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October 26, 2014

'Blue Bloods' Premiere Review: Tom Selleck Brings More Cops to CBS

by Maureen Ryan, posted Sep 24th 2010 11:30AM
'Blue Bloods' (10PM ET Friday, CBS) sounds good on paper.

Yet despite its good cast and competent execution, this drama about a family of New York cops feels a bit perfunctory. There's nothing necessarily wrong with the drama, which is ably headed by Tom Selleck, but there's every chance that 'Blue Bloods' will turn out to be just another cop show.

We aren't short of those.

I suppose there's a small chance that 'Blue Bloods' could turn out to be something more than the sum of its parts, a la 'The Good Wife,' which turned out to be more than just another legal drama (though the law cases are often timely and provocative enough to be interesting on their own).

But the majority of the 'Blue Bloods' pilot concerns the kidnapping of a little girl, and there's every reason to believe that upcoming episodes will similarly focus on the case of the week.

There will be an ongoing plot going forward, but as 'Burn Notice' has proved, an ongoing thread can actually become quite frustrating when it is relentlessly shoved into the margins. (I sometimes wonder, when it comes to 'Burn Notice.' if there's a command from on high that the show's mythology can never take up more than 10 or 15 percent of an episode. In 'Burn Notice's' most recent season, this rigidity came close to giving me an aneurysm, because the restricted screen time regarding the show's mythology caused the story about who burned who to feel ever more muddled, cramped and rushed.)

On 'Blue Bloods,' Selleck is effortlessly commanding as New York police commissioner Frank Reagan, an imposing man who, with a single look, can make the mayor of the Big Apple seem like a pipsqueak. Such is the power of the 'stache. OK, I kid. Of course, Selleck's mustache is as luxuriant as ever, but even more impressive is his quietly charismatic presence. He's absolutely believable as a man who has successfully navigated the treacherous and dangerous waters of the police force and New York politics.

Rounding out the cast are Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan, a detective who is Not Afraid to Do What It Takes to Get Results (this is CBS, after all. The Formula must be obeyed). And as the night follows the day, in opposition to the male character who Does What It Takes is a female character -- in this case, Danny's sister, Erin (Bridget Moynahan) -- who Says No. 'Blue Bloods' follows the pattern of most formula-driven shows, in which female characters exist to tell male characters not do what they want to do. On top of that, Erin is a lawyer, of all things. Sheesh. No wonder her husband left her.

Will Estes' character, Jamie, has a potentially interesting journey ahead of him. Jamie has given up a law career to be a beat cop, and one of my favorite scenes in the pilot was of Jamie and his training officer, a veteran officer played by Nicholas Turturro. In that moment, and a few others, 'Blue Bloods' became the kind of relaxed yet alert character drama that you would expect from Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, the creators of 'Blue Bloods' and veteran writers who've worked on 'The Sopranos' and 'Northern Exposure.'

Yet if 'Blue Blood' focuses on the catching of bad guys rather than the examination of consciences and relationships, it will no doubt fade out of my TV-watching rotation. Television, especially this season, is chock-full of shows about law enforcement and lawyers. There has to be something more to a show for it to overcome my growing case of procedural fatigue.


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HENWOOD

I was hoping this show would be close to the real thing but it is a bit over the top. There is no way one family can have so much time and involvement in a one city, town, or neighborhood. Some characters are given some really bad scripts and it is really not the way the PD's work. (even the media characters are very weak-not the way it really is). I think you need to follow some real police departments and see how this really goes down. The show needs to be worked on. Theresa Henwood

February 11 2011 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
susan

First of all, at times a new show needs to get "it's groove" (just like NCIS which is now a top show). I think it is a great show which is "character centric" and each episode allows them to evolve.

December 20 2010 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TODO

DRECK! just watched the most current episode....that's IT! No more!. This mess is so poorly assembled as to now be unwatchable. Absolute "connect-the-dots", suspense-free crap.
Ludicrous street cops, treacly "family gathering"
homilies, YIKES! THIS IS JUST AWFUL STUFF!

November 20 2010 at 11:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kathy

love the new show "blue bloods'" can't wait to see next weeks episode.

October 17 2010 at 1:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Garry

I really would like to like this show, Selleck is excellent, although that opening speech was somewhat over the top, but what on earth is wrong with the producers, writers & CBS for allowing the rest of this mess?
1. Not once did any of the cops have a search warrant to enter or search anything, not once!
2. When Bridget Moynahan was defending her brother's obviously illegal actions, the defendant's lawyer never brought up that she was his sister. That's about as bad a conflict of interest as there is. If the judge were told of that, she would have thrown the entire arrest out, instantly! And what prosecutor would ever allow such a conflict of interest, when there are dozens & dozens of assistant DAs in NYC?
3. The mayor is just a Guiliani clone, since this fictional mayor hates when the police chief gets credit for anything, just like Rudy!
4. Len Cariou's part is ridiculous! It's cobbled together from dozens of other cop shows & movies!

September 26 2010 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
veghead

Love Tom Selleck (who doesn't?), and he's the only reason I'd sit down and watch a cop show, but sorry, this one is pretty bad on both a crime drama level and a soap opera/family level. Think I'll pass. Sorry Tom. You can't save this one.

September 25 2010 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to veghead's comment
Meaghan

I always like Tom Selleck BUT this show is another "cop show" and very slow and some times boring. It seems to be a "family" movie. By the way, Selleck doesn't act much. It's too fat and looks like he is drunk. I believe he could do better. However I like th Stone episode though it aired only the first one because the other 6 are a mystery (?????)

November 24 2010 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jrd

I did not think highly of Tom Selleck's acting ability when he was younger. Now, I think he is a terrific actor. Donnie Wahlberg is also great. With the two of them in the cast, I expected better from the first episode. Borrowing from you, perfunctory is the perfect word to describe this series. I will hang in for a few more episodes to see if it improves.

September 25 2010 at 3:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jus4kix

Wow is this show bad........can't they make a good cop show anymore..........never seen a show shot in NYC that actually looks like it was filmed in Canada, the police cars are horrible........Whalberg's unmarked keeps chaning colors during the shots.......where is the realism???

September 25 2010 at 2:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ColleenO

Must... watch... Tom... Selleck! :)

September 24 2010 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Candy

I'd watch grass grow, mud dry or spiders crawl up a wall as long as Tom Selleck were in the frame.

September 24 2010 at 2:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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