'The Red Line' star Elizabeth Laidlaw says the show humanizes a 'sadly familiar story' and makes it relevant to the people
Ever since the premiere of the CBS drama 'The Red Line', actress Elizabeth Laidlaw who plays the role of Officer Victoria 'Vic' Renna, has received a lot of positive feedback; not just for her role but praising the series as well.
"I’ve seen a lot of people commenting on the “feels” they are getting from the show," she says when speaking exclusively with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW). "Maybe to feel some 'feels'. It wouldn’t hurt to have a weekly dose of feels for the next month."
'The Red Line' begins with the shooting of an African American doctor by a Caucasian Chicago police officer after a convenience store robbery. What follows next is the story of three different Chicago families, connected by this tragedy, moving towards hope against hope, healing, and forgiveness.
What makes 'The Red Line' truly unique, among other things, is that the story is told through the perspective of each person affected directly by the tragedy. Audiences can feel the agony that is inflicted on the Calder-Brennan family and the hardships they have had to face in the six months that follow Harrison's death. It shows the struggles of an honest, budding politician in Tia Young (played by Emayatzy Corinealdi), who is trying everything possible and more to ameliorate the dire state of affairs.
The show has received a lot of positive feedback since airing. That is because it encapsulates the charged socio-political atmosphere with perfection. "No matter where you identify politically and socially, everyone has to acknowledge that the temperature in this country is dangerously high, that people are angry and increasingly communication is being shut down. No one is listening to anyone, and the dreaded “comments” sections are enabling people to dehumanize and lash out and hurt each other without being forced to reckon with empathy, with knowing that it’s a human being you are attacking," begins Elizabeth.
She adds that the show takes a sadly familiar story one sees in newsprint and touches one's heartstrings making the story relevant across demographics. "'The Red Line' is doing an excellent job of taking a sadly familiar story and turning the people involved into human beings, rather than headlines."
And most importantly, 'The Red Line' tells the stories of the many different privileges and justices that exist in America. "It makes a black woman the voice of justice and progress, but she isn’t a symbol. It doesn’t excuse the actions of Paul, Vic, the Chicago Police Department, it doesn’t look away from Jim’s racially charged anger, but it contextualizes these things. It normalizes Daniel and Harrison’s marriage and fatherhood rather than sensationalizes it; it acknowledges Jira’s financial privilege and contrasts it with her growing awareness of a world that is more dangerous for her than for her white classmates. It explores even Daniel’s racial blind spots."
But even as the CBS drama takes a risk with the production that is 'The Red Line' considering its sharp commentary on the socio-political climate in America, it does so with compassion and humanity. "In doing so, the show might help to further a conversation, rather than a shouting match. Maybe there can be more listening, more calm talking, and less anger. That’s the hope, anyway."
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