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'Gang Related' review: Better than a cavity search

May 16, 2014|By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins | RedEye Sound Board

**1/2 (out of 4)

At its core, "Gang Related" is a story about conflict. Like the Martin Scorsese blockbuster "The Departed," the new Fox series (premiering Thursday) is a story of a cop with family ties to crime. Ryan Lopez (Ramon Rodriguez), an officer assigned to an elite unit, is linked to the Acosta crime family—the same one he's supposed to be taking down. The first four episodes have a cinematic quality I couldn't help but compare to 2012's "End of Watch." The casting is solid—especially "Lost" alum Terry O'Quinn as unit captain Sam Chapel and the RZA (Robert Diggs) as veteran cop Cassius Green.

I will warn you: The overall vibe of the show shouldn't be left up to the pilot, which is an absolute clusterf**k. The writers obviously have worked on police-focused projects before (In this case, "The Shield," and the "Fast & Furious" series), and while the following three episodes calm down considerably (and get way better), I can understand if the premiere's clunky cop cliches leave a bad taste in viewers' mouths. Don't worry though; like a good partnership, "Gang Related" gets better with time.

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