is where the first problems with the writing start to emerge. The conflict between Street and ‘Hondo’ could be more profound. Now it just seems wishy washy and wasted potential, same with the whole ‘Hondo’ having been part of the people of L.A. There’s potential there, but it’s like the director didn’t want to go into the subject matter out of fear for his show to become too political. This is a stupid thing to fear if you are going to make the show about the divide between black people and white people. Especially when you handle a situation that’s very topical in today’s society as your first episode centers around an event that has already happened multiple times in less than a year. If you are going for that topic, don’t pull your punches: Lean into them, make it real, make it grizzly, let the viewer feel the temperature rise as conflicts emerge and become more frequent.

Another problem with the writing is how one moment someone can be asinine about following rules and regulations only to have them go directly against them two scenes later. It just makes the characters feel inane and stupid. The characters also feel like they are written to fill a roster. Dominique Luca (Kenny Johnson) is the goofball of the team while Christina ‘Chris’ Alonso (Lina Esco) fills in the role of tough lady with a soft spot for sob stories.

This can of worms then gets spread around on the decently toasted bread that is the cast. They aren’t the crop of the crème, but they aren’t total piles of trash. Problem is that if the writing is all over the place, the actors can’t hold up a decent tone and thus their character building falls flat on their face. It would be fine if ‘Hondo’ was a hardass follow-the-rules-kind-of-guy becoming a father figure and the backbone of the team and watching them grow closer together because of it, but have him go against regulations would only create dissent in the ranks as they too wouldn’t feel the need to wear the right gear for the right time. So the acting could be better, but that’s mostly due to the writing.

The opening tune is a throwback to the original series as it has a very campy 1970s vibe to it. Again, it clashes with the tone of the show. It would be fine if the show was equally campy, but this version of S.W.A.T. wants to be taken seriously and sits at the big boys table while simultaneously asking for the kids meal.

There are six discs in the box and S.W.A.T. also treats the viewer with some extras like Deleted Scenes and Bloopers. Though they aren’t the sole reason to buy the series, it’s always a nice extra and fun to know that the amount of data that can be placed on a disc isn’t wasted.

Conclusion

S.W.A.T. isn’t the worst series to watch, but the writing could do with some serious work to it. Hopefully season 2 is less all over the place and finally cements the characters in their proper role. Fun to watch if you don’t mind suspending your disbelief quite a bit. A fairly typical series, with a fairly typical cast, with even more typical elements mixed in with fairly poor writing. The series certainly has potential, but it doesn’t help when you start off in a mediocre fashion and have to impress the viewers for a second season.

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Rating: 5.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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S.W.A.T.: Season 1 (Blu-ray) - Review, 5.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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First game ever was Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped, ever since then, gaming has been something that I've gravitated to. Reading's fun but not as interactive. Always up for a bout of online multiplayer. If that multiplayer is co-op. So if you are up for a friendly co-op session, hit me up. Rahenik's the name to search on PSN.

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