Hey TV.com, Should I Watch Gang Related?

It's that odd time of year when season finales make way for reality shows you barely even knew existed as networks put the finishing touches on their summer schedules. But the TV landscape is changing as networks push for a year-round schedule and hold some of their bigger projects for the slower, warmer months when Americans used to take their motorhomes to the Grand Canyon instead of watching television. 

Or, wait, maybe it's just that we're still in the portion of the calendar when shows that weren't good enough to air in the fall or the midseason are being burned off with crappy premiere dates because their parent networks know they won't make it? 

That's the question facing Fox's new drama Gang Related, a show that was picked up to series over a year ago. I've seen the pilot, and I'm here to hold your hand as we work through the difficult process of deciding whether to watch it or not. There, there. Dry your eyes, because it's time for another edition of Hey TV.com, Am I Supposed to Watch This?


Gang Related, so this is a show about gangs and relatives?

Basically! Ryan is a Los Angeles-raised Latino cop who's rising through the ranks of the LAPD's Gang Task Force. Congratulations to him, right? Except Ryan hasn't exactly been honest with his employers in blue. As a young man, he was raised by Javier Acosta, the leader of the feared Los Angelicos gang that's involved in all kinds of naughty stuff. In fact, Javier put Ryan on a path to join the LAPD in order to provide his gang with the kind of intel that could make them even more powerful and give them a jump on the pigs, because F the police, right? HOWEVER! Ryan likes being a cop, so he must balance living life as an informant for the gang family that raised him with cleaning up the streets. What a quandary! 


Who jumped the show in, and who stars in it?

The car chases and explosions in Gang Related will look familiar to fans of the Fast and Furious franchise, and they should: Screenwriter Chris Morgan, who wrote the dribble that comes out of Vin Diesel's mouth in five of those films, created Gang Related. Ramon Rodriguez plays conflicted cop Ryan, and Cliff Curtis plays gang leader Javier. Also starring are Terry O'Quinn (John Locke!), RZA (of the Wu-Tang Clan), Jay Hernandez (The Shield), Sung Kang (Fast and Furious), and Inbar Lavi (Underemployed). Gang Related is like a U.N. of actors! 



When does Gang Related start shootin' up the streets and kicking down doors?

Gang Related premieres Thursday, May 22 at 9pm on Fox.  


Who's going to like Gang Related?

If you're into the type of cops n' action shows that Hollywood describes as "high-octane," Gang Related might strike your fancy (you know, assuming that people who like cops n' action shows still have fancies). The show also boasts elements of The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, and The Departed as Ryan scoots along the line between loyalty and duty, with both sides pressuring him to do their bidding. But really, if you're just into being entertained by cops exploring the world of gangs in dingy L.A. warehouses, East L.A. barrios, and high-rollin' clubz, then by all means, watch away!  


What's banging about Gang Related?

Whether it's intentional or not, Gang Related is unapologetically simple in its story and character motivations, making the series feel sort of like The Shield for Dummies. There are some flashy action sequences right off the bat that carry a whiff of the car chases in The Fast and Furious, particularly in an early armored-car heist that features Ryan and his partner pushing the limits of appropriate police procedure in high-speed driving, gratuitous glass shattering, and dealing with gang members who just don't know when to quit. And you know what? I love gang stuff. Send a bunch of cops I don't care about into scary neighborhoods and pass the popcorn, because Gang Related is full of people with tattoos and funny facial hair getting killed. LOTS.



What is sagging about Gang Related?

The dialogue in the pilot is so horrifically bad that it's almost entertaining. Some examples: "It's a dangerous tightrope I'm walking here, Javier." "Which means we have a ticking clock." "Thanks to these two jokers, we took eight more chino-skins off the chessboard today." And that last one was muttered by O'Quinn, who's wasted here as a cliché-spewing police boss. Everything is predictable; you can guess what's going to happen long before it unfolds on your TV screen. And all these cops are assholes as they try to out-macho the vatos they're shaking down. But that's kind of the fun of it.


So, should I watch it?

As long as you go in with the understanding that Gang Related isn't a great or even a good show, it can provide ample entertainment in the form of gritty eye candy and hot cops wearing Kevlar and sneaking around with their guns drawn. But it's not groundbreaking in any way, as it borrows from everything else that came before it. At least it isn't I Wanna Marry Harry!


Let's take a look at a trailer!

Okay!




Gang Related premieres Thursday, May 22 at 9pm on Fox.


Comments (42)
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May 23, 2014
Horrible show.
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May 22, 2014
I see it's about Hispanic gangs in LA - no Bloods or Crips. Too bad the hispanics don't have an Al Sharpton to complain.
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May 22, 2014
I liked this type of show and I will watch till the end. It is a summer series so I think Fox will be more forgiving and let it runs till the end of season one (I hope). There might not be a season two so enjoy this one.

I have watched the pilot. While it is predictable, there was enough action and a good cast to make it interesting.
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May 22, 2014
I saw the pilot but it didn't pass the 1-episode test for me regrettably.
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May 22, 2014
Never been a fan of the cop-with-divided-loyalties shows. Combined with the purportedly awful dialogue, I'm going to follow through on my original plan to skip this one.

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May 22, 2014
Passity pass pass
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May 22, 2014
I'm actually looking forward to the 4 Episode Test for this one. Every once-in-a-while a show comes along that's just begging to be torn a new one and it looks like this is one of those shows. It's fun to say how great a series is and hope that people start tuning in, but it can also be fun to say how crap a series is too (isn't that right Night Shift?).
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May 22, 2014
Terry O'Quinn is the main reason I would even consider watching this show.
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May 22, 2014
Saw the pilot ...........and what a heap of rubbish the worst story line and don't get me started about the acting :P
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May 22, 2014
Terry O'Quinn needs to get into one of these amazingly written cable series that everyone seems to love and not be wasted on so many series lately. He deserves so much more than he's got lately. This show is not my bag so I won't be watching.
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May 22, 2014
I'll probably give it a go for O'Quinn. Then I'll wait to see the ratings. Probably gonna end up dumping it when other good summer shows will come on.
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May 22, 2014
I'll try it for the cast, but I'm not optimistic.
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May 22, 2014
On a slow day, I might.
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May 22, 2014
I'm a fan of Terry O'Quinn but not enough to give this show a shot, I don't think. The previews have done nothing for me.
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May 22, 2014
how can somebody give a new show a try,these days they are pulling all new shows off air

just stuppit

most will waiht 2 or 3 seasons,lokking if it will stay on air
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May 22, 2014
The problem that's self-defeating logic.

Person A : It looks good but I'll only start watching the show if they give a third season
Network Exec : Hmm nobody is watching this show, better cancel it for another fake reality show they always get good viewing figures.
Person A : I knew they were going to cancel the show I'm glad I didn't waste my time.

If you like a show watch it. If you don't like it don't watch. If you like a show and don't watch it, don't complain when it gets cancelled.
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May 22, 2014
LOCKE!
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May 22, 2014
No thanks.
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XY
May 22, 2014
Someone give Terry O'Quinn a decent show, already. It's been years....
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May 22, 2014
I've watched every cop show since I started with Hill Street Blues back in 84 or so and I'm not gonna stop now ;) Although if it's crap I'll ditch it ;)
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May 22, 2014
Jay Hernandez was in the shield??
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May 24, 2014
I think he meant Jay Karnes.
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May 22, 2014
Uhh... *checks IMDb* Nope, not a single credit for The Shield. Didn't sound right to me either.
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May 22, 2014
I'll give it a chance, just because the writer of Fast and Furious is behind it. It remind a old FOX show called "Fastlane" and i like it.
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May 22, 2014
Fastlane might be the most fun show FOX has ever produced. Too bad we only got 22 episodes, but thankfully, it was released on DVD.
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May 22, 2014
I'll give it a chance, nothing at the moment to watch, summer TV, don't forget it is from the writer of The Fast and Furious, aaaaaaaaa
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May 22, 2014
Can't stand any cop show or any law show since what happened to Fiona Gallagher :(
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May 21, 2014
Saw 15 mins or so of the pilot and quit when the James Caan son wannabe popped up. I hate the son so... Why Rza chose that name I'll never know, as he has a soft R pronunciation himself and sounds like wezza, maan!
As for the show, it was well clunky and more like Living Channel fair. You know, shit.
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May 21, 2014
The shield for dummies! hahaha
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May 21, 2014
Gonna give it a go because of Terry O'Quinn, but it doesn't really look like something I might enjoy in the long run.
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May 21, 2014

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May 21, 2014
nope.
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May 21, 2014
I'll watch, if only because I adore Sung Kang and I'm still mad that Han got killed in the Fast & Furious franchise ...
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May 22, 2014
All they had to do was say that he faked his death, it would have made perfect sense with him running from the yakuza and already looking to get out of Japan. Plus, you never actually saw him still in the car when it exploded, something that couldn't even be said for Lettie, whom we did see in her car when it exploded AND they brought her annoying ass back anyways! Han being alive would have corrected all the F'd up continuity errors that Tokyo Drift presented.
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May 21, 2014
Gang member placed in the police force and rising through the ranks as their inside man feeding them intel? It IS half the remake of Hong Kong's "Infernal Affairs" trilogy that was adapted to the Boston underworld milieu of "The Departed". Still, I will give it a chance and enjoy the action.
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May 21, 2014
Sigh, Summer Tv.
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May 21, 2014
saw the pilot,really boring!
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May 21, 2014
While interesting looking. I have to question the choice of utilizing Rza in a show. He is a fantastic rapper, phenomenal producer, but his acting is well, lacking, he was lacking in Californication, lacking in Man with Iron Fists and lacking in other roles I have seen him in. He isn't an actor. Hopefully he will have something to do with the Soundtrack if the show makes it that far. But I am going to have to pass on this.
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May 22, 2014
Yeah, I thought he was the weakest part of that Iron Fists movie, and haven't really cared for any of his other roles. Some people need to realize they can't be great at everything.

This shit reminds me of what The Shield would of been like if it was produced by Michael Bay. By the way, did you hear about Michael Jace (Julien Lowe from The Shield) shooting and killing his wife while their two kids were home? That's a pretty fucked up story.
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May 22, 2014
Yea some people just can't act Rza, Channing Tatum people like that.

I did did hear that about Michael Jace. That is prett drastic especially in front of children. But people have their issues, I consulted recently with a man that was locked away for attempting to pour a boiling pot of water on his wife and baby for a disagreement over a soccer match of all things. People do strange things when mad.
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May 21, 2014
Pass.
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