Dec 30, 2019

SWAT: The Son of the Incredible Hulk as a Meh Cop

I never watch cop shows.  After working at the L.A. Police Academy and as a juvenile probation officer, I know that they get procedures all wrong. Plus they exacerbate the belief that the crime rate is very high in the U.S. (when it's at the lowest level in over 20 years), leading to all sorts of expensive, unnecessary policies. like arresting kids for bringing toy soldiers to school and sentencing someone to 20 years in prison for having a marijuana joint in their car.

But when I discovered that Lou Ferrigno Jr., the son of 1970s Incredible Hulk superstar Lou Ferrigno and my "son" Infinite Chazz's hookup, was starring in SWAT (2017-), I watched an episode.

SWAT stands for Special Units and Tactics, the police using military-style weapons and techniques to make arrests.  They became popular during the Tough on Crime Movmenet of the 1980s, when the federal government offered grants for precincts that made a lot of drug busts, so tanks would roll into (black) neighborhoods and officers would swarm into random houses in search of marijuana.

This SWAT team, based in L.A. and led by by-the-books former marine Hondo Harrison (Shemar Moore, top photo) and lone-wolf-plays-by-his-own-rules Street (Alex Russell, left) , has slightly more dangerous foes:

1. Inmates who escaped from a transport, including "psychopath" El Cuchillo (they get psychopaths wrong, too.  Most psychopaths are not violent).

2. An auto-theft ring led by a paranoid psychopath (again?).

3. A hostage situation at a maximum-security prison.

4. A  human trafficking ring.

5. Diamond robbers who are connected to the Israeli mafia.

There are also personal entanglements: dating, romance, affairs, betrayals, and so on.

Lou appears in about half of the episodes as Donovan Rocker, a training instructor.  In Season 2, Mumford (Peter Onorati) retires, and Rocker takes over the team.

I watched the only episode where he's actually listed in the plot synopsis, "Ghosts" (this show loves one-word titles.  Attention span of the intended audience?).  There are three plotlines:

Main Plot: Luca (Kenny Johnson) and his boyfriend Street (above) are at a street festival (a gay pride festival?)  when he sees the Vanity Killer, a "psycho" who played Saw-type games with "pretty people," then was exploded to death two years ago.  The boss insists that he is  just seeing "ghosts," so he investigates himself.

Yawn.  They get serial killers wrong, too, acting like they are the most common type of criminal, responsible for 90% of all murders.  Actually, thrill-type serial killers are very rare, responsible for only about 1% of murders.

I guess Luca and Street are not a gay couple after all.  Luca has kind of a thing going on with Keri, a previous victim who he rescued (on this show, it's always last names for men, first names for women and prettyboys.  That's not sexist at all, right?).

Turns out that the "sicko" faked his own death so he could continue his games.  He has grabbed two new victims, including prettyboy Lance (Paul Black, left).  SWAT storms the house.

Well, that is what you're watching a show called SWAT for, right?

Secondary Plot: Spivey (Louis Fereira), who was fired in the first episode after he shot an unarmed black teenager, is depressed, "bowling alone in Long Beach."  So we should feel sorry for him?  So team captain Hondo, (see above), who has apparently been mentoring the boy, arranges a meeting.  Restorative justice in action!

Third Plot: Jessica (Stephanie Stigman) tries to find out who put the threatening letter in her desk and vandalized her car.  Turn's out it was Rocker's wife, Val.  He was complaining about Cortez's proposal (I don't know why), and she decided to get revenge.

He apologizes, she gets the charges reduced to harassment, the end.

Whoa, he's married to a psycho, and it's resolved in 30 seconds?  Bummer.

Heterosexism:  Not a lot.  Some guys have wives and girlfriends, but no kissing and no sex.

Beefcake:  None.  Hondo is shirtless in the opening credits.  What's the point of all these hunks if they're not going to be stripping down?

Other Scenery:  The street fair, for about 20 seconds.

Gay Characters:  Nothing specified. Lance might be gay.  A lot of buddy-bonding.

My grade: Meh.

See also: The Sons of the Incredible Hulk


  1. There is a lesbian in a three-way relationship; she loves the woman, but not the guy....

    1. She must not have appeared in the episode I watched. It was the first season;often they don't introduce gay/bi characters until the second or third season, waiting until the homophobes are invested in the show and won't automatically turn it off.

  2. Special Weapons And Tactics. And yeah, it's a bad idea. Military tactics allow for killing: Any active enemy can kill your whole unit of you get careless. Police work does not: Criminals generally don't want to make things worse for themselves, and you need to interrogate them. So why equate the two?

    I remember a cartoon from my childhood with the same name. Pop culture loved the whole antihero thing in the 90s. (You say moral ambiguity, I say glorified fascism. You say potayto, I say potahto, let's call the whole thing off.)

  3. I first noticed Lou Ferrigno Jr in one of David DeCoteau's cute boys in danger horror movies. But he was the only one who did not take a gratuitous shower : (


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