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‘S.W.A.T.’ drama series powerfully touches upon important societal issues

2017 crime drama “S.W.A.T.” may be worth revisiting if you’re looking for an engaging, high-caliber action series similar to “Criminal Minds.” “S.W.A.T.” depicts more than just the highly trained team’s dangerous encounters, and places emphasis on some of the serious issues plaguing the U.S. today.

The show discussed relationships outside of typical heteronormative behavior such as polyamory. One of the Catholic team members’ wives expresses discomfort with another team members’ lifestyle choices, but the show doesn’t shy away and immediately terminate the relationship. Chris Sanchez, the woman in the polyamorous relationship, is tested by society’s opinions of her, and the show navigates character building and conflict perfectly. 

The show even takes on toxic parents with Jim Street, the newest S.W.A.T. member whose mother was recently released from prison for murdering Street’s father in self-defense. Street recognizes that he can’t fix his mother’s problems, but still tries to anyway. While these personal connections make the show that much more enjoyable, navigating toxic parenting is yet one more theme “S.W.A.T.” explores to elicit viewer reflection. 

The theme that sticks out the most is presented in season 2 episode 11 called “School.” In this episode, S.W.A.T. members juggle emotions from a call six years prior of a school shooting where seven people died, including one of the shooters. “S.W.A.T” reflects on what it means to experience one of these horrific events, illustrating the full array of impact and consequence during this episode. It serves as a vital, fictional anecdote of what students, teachers and families are aware of on the daily. 

“S.W.A.T.” also takes on issues such as immigration, attacks on journalists (very Litvenenko-like), organized crime and turf wars.

Overall, “S.W.A.T.” deserves a 4/5 star rating. While it may not be some people’s cup of tea, if you enjoy a good cop show that has the same feel as those high-stakes episodes of “SVU” or even “Chicago PD,” then “S.W.A.T.” is most certainly for you. The first three seasons are available on Hulu.

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