The Fox TV Series, Deputy, has sparked some strong opinions from many of my colleagues from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the agency which is portrayed.
Deputy: The Television Series
Before the premiere episode, a trailer was circulating on Facebook, especially in some of our LASD groups. Many were upset by the way our department would be portrayed, and I was among them. As such, I didn’t waste my time watching the season premiere two weeks ago. In fairness, I don’t watch much television anyway, especially after divorcing myself from the NFL. But I digress.
But the day before Episode 2 was set to air, an old friend called to ask if I was watching it, and what I thought. I gave him both barrels on exactly what I thought about the show, without having seen anything more than part of a trailer.
A SEAL’s Opinion
This friend, Randy, is a Navy SEAL and has been with the teams for 28 years. He has never been in law enforcement—interestingly— because LASD disqualified him, stating he had aggressive tendencies. No shit. A sheepdog. But again, I digress.
Randy said, “Dude, it’s entertaining. Hell, I watched “SEAL Team” and there wasn’t much about that show that resembled reality. Anyway, you should watch it.”
The Hair Bim
The next day, I was getting my hair cut by my adorable hair bim (short for bimbo, and yes, she knows I call her that), who asked if I had watched it. (Yes, I go to a hair bim even though she only buzzes my head. If you saw her, you’d understand.) I told her I had not. But I seemed to be less opinionated about it with Randy’s conversation still fresh in my mind. She asked if I had watched Longmire, and I told her I had. She said, “If you liked Longmire, you’ll like this show.”
That did it, I decided. I was going to man up and power through at least one episode!
The Trophy Wife
The warden, who is even hotter than the hair bim, has some kind of a hula-hoop thingamajig that allows us to watch shows on our own schedule. Don’t ask me how that works. Anyway, we watched it, and you know what, it wasn’t terrible—if you have the right perspective that it is just entertainment.
Highlights of Deputy
For those who haven’t seen it, here are some highlights: It starts with the main character, a mounted posse deputy, being disciplined for siding with illegal immigrants over ICE. This could be where many of my colleagues bailed. (Side note, this is a current reality with the new sheriff, unfortunately, but that’s a whole other Oprah.) Minutes later, he’s racing his old Bronco through the streets of L.A. He cuts the bad guys off at the pass, so to speak, and a wild gun battle ensues.
Before the smoke has settled, county counsel and the undersheriff arrive at the scene. The deputy is notified that his sheriff has died unexpectantly, and he, this posse deputy, is to be sworn as the temporary sheriff until the board of supervisors can appoint a new sheriff.
That might have alienated a few more of my colleagues, as we all know the undersheriff would assume that role in such a situation. However, the premise of this show is that a centuries-old law mandates that the longest-standing member of the posse would become the sheriff in such an event.
As a writer of fiction, I thought it was a clever plot.
In one of the next action scenes, the new sheriff goes riding into a hostile camp in Lancaster, a-hoopin’ and a-hollerin’ (Blazing Saddles reference), and shootin’ up the bad guys!
Who doesn’t love that?
Okay, you’ll argue that could never happen. But have you worked Lancaster? I rest my case.
Besides, who doesn’t love cowboy shit? (Even when they’re all hat, no cattle.)
The way I see it, if, like Longmire, this show was about a fictitious county sheriff’s department, and if the newly appointed (and unlikely) sheriff ditched the toothpick, and if he shaved his face, the TV series Deputy would have gone over better with many of my “peeps.”
But maybe not.
Alternative LASD Entertainment
In the meantime, if you would like to be entertained by more realistic stories portraying the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, you can read the DICKIE FLOYD DETECTIVE SERIES, or Frank LaFlamme’s EMP LOS ANGELES, or Tony Argott’s THEE LAST PACHUCO.
If you want to get the “real deal,” I suggest picking up a few law enforcement memoirs from former LASD personnel. You can read the recently released DEPUTY by Cliff Yates, which has nothing to do with the TV series (in question) of the same title. Or try Robert Rangel’s THE RED DOT CLUB, which chronicles his personal story and those of other cops who have been shot in the line of duty. There are several books by Jerry Boyd, including FIRESTONE PARK: POLICING SOUTH CENTRAL LOS ANGELES—which is a wonderfully written book about a place near and dear to my heart, BEHIND THE BADGE by Harry Penny, and A BADGE, A GUN, AN ATTITUDE by Dean Scoville.
There are others, of course, but these are a few I have enjoyed that were written by friends and colleagues.
In the meantime, maybe we don’t have to take ourselves so seriously when it comes to entertainment. I’m going to give it a try.
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Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you will share it with your family and friends.
As mentioned before, it’s strictly entertainment and at time humorous. I will continue to watch
It’s Hollywood! Splashed with enough realism and things that most cops would like to see like the uptight brass having to deal with a renegade line level copper saying like it is always amusing. Policing in the 80s and 90’s was truly the best time I ever had on the job and having gone thru an LASD academy, it was the one of the best times of my life. Enjoy, be safe, don’t take it too seriously. Those that have put their @ss on the line, saved a life or two along the way and kept the peace, know what it takes to make a difference and if you’re lucky to make it across that finish line, a heartfelt congratulations!
Thank you, Carlos!
Just my 2 cents Danny! It’s tv entertainment. It’s not real life! Sure they mimic some things, some people. It’s called acting. Again. Entertainment.
Just like fiction in a book. Fiction = not true. Come on people. Lighten up! Imho I love it. Can’t wait to keep watching!!! 😘
Rarely watch TV anymore, but I do enjoy an episode of Longmire now and then. Like everyone is saying, it’s Hollywood and meant for entertainment only…. and since when did it become a negative to have “aggressive tendencies” when working for LASD? I guess probably about the time I left…. and I have to add, just bought the new 2020 Colt Python 6″. In a lot of ways I just can’t change the way I am. Is that a bad thing Danny?
Hello Patrick… Yes, when you left the rest of us said, “Man, that was crazy! No mas!” lol
I don’t care that it’s not realistic….Lots of Hollywood stuff I’ve found entertaining isn’t realistic….Justified (Raylon killed more people than the plague….and I never saw him typing up one report)….Open Range (Costner has a Colt SAA that fires 11-12 shots without being reloaded in a gunfight)…..etc. etc. etc….The George Lopez sitcom WAS funny as hell….But there’s no way I would allow it to be watched in my house now. The NFL WAS entertaining, but it’s not watched in my house either.
For me, when I can’t get through 15 minutes of a show without EXTREMELY LIBERAL virtue signaling that I passionately disagree with by ANY of my entertainment choices, that’s a deal breaker for me. I refuse to watch it.
There’s a reason Hollywood gets away with their continued blatant assault on ANY and ALL principles that are conservative, and ANY and ALL people that are conservative. It’s because LOTS of conservatives continue to watch, simply because “it’s entertaining”.
I personally believe Hollywood played me for a sucker for too long, and I’m tired of it.
I don’t NEED to put up with it. I’m sure I’m missing a LOT of entertaining things. That’s MY choice.
Along the same lines, I loved those Starbuck’s frozen coffee drinks, but I’ll never buy another one. Not from Starbuck’s anyway.
Leftists fight dirty and protest and boycott ANY and ALL things conservative. I’ve witnessed the effectiveness of that tactic.
At this point in my life I personally believe I personally conservatives should fight fire with fire. So that’s what I personally do…as much as I can.
To each his own. Live and let live. To thine own self be true.
You’re a grumpy old bastard. Just sayin’. (;
He may be, Danny, but it doesn’t make him any less right,,,LOL!!
Haha that’s true!
I agree. It wasn’t the unrealistic nature of the dude shooting up the streets without any report writing to go with it, or having to suspend belief that the “longest member of the department” automatically getting promoted to sheriff, it was the blatant ANTI-law enforcement (ICE) wokeness that turned me off. I even let the first few minutes go by, thinking as long as they don’t do it again, but bam! there it was. Again siding with law-breakers instead of protecting the law-abiding from them.
You both make good points. Thank you for your comment.
I wonder whatever happened to the guy who snuck out with the Eddie Murphy ID? Give the crook credit for resourcefulness…
Yeah pretty clever. lol
Danny – you always make me laugh and smile when I read your blogs. Well done. I watched the first episode and like most, found it absurd to the point of being entertaining. Especially in episode one where he made the remark about ignoring Policy and Procedure to the new graduating deputies. Was like watching an old Flash Gordon series and seeing the wires guiding the space ships. You knew none of it was real but you still watched it.
Keep up the good work.
Thanks, Moon. Great analogy!
Thanks for this post Danny. I have hesitated to publicly comment because all I have seen is that nobody could stand to watch it. I found it entertaining, watching from a viewers eyes. Watching as a technical advisor I would be able to find a myriad of problems with it. Ofcourse they have to leave out the boring hours. As far as the “that could never happen” crowd. Anything you see on the show, I could name a similar incident or something that would be crazier that nobody would believe. Lets see a deputy hid in a Sergeants van and as the Sergeant was driving from Central Jail shot and killed him. Beverly Hills jewelry store robbery the suspects changed clothes with victim and SEB shot the victim as they left the store. An inmate put on civil clothes and made a name tag with the image of Eddie Murphy and walked out of Central jail. I’m continuing to watch. Most of the members commenting have no idea what units like SPI used to do in black operation type activity.
Great comment, Cliff. Thank you.