Blue Bloods, Season One (2010)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Concealed underneath the crime drama persona of obtaining justice for those who cannot speak, at its core, this CBS drama is all about family. It centers on an NYC law-enforcement family who are not about to let the bounds of law stop them when it comes to what’s ethically right. Led by veteran actor Tom Selleck, this freshman season gets in one or two good punches proving it deserves a spot next to shows like NCIS one of television’s top-rated dramas.

Wearing the blue of the NYC’s finest was not a requirement in the Reagan household but it has been something generations in their family have proudly wore. Today another rookie class of cops graduate from the police academy and as police commissioner, Frank Reagan (Selleck) – a job he inherited from his retired father (Len Cariou) is the featured speaker. His hot-headed son, Detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) is not one who takes “no” as answers to his questions easily. His current case involves a young girl snatched from outside her school while walking home. As a father of two kids, Danny is sickened by the idea that this isn’t a kidnapping for ransom – and the girl’s parents are heartbroken. Sundays at the Reagan household has always meant dinners together. Erin (Bridget Moyahan) grew up in a household full of brothers but now she is a single, divorced mother to a teenager (Sami Gayle) who thinks life is only unfair to her. As a Reagan, Erin grew up opinionated and that has led her to become a successful assistant DA, only her opinions and Danny’s often clash on what the right side of law is. Then there is Jamie (Will Estes).

A Harvard lawyer grad turned rookie cop, Jamie feels it’s an honor to wear the NYC blue. His fiancĂ©e Sydney is proud of Jamie but has reservations about him being in the line of fire every day. Though only a rookie, Jamie is eager to learn – to become one of the best protecting the streets of New York. The family still bears the pain of loss in their family and fondly remembers their brother and son who was killed while on duty. This entangles Jamie in an undercover case Joe was working on and about to crack open when he was murdered – an investigation he thinks he can handle without help from those who care the most about him.

When it comes to the usual twists and turns, suspects and cases, this show is not much different. Sure, it has a unique voice all its own – some of the cases are really well-written but unlike NCIS or The Closer there is really no mystery to them. Detectives often discover the face and name of the villain early on and it covers more of the good guys tracking them down than the chase to uncover an identity. It also has its share of angst through conflict in relationships like a subplot of two people falling out of love unable to overcome the challenges placed in their relationship or a wife worried over the career her husband has, and a mother’s fear that her ex isn’t acting like a parent. Although this season does have an on-going plot, it doesn’t take over the show which I think was a good thing.  By these omissions I am not in any way saying that this isn’t good television, because it is. I was surprised by how truly great the pilot was and then about three episodes in I realized that this show isn’t just “passable” airtime but great television.

Blue Bloods really puts its heart and energies into family, and I found that a really moving, unbreakable part of the show – a glue of sorts that held it together. The Reagan family isn’t perfect, they do get annoyed with each other (as any family would) but despite it all, at the end of the day, they are family – they are always there for one another. If a TV show should be thought poignant, this is definitely one that would – and should fall into that category. More often than not that was the focus of the conclusion to the episode; it nearly always ended in the quietness and comfort of family ties. Some might not like its tendencies and loyalty in doing so, but I loved the scenes when the family was gathered around the table and listening to their easy-going banter or the times when various family members were at the Reagan house hanging out with their father. Unlike its counter-parts, this show isn’t dripping with comedic tension breakers, so it needs those special moments to kind of balance out the realism of the hard truths that this family faces day in and day out.

Although it is not the primary topic, it was interesting that the shadow of 9/11 was always hanging over the family – proud Americans. It had a great deal to do with the motivations of how the Reagan family goes about making the choices they do. Little things all add up to imply the impact such an event had – and still does hold on Americans. The actors all gave their best performances and I was constantly impressed by their capabilities and attitudes. Selleck is perfect in this role (it seems one tailor-made for him) as are the rest of the stars. For me, this show didn’t have to have intelligent cases because it is so much more than just a crime drama. Its strengths rely on more than the thrill of a chase and I had an appreciation for that. Fortunately it also does not end on a cliff-hanger which makes my anticipation for season two easier to await. Another addition that writers incorporated was seeing the law on two different sides in one family. Being lawyers Jamie and Erin often had different opinions on things whereas Frank and Danny often saw an alternative having been on the side of law that walks the streets everyday – their conversation often gets animated as a result. Whatever viewers thought of this show, one thing is for certain: the Reagan family dinner table is sure a lot of fun to be a part of.
(Blue Bloods is Rated TV14 for some violence – shootings, stabbings and poison; one person commits suicide [just out of camera range] and another is beaten to death. Very little swearing is a part of the equation [the occasional h*ll, da*n or SOB is about the extent of it]. One case involves a rape [we glimpse the victim beaten up in the aftermath] and later a serial rapist who also tortures his victims before killing them in a fire.)


  1. I love a good family drama and Blue Bloods is one of my favorites. The Blue Templar is one my favorite episodes.

  2. This show is awesome, Jen! I love its emphasis on family and the fact that despite being a crime drama, family is where the show's heart is.

    The finale was phenomenal - I especially liked it because it didn't end on a cliffhanger. ;D

  3. Oh, I know! I'm not a huge fan of the cliffhanger. Are you watching this season or will you wait for the dvd's?

  4. You and me both, Jen. =)

    Yes, you are correct: I am waiting on the DVD's. Sometimes I wonder at the choice to do that, but most of the time I am fine with it since I have tons of other television-on-DVD that helps to pass the time. =D

    Got any good spoilers from S2??

  5. I really like the idea of watching shows on dvd. =}

    Spoilers for season 2... Jamie goes under cover off and on this season. That has been an interesting story line.

  6. I've never watched any of "my shows" on the telly - although I will admit to watching the pilot for Charlie's Angels because I was so darn curious. =D Anyway, I prefer being able to watch an entire season whenever I want.

    Jamie undercover... I think I can see that. He seems like a really dedicated cop, rookie or no. Just so long as they don't kill anyone off, I am good with it. =)

  7. Great review of the series! I haven't watched it regularly but from the episodes I've seen, it's quite enjoyable. I especially enjoy the family interactions and their time together; for me it's what makes this show different from the other cop shows out there.

  8. Thanks, Lianne!

    You should watch the entire set because it is really good - and those family dynamics are all the stronger when you see them grow and change. Excellent drama. And, you are right about it seeming "different" because of the family themes.

    So glad you stopped in!

  9. No, they don't kill anyone off. Henry does end up in the hospital for the Thanksgiving ep, but he is fine now. =D

  10. Well good!

    If writers start killing characters off, it will make me really mad. I've been "through that" with some of my favorite shows, and I don't like it. =)


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