Regina King (TNT)

Eric Deggans writes at the Tampa Bay Times that Regina King defies typecasts in her role as Lydia Adams on Southland because she is not portraying a best friend, girlfriend or stern boss โ€” roles typically reserved for women of color. He praises King for finally landing a role as a woman who is very much standing on her own.

The fact is, King may be the most overlooked actress on TV these days, nailing her portrayal of Los Angeles police Detective Lydia Adams on "Southland," a show that distinguishes itself by trying to evoke a taste of the real trials officers endure on the job.

For an actress who has earned some of her biggest notice playing wives and girlfriends โ€” she was Cuba Gooding Jr.'s wife in "Jerry Maguire" and Jamie Foxx's mistress in "Ray" โ€” King has finally scored a meaty role playing a woman who is very much standing on her own. King's Lydia Adams is a rare character of color who isn't a best friend, girlfriend or stern boss, probably because Adams wasn't originally written as a black woman in the first place.

"Lydia doesn't have any children, she's not married, she's not a girlfriend," King says. "They basically kept the stories through the eyes of a woman that is a detective; that will probably ring very true no matter what nationality you are.

"Southland" remains a mostly under-the-radar gem, one of the best shows centered on urban cops left on television. Originally on NBC, the show was canceled to make room for the 10 p.m. "Jay Leno Show," only to find a home on TNT.


Read Eric Deggans' entire blog entry at the Tampa Bay Times.