'Gang Related' premiere: Every hero has a dark side, and a lot of exposition to get through

May 23, 2014 2:07 AM

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If you’ve seen Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, then the plot for Gang Related may sound a little familiar. Ryan Lopez is a detective for L.A.’s elite Gang Task Force leading a double life as an actual member of the Los Angelicos, a powerful Latino gang. It all makes a little more sense, though, when you hear about Ryan’s backstory and how gang leader Javier Acosta took him under his wing when he was younger, only now to mastermind Ryan’s entry into the force to protect la familia. A predictable moral dilemma arises for Ryan about which side of the law he really should be on, and thus begins the series.

Well, almost. Though the plot is simple enough, it requires a lot of explanation and backstory that would be better suited for a film than just an opening flashback. We are quickly shown how, at a young age, Ryan became protected by Acosta, but it’s up to the audience to really figure out the full r...

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