Metta No Match for Raw Anguish?
Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 05:33PM
Karen Rugg in Connect, Inspire, TV and Film, anguish, cooper, metta, southland

I've been meditating on the Buddhist concept of "metta" or "loving kindness." Practicing sending it out to rings of acquaintances and the world and wishing those souls free from fear and suffering and grief.

I've also been sucked into the drama vortex that is TNT's "SouthLAnd," a gritty and grueling and marvelously written cop drama that takes place in south L.A.

In the final 30 seconds of last night's episode, officer John Cooper, played by Michael Cudlitz, collapses to the dirt at the side of the road, wailing in anguish over a lot of things. It was a release that had to come. You can't even begin to imagine what his character has been going through.  And 99.9% of the time, he is a quiet, quippy 20-year veteran of the force, tall and strong and very solid.

He is a character, but he is written from truth (ask the show's writers; they don't make this stuff up).

And all I could think was, could metta be strong enough to meet this level of pain? Could metta match up to the depth of his fear? Because it was so real, so raw, my jaw dropped.

Cooper is a television character, but that moment of art showed me what metta is up against. And how badly it's needed.

If you're intrigued by "SouthLAnd," check the show out on Tuesday nights at 10pm on TNT. Full episodes are available at the show's site and most cable On Demand services offer the last few episodes. It's Season 3 (each season is 10 or 11 shows). Earlier seasons can be Netflixed.




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