TELEVISION: Dark Blue: TNT’s Undercover Opus Lacks Freshness!

TNT’s Dark Blue [Wednesday, 10/9C] is another dark, atmospheric cop show that vacillates between being too cool and inscrutable. Carter Shaw [Dylan McDermott] runs a deep cover ops team for the LAPD that is so deep undercover that no one – including the FBI and the rest of the LAPD – has a clue that it exists. Which is a problem when one of Carter’s team, Dean Bendis [Logan Marshall-Green] turns up on a surveillance camera helping to dispose of a body.

Dark Blue

Dean, it seems, may have gone so deep undercover that he’s flipped [or maybe not – you know how it is with these things]. Carter, who hasn’t taken a vacation since his wife died, turns to a team member who’s supposed to be on leave, the recently married Ty Curtis [Omari Hardwick] to go back to work and find out what’s going on with Dean. At least Ty’s got it together in the premiere – next week, he makes an incredibly stupid blunder that could get his wife killed.

Then there’s the new recruit, Jaimie Allen [Nicki Aycox], whom Carter recruits because she’s a terrific liar [she and a former boyfriend did a bad, bad think several years back and her current identity is totally fabricated]. Jaimie is smart, tough and blonde [in some shots Aycox looks like the young Diane Lane; in others, like a younger Ali Larter] – a perfect foil to two lack guys and the dissolute-looking Carter.

The problem with Dark Blue is that it’s so by-the-numbers. For a production from Jerry Bruckheimer’s production company, we should get something more. These are the people who changed cop shows forever with the CSI franchise, after all. Unfortunately, there’s nothing unique about the series. It’s got slick production values and a cast that can act rings around most, but it lacks any feel of originality – or even of enthusiasm. However well made, it’s just another cop show. At least it’s not awful!

Considering Dark Blue premieres following the far more engaging and entertaining Leverage, I have to wonder what TNT was thinking here.

Final Grade: C