Ben McKenzie

Southland's Ben McKenzie Talks Season Finale and Thanks Fans


Well this is it. The final episode of Season 2 (or Season 1.5, depending on how one keeps score.) Not so much a season finale, more the sixth episode of what was supposed to be at least 13 on NBC (before we were so unceremoniously cancelled before premiering). I wish I could say that this episode wraps up the plot lines in nice little bows, providing all of us — cast and crew as well as fans —some closure if in fact this episode does serve as a series finale. The truth is it doesn't. 

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Southland's Ben McKenzie Previews "What Makes Sammy Run?"

The title of this episode refers to Det. Sammy Bryant, whom we open on in full sprint, racing through the streets of LA. (I should add, it is also a sly reference to the famous novel about showbiz by Budd Schulberg.)  In typical Southland fashion, we later discover "what makes Sammy run."  Without spoiling the plot, suffice to say his reasons have to do with a bright young kid from the neighborhood whom Sammy is desperate to save from a life of crime. 

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Southland's Ben McKenzie on His Love for C. Thomas Howell

All week I've been trying to come up with a subject for this blog post. It's not that I don't have plenty to choose from as "The Runner" features a new partner for Lydia, the murder of a college athlete, and a trip to desert for John and Ben. Rather, I think I've been a bit overly serious in some prior posts and I want to have fun on this one. So, without further ado, a little love letter to one of my favorite actors, who also happens to work on "Southland." C. Thomas Howell. I love C. Thomas Howell.
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Southland's Ben McKenzie Discusses the Value of Partnership in "U-Boat"


This week's episode is a very exciting one for me. For the first time, my character will be patrolling the streets alone, without the help of his partner. It can be a nerve-wracking experience for any cop — much less a rookie — to go it alone. The LAPD always partners up patrol cops, except for the sergeants (who act more as supervisors than first-responders). This is primarily for safety reasons: With two cops working in tandem, each can guard the other's back. If one is incapacitated the other can radio for backup. If one is making a poor decision in a given scenario, the other can often correct that mistake before it proves fatal. John Cooper's tutelage of Ben Sherman, while seemingly harsh, is necessary so that the rookie learns to make decisions that are in the best interest of both partners. Rookies sometimes have a cowboy mentality — I'm gonna do this alone — and this is not only foolish but dangerous... read more

Southland's Ben McKenzie Breaks Down "Butch and Sundance"

Ben McKenzie, Southland

In this week's episode, we touch on a theme common to our show: the psychological toll exacted on cops who witness extreme violence while on the job. In "Butch and Sundance," Officers Cooper and Sherman are the first to arrive at the scene of a brutal triple murder. Without revealing too many plot details, suffice it to say that both officers suffer psychologically from witnessing such a horrific event... read more

Southland's Ben McKenzie Thanks Fans, Previews "Phase Three"

Benjamin McKenzie

I will be blogging the new episodes of Southland, which begin airing March 2 on TNT. In future posts, I'll try to provide funny and/or insightful commentary (emphasis on the word try), but I'd like to devote this first post surrounding the Season 2 premiere to a different purpose: to say thank you.

The title of this episode is a reference to the third and final phase of a rookie officer's probationary period in the LAPD. But I believe it also serves as a decent metaphor for the experience all of us have had working on Southland. A probationary officer ... read more

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