Michael Cudlitz

Cheers to Southland for allowing TV veterans to show their range.

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A few weeks after Marla Gibbs' impressive guest appearance as an addled grandma, another sitcom alum — Murphy Brown's Joe Regalbuto — delivered a devastating dramatic turn as a father who fatally shot his still-at-home thirtysomething son for fear he might turn out to be a serial killer. Before his heart-wrenching confession, his character feigned grief in what Det. Lydia Adams (Regina King) called "an Academy Award-winning performance." He's not eligible for an Oscar, but Regalbuto might just get an Emmy.

Meanwhile, Michael Cudlitz — late of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 — continues to impress with his nuanced work as gay patrol cop John Cooper. His scenes with a suicidal teen in this week's episode were particularly poignant. Coop tried to reassure him that "It gets better." That certainly holds true for Southland, each and every week.

What do you think of last night's Southland?

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