Forget what you know about police shows. This was the best there was and there ever will be.
Following a fictional precinct in LA, it features various story lines involving beat cops, detectives, the hierarchy and, primarily, a corrupt Strike Team. Vic Mackey, head of said Strike Team, keeps organised crime in the area in check by keeping them in his pocket or in the ground. His blood soaked, avarice laced crusade is the main crux of the whole show.
When I say blood soaked, I am not exaggerating. This is one of the most violent, gritty shows you will ever see. Just when you think that the show can't go any further, they find two or three more notches. The violence is never used to be sensationalistic. It is reflective of how dark a path Mackey and his team keep going down.
It isn't afraid to tackle other hard hitting issues. The individual turmoil a gay man experiences within law enforcement. The political machinations of the police. The divisive attitudes surrounding race. Even autism in children is tackled. This is a show that is not afraid to ask the difficult questions about the world in which we live and offers no black and white answers. Villains are heroes, vice versa and every shade in between.
If you like your TV happy and skippy, this isn't for you. But if you want unrelenting drama and action, if you have a stomach to handle the depravity and destruction this show is willing to share, then you'll find 7 seasons on Netflix without a single bad episode. No padding. Just hard hitting story that twists like viper and stings like a scorpion.
Recommended watch: After the pilot, if you're not hooked, you'll never be.