Judge Victor Valdivia knows, in his heart, that he and History Channel will be together somewhere, somehow, someday.
Our reviews of Gangland: The Complete Season Five (published August 9th, 2010), Gangland: The Complete Season Four (published August 20th, 2009), Gangland: The Complete Season One (published October 1st, 2008), Gangland: The Complete Season Three (published April 3rd, 2009), Gangland: The Complete Season Two (published December 11th, 2008), and Gangland: The Final Season (Blu-Ray) (published March 30th, 2011) are also available.
They're fierce, brutal and ruthless—and bent on leaving their deadly mark on the streets of America.
Hey, how are you? It's Victor—you know, from DVD Verdict. Remember me, baby? How you doin', girl? I know you changed your name now to History (probably your new guy's influence, no doubt), but you'll always be History Channel to me. Remember all those wild times we had when you would hang around showing me Hitler documentaries? We'd laugh, and walk, and talk, and reminisce about what World War II meant to us? I've never forgotten them—they were the happiest times of my life. I still think about those days, even now. Then you went away and came back and you changed, History. You went with new shows like Ax Men and Life After People and UFO Hunters that had nothing to do with actual history. Basically, you were letting me know that our moment had passed, and you only wanted me as a friend. You broke my heart, History. I know I hurt you with some of the things I've said and written about those shows, but really, I was just reacting out of pain. Let's just admit we've both said and done things we wish we could take back.
Anyways, I know there are those who say that Gangland, your series on the history and culture of gangs from street gangs and biker gangs to white supremacist groups and prison crews, is just as sensationalistic and crass as those shows. I used to disagree, but now I'm not so sure, History. Here are the eleven episodes of Gangland: Season Six compiled on three discs:
• "Trinity of Blood"
• "Street Law"
• "Skinhead Assault"
• "Bloody South"
• "Devils Diciples"
• "The Assassins"
• "Sex, Money, Murder"
• "Hell House"
Having reviewed the previous five seasons of Gangland, I can honestly say, History, that my criticisms of the more recent seasons apply even more so here: What started off as an unusual idea has increasingly become monotonous as the series has gone on and run out of interesting gangs to profile. For every good story, such as the Vagos and Logan Heights, there are a lot of tedious ones involving small-time punks who don't matter much. If anything, some of the gangs seen here, like the Galloping Goose and Sex Money Murder, barely qualify as gangs at all—they're more like gatherings of like-minded thugs. This means that too many episodes fall into a repetitive structure where we meet gang members who brag about how tough they are. Then by the end of the episode, we either learn that they're out of the gang and are bragging about how they've turned their lives around or we find out that they're still in the gang and are bragging about how they're not afraid to die. C'mon, History, you can do better than that. These losers are so beneath you. We had a special thing going, History, with all our love for real murderers like Hitler and Stalin and Genghis Khan. You're throwing all that away for these humorless dullards?
That's not the only quibble. Consumers should also note that this is not the complete sixth season. A couple of episodes titled "Mile High Killers" and "Public Enemy No. 1" have inexplicably been left off this set. Seriously, History? Leaving stuff out? That's like the time you let me carry your groceries all the way up to your place and then blurted out that you were seeing somebody else—namely, the guys from Pawn Stars. Damn, History, that's cold. Why you gotta treat fans like that?
Oh, who am I kidding, History? Even now, after all these years, I'm still hung up on you. This is by far the worst season of Gangland ever. It definitively proves the series is way past its prime, but I just can't walk away. Every time I think I've gotten over you, History, something comes along that reminds me of us and makes me remember how you'll always be the cute little channel with the homemade documentaries. Even though only the first two or three seasons of Gangland are really worth caring about, as long as the series remains cheap and profitable, you'll keep making it and I'll keep reviewing it. I just hope you're happy with whatever it is you're doing. God knows, after this season, one of us should be.
P.S.: Technical specs are typical History: non-anamorphic 1.78:1 transfer, Dolby stereo mix, both acceptable. The only extra is some additional footage (14:51) with a few bonus interviews of minor interest.
Guilty—of making me love you, History.
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