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TV Review: Blue Bloods is a Cop Drama With a Twist

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CBS is known for its crime and legal procedurals. What makes Blue Bloods different is that it is also a family show. Three generations of one family serve the New York City Police Department in different capacities. Each has his (or her) own unique opinions and tasks, but they work as part of a very large team to serve the greater good. Perhaps in part because of the amazing cast assembled, it works.

Len Cariou (Damages) is Henry Reagan, the eldest, and though we didn’t find out much about him in the pilot, it seems he made some mistakes that made his retirement necessary.  But Henry still dons the uniform to watch the newest member of the family, his grandson Jamie (Will Estes, Reunion, American Dreams), get sworn in on the force. Jamie, once on the path to becoming a lawyer, has chosen instead to pursue the family occupation.

Jamie is coming into things in a very different time from his grandfather’s era. The corruption supposedly has been cleaned up, and crime rates are down across the city. Yet, Jamie’s brother Joe, who died on the job before the series begins, had been investigating a secret society within the NYPD known as the Blue Templar. Jamie is quickly recruited to help finish the work his brother started, but we are given the impression that he’s getting mixed up into something pretty dangerous. I’m not sure he understands that, as his biggest qualm seems to be keeping the investigation secret from his father, Police Chief Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck, the Jesse Stone TV movies, Friends, Magnum P.I.).

Frank is running into some difficulty, as he has always placed the public ahead of the political game. It has made him popular with the people, but not with his bosses. It may be a similar situation to what Henry encountered, though I can’t be sure of that. It is so great to see Selleck back on a series that his presence alone is enough to warrant watching the show. He plays the reigning patriarch (Henry seems retired from that as well) as warm and supporting, but also strong. He loves his family and wants everyone in it to be happy, and sees the city as an extension of that. It’s a great role for Selleck, who can convey emotion effectively without a lot of words.

The star of the first episode was clearly Detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg, Band of Brothers). The former New Kids on the Block member can handle the serious drama required for the police work. His character has a lot of heart, but also a lot of heat. When questioning a suspected child abductor, he had no problem shoving the suspect’s head in the toilet, which led to the confession being thrown out of evidence. Given the choice between saving the young victim’s life (she needed an insulin shot urgently), or playing by the rules, he chose the former, and clearly would again.

Which makes Danny a headache for sister Erin (Bridget Moynahan, Six Degrees, Sex and the City), who rejected the cop career to work for the District Attorney. It was her responsibility to bring the kidnapper to justice, but she couldn’t because of her brother’s actions.

The family dynamic makes this show good. Their dinner table reminded me of the Walkers (Brothers & Sisters).

 

Blue Bloods airs Friday nights at 10pm on CBS, and I strongly suggest you check it out.

 

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com
  • T Coyne

    My favorite show, However I cannot follow the dialogue with the loud background noise they allow during shooting. They need to tone down the background noise.

  • John Hart

    I just want to applaud the writers and network for having the gumption to depict cops and especially their family as religious people with real values. They aren’t perfect but they are honest. It is absolutely wonderful to see a family eating together, praying and having honest discussions. Thanks to all who have fortitude to allow this to happen on network tv and thanks too for having some good stories too!
    jch