More TV queers, tonight a tough cop on NBC’s ‘Southland’

Southland's John Cooper

In 2009 it queers still scour the small screen in order to find representations of ourselves. The recent debut of NBC’s Kings showed us a pampered, spoiled and closeted crown prince. As a villian he plays perfectly into the stereotype of the evil gay. But another NBC premiere tonight at 10pm may serve to provide a more nuanced gay character.

Southland‘s John Cooper (played by Michael Cudlitz) is a rough and tumble LAPD cop.

From AfterElton:

Cooper is also a training officer and in the pilot episode is partnered with Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie), a rookie cop whom Cooper has to show the ropes and guide through the system, especially when something goes tragically wrong on Sherman’s first day.

Judging from preview clips, sides (script pages) from the pilot episode as well as our source, Cooper is a fairly standard cop archetype. He’s tough, gets to the point, and uses words like “pussy” and “numbnuts”. He doesn’t take grief from anyone, especially not slick Hollywood types or fellow cops not pulling their weight…

…Clearly, this isn’t your typical gay character tossing off witty one-liners and giving makeovers to his best female friend before her big date. Cooper is a cop in the most classic sense. He’s also based in reality as the show’s executive producers – Ann Biderman and John Wells of ER and The West Wing– extensively interviewed gay police officers to get a sense of what life is like for a gay cop.

Check out a behind the scenes video clip below:

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