SPOILERS for Season 2 of The Mandalorian.LOTS of SPOILERS.
So the second season of The Mandalorian has started dropping on Disney+, and I love the Season 2 premiere (a.k.a. Chapter 9, The Marshal) SO MUCH. I’ve rewatched it 3 1/2 times, and it was my show and episode of choice on Election Night 2020. Because a bunch of people from different racial and ethnic groups coming together to defeat a dangerous monster just feels so relatable right now. But we’re not here to talk about the Krayt Dragon, or even Mando and Baby Yoda. We’re here to talk about that suave silver fox Marshal of Mos Pelgo, Cobb Vanth.
Alternate Title: Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Police Brutality
Note: I did not write this blog. This is a guest blog written by my sister, JoJo. She has lots of thoughts about this show and this topic, so I encouraged her to blog about it.
In the months since the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by American police officers, TV shows featuring cops have come under much scrutiny. Much of this scrutiny pertains to the glorification of police brutality as a means to solve the mystery and serve justice. More specifically, those against this type of representation argue that these shows glorify cops who go rogue and break the law in the name of justice. This then normalizes the real-life actions of cops who kill unarmed black people and are not held accountable for their actions. For a fuller explanation of this phenomenon, I suggest this Daily Show clip.
Since this criticism has arisen, many wonder what we should do with cop shows. Some even wonder if we should get rid of them altogether. While I agree that the American portrayal of police brutality is harmful and wrong, I don’t agree that we need to get rid of police shows altogether (although, we could maybe use a few fewer CSIs and Law and Orders). What many don’t realize is that Britain has provided us with a template for how to represent the police without glorifying them or police brutality. One of the best, though not perfect, examples of this is Grantchester.