Loyalty cop drama aims to show the flaws and possibilities in the justice system

Mark Ellis was nervous to attend another show about police officers.

Not least because police procedurals have become a more crowded media subgenre since he co-created them flash point in 2008. But Ellis was more concerned about making such an offer when concerns about community-police relations reached their peak.

“So what do you do when you make a TV drama? Do you show flaws?” He said in an interview with CBC News. “Yes. But… I think we have to try to make an ambitious story on some level. I think we need to be transparent about what the flaws are, and about the limits in the justice system. But we have to show that. Also where there is potential, isn’t like that? “

It was the result of that mentality Loyaltythe new series starring Supinder Wraich and flash pointEnrico Colantoni. The show, which premieres Wednesday on CBC Gem, is set in Surrey, British Columbia — a city that doesn’t lack for drama about its real-life relationship between the community and the police.

watched Loyalty Trailer:

But instead of a straight-up cop drama, creator Anar Ali assured Ellis that there was something deeper at the heart of the series. The first is an examination of the shifting and often contradictory “loyalties” we can feel toward our different identities: Reich’s character Sabrina displays this firsthand as she juggles between working as a rookie police officer and trying to exonerate her accused father. Of serious crimes.

“The other thing is trying to look at justice in a new way,” Ali said. When crafting the proposal, she said she was most inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, the Cure Violence crime prevention program in Chicago, and the Gladue courts for people accused of a crime who self-identify as Indigenous, Métis, First Nations, or Inuit . .

Power, privilege and class

With the concept of restorative justice on the rise, Ali said she wanted to create a police procedural that focused on that, but also on how the justice system fails. A big part of that is evident in how Reich’s character witnesses an establishment allied against her father, who is Sikh, in a way that might not have happened without his background.

And while Loyalty It is the first police drama to focus on a Punjabi Sikh officer, and Ali wanted the examinations to go deeper than that.

“For Sabrina, even though the premise is about these prejudices and these loyalties and these differences and biases, it’s more than just race,” she said. “It’s also about power and privilege and class.”

A man in a suit and turban confronts a woman in a police uniform and presents him with a medal.
Allegiance follows rookie officer Sabrina Sohal as she tries to reconcile the reality of police and support her father, played by Stephen Lobo, as he faces serious criminal charges. (Scott Rudd Productions)

This is demonstrated in her relationship with Colantoni’s character, Vince, a veteran of the force who often challenges Sabrina – a middle-class woman and the daughter of a politician – on her assumptions about marginalized citizens in their community.

For his part, Colantoni said he was also nervous about participating in another show about police. But he embraced the role it represented, which was to show officers’ motivations for joining the force, he said.

“(When) you talk about police on TV, it’s all science fiction. It’s everything we want police to look like. It’s not what it is, because it’s broken,” he said. Given the sometimes critical (and sometimes complimentary) portrayal of what it means to be a police officer, he said he has no doubt that Loyalty It will raise some problems.

But at the same time, he said, he believes officers will see what they are trying to do: portray challenges, while also showing where he believes their hearts are.

“I take the opportunity to represent the police in this light… We represent the heart and soul of what they are trying to do.”

Two police officers stand around a woman with arms crossed.
Loyalty was created largely to highlight Surrey, as well as alternative methods of policing. (Darco Siekman)

“I didn’t see this part of myself”

As for Reich, she said she wasn’t worried about making a show focused on police and community — she was simply interested in portraying the young woman at its center.

Besides the opportunity to tell a story about a Sikh family, and a family living in Surrey, she was apprehensive about projecting herself as a strong character.

“When I saw the audition notice, I didn’t see that part of myself,” she said.

She said the reaction so far is starting to change her mind.

“Just in terms of my group of friends and family — young South Asian women who have seen the trailer so far — a lot of what they’re saying is, ‘Oh my God, you’re so bad,'” she said. He laughs. “And again, I say, am I?”

(tags for translation) Police

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