On Blue Bloods [CBS, Fridays, 10/9C], the police department is the Reagan family business. Frank Reagan [Tom Selleck] is the Chief of Police; his father Henry [Len Carious] was Chief before him; his eldest son Danny [Donny Wahlberg] is a homicide detective; his younger son has given up a potential career in lawyer and has just been sworn in as a police officer. His daughter Erin Reagan-Boyle [Bridget Moynihan] is an Assistant District Attorney, but she thinks like a cop – though she has problems with some of Danny’s methods. The series premiere introduces the extended Reagan clan and jumps into the kidnapping of a Hispanic girl – just as the press is toasting Frank for the Hispanic community’s lack of trust in the department.
Danny takes the lead in the kidnapping case and, not necessarily because of the urgency of the case, uses some questionable interrogation methods. A further twist is that girl is diabetic and needs to take insulin on a regular basis. Further complications arise when there’s no forensic evidence to nail the chief suspect .
Blue Bloods is a combination cop show and family drama – imagine the family dinner where Danny’s interrogation methods, which are more than counter to sister Erin’s principles, is the chief topic of conversation.
Frankly, there’s nothing new here – that’s not really news. The thing is, series creators Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green have put together a show that takes the best elements of both kinds of shows and integrated them in a way that provides suitable grit and intrigue both in the procedural arc and the family drama arc. The Reagans are characters that we can understand and relate to; the kidnapping and ensuing investigation are handled with intelligence.
Michael Cuesta directs with a firm hand. The premiere is beautifully paced – the balance between the urgency of the case and the family moments is just right. Cuesta establishes a good look for the show, with a cooler palate for the procedural arcs and warmer tones for the family arcs.
The result is a show that holds our attention and entertains. Blue Bloods may not break new ground, but it’s the kind of series that gives its cast ample opportunity to stretch – an opportunity that Selleck, in particular, is already taking advantage of.
If you like a solid, dependable, entertaining procedural – or a gripping family drama – then chances are you’ll enjoy Blue Bloods.
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