Gerald-McRaney-Michael-Cudlitz-Southland

Kind of out of sorts; lost someone else who looked out for me when I was younger.  I’ll talk about that more later in the week.

For now though, things fell kind of nicely this week as far as the timing of when certain things show up on television (and no I’m not referring to WrestleMania and the return of Mad Men…)

First on the agenda, my old roommate Aaron Rahsaan Thomas wrote tonight’s episode of SouthLAnd, which features a cameo appearance by future Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.  I asked Aaron a few questions to help promote tonight’s episode.  Enjoy:

Malik: First, talk about what SouthLAnd is about for someone who’s never seen it.
Aaron: SouthLAnd is about the every day experiences of Los Angeles Police officers on the streets of L.A. Specifically, patrol cops (the uniformed street cops you see every day) and detectives, which makes SouthLAnd very different from other cops shows. It captures the experiences of police officers from a personal point of view and looks at how the job effects their lives and vis versa.
Malik: So what’s your episode about?
Aaron: In addition to several storylines we’ve set up throughout the season, the episode deals with a phenomenon called the Felix Paradox, based on a real guy, Felix Mitchell, who was a dope dealer from back in the day in Oakland. When Felix was killed, some people assumed that the crime rate in the city would decrease, but it actually went up because the little fish were fighting each other to fill Felix’s spot. Considering this paradox, the entire episode builds on this theme. When you think things might get better, sometimes, they get worse. All of our officers are faced with such dilemmas in the episode, and all are faced with the idea that the worst threat in the world, sometimes comes from within.
Malik: Shaq is your guest star, how was it working with him?
Aaron: I dunked on him. A few times. Like, what?! No, Shaq was cool. Very much the guy you see on TNT and in the commercials. Cool guy. And, very professional. And, funny. Everything we could have asked.
Malik: You’re an co-executive producer, explain to everyone outside the Business what that means.  I imagine you on the set all day saying ‘Would you like more coffee Mister Shaq?  Your shoulders look tense, can I give you a massage?’
Aaron: Funny… In television, different titles are given mainly to signify level of experience and pay grade. Being a co-EP simply means you have a little more leverage in how the season is produced as a whole. Certainly, everyone involved feels ownership over what we produce and how it is produced. We’re all proud of what we’ve done this season, season 5.
Malik: Finally, a non Hollywood question: what do you think of the Chiefs offseason so far? Any draft predictions?
Aaron: The Chiefs are being active, which is great. New coach, new QB. In the draft, if we don’t go after a defensive lineman, or offensive lineman, it might be nice to trade for additional picks and build our team as a whole. We need more than just one superstar player (if the number one pick produces that to begin with). Leon Sandcastle would be nice. I heard he ran a 4.2 40!
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