Blue Bloods, Season Two (2011)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Television doesn’t seem to take the time to single out the importance of family. It becomes all about the next big stunt or villainous traitor. On Friday nights, CBS challenges that with its all-American, “blue-blooded” drama that is nothing if not a look at the bonds a family can sustain. 

Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) considers it an honor to watch out for every single person who wears “blue” as the police commissioner, no matter their race or rank. Following the death of the mayor, a new candidate is elected causing trouble for Frank’s term. It’s expected that the commissioner resign but accepting Reagan’s resignation is not something the mayor is interested in, but… he does expect Frank to adhere to his new chain of command. While dealing with a new administration, Frank must also take some flak from the media who claim that his children receive special treatment, especially his detective son, Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) and his law-school-graduate-turned-rookie-cop son Jamie (Will Estes). Danny catches virtually any high profile case of his department along with his tough partner, Jackie (Jennifer Esposito) – including a murder case involving a high-priced lawyer – while Jamie has just coincidentally fallen into confidence with a member of a virtually impenetrable crime family. Then there is Erin (Bridget Moynahan), the assistant D.A. whose sense of justice often clashes with her blue-blooded police brothers.  

Crime shows may be challenged in finding new footing to explore but CBS does it right with its tried-and-true “blue” drama. Familial ties that last still resonates with America, and this show does not become lost in the dank and dark shadows of crime; its focus is on those family relationships. Whether they are squabbling siblings or parental rebukes, and it’s a wonderful thing that writer’s never lose sight of. Once a week, we can count on the Reagan family gathering around the dining room table to enjoy each other’s company and a home-made meal. There isn’t much better sentimentality than those scenes. With the help of the material they are given, the cast carries this show to the max.

Tom Selleck is brilliant in his role and he’s surrounded by a fabulous supporting cast in his on-screen children and ex-commissioner father, Len Cariou. Complex cases do find their place in these installments including an interesting one that challenges Frank’s confidence in his past investigations and a pair of episodes that pairs Erin with a man whom she is being told is a thief – played convincingly well by Fred Weller (In Plain Sight) with reflections of his previous character coming right off a prior television role. Then there is the breath-catching nervousness of Jamie’s assignment that leaves us willing for it to be over and done with – and it finishes rather well with a confrontation that convinced us if not Jamie (who begins to question his career as a cop) that he is one of the best guys on the beat. As a viewer, the choice is obvious and I’d be loath to see him give up this profession. It’s a part of how we “know” Jamie and seeing him in a suit and tie every day just wouldn’t be right.  

Intensity may be skipped over in certain elements but there is enough excitement in family dynamics to keep fans satisfied and yet create suspense in the crime cases. I didn’t like what a 180 Danny’s wife, Linda underwent this season – in the premiere season, I was impressed with her character because for once she wasn’t a weepy cop’s wife… that changed in certain instances here. One example is understandable, but isn’t totally forgivable.  If you are a fan of crime dramas but prefer a character-driven narrative, there isn’t anything more satisfying than spending part of your week with the Reagan family. Justice is something none of them take lightly but fight every single day to uphold. Because of this, the finale is particularly poignant. 

(The show is rated TV14: Multiple scenes involve a crime including victims being shot or murdered by other means. A case or two deals with rape. Gunfire is exchanged over a dozen times in the 20-plus episodes. There are a few sexual references [Frank spends the night with an ex-flame]. At school, Nicki deals with a best friend who sends out a suggestive photo of herself in a mass text form. Profanity includes sh*t, da*n and other commonplace uses of swearing.)


  1. I've only seen a few episodes of this show, but being the crazed-lover-of-all-things-emergency-services that I am....I've really been wanting to see more, but I'd like to start with S1, if I can find it. Thanks for the review (and the reminder to track this show down!)

    And yes, I have an HP and I LOVE it!! I've had it for almost a year and have had no trouble with it. It's a 14'' so it's cozy and small, which doesn't bother me at all, but when me, my mom, and two sisters try and huddle around it for some Lark Rise to Candleford therapy, I can see the downfalls of a smaller screen. But I still wouldn't trade it in! And it's always been fast and stream-lined; I've never had it freeze up or go wonky on me. Do you have an HP or are you thinking of getting on?

    1. This is really one of my most favorite crime dramas, Kellie! It focuses on family and never loses sight of its primary scripting. Because of that, everything works so well together and leaves the viewer with a sense that justice always wins. Hope you enjoy it.

      Awesome! That's great to hear. (That does sound like an awkward feat! :D) Our desktop is HP (only a few months old) and we like it. I've been lobbying for a laptop for years now - ever since our old one went out (an old one that was given to me used), so yes, we're looking at laptops now. The one we were eyeing was HP and a 17". It's nice to know you like yours. :)

  2. I still haven't checked season 2 out *blushes* but glad to read that you enjoyed it (for the most part; yikes that Linda's character does a turn around this season. Is it a gradual change or a sudden one? I hate it when they're sudden lol xP)!

    1. Gosh, this show just keeps getting better, Lianne! Love that its focus is family.

      Some may not share my opinion that Linda differs in S2 but I was so impressed by her calm nature and acceptance of Danny's work in S1 (women usual bawl their eyes out at the danger their man works in and I'm sitting there going, "duh! You married him knowing he was a cop/FBI/CIA!") that it was noticeable - and took me quite by surprise. This go-round she seems more defensive and almost unsupportive - plus yes, it was sudden. It really only lasts a few episodes so it's not extreme.

      Hope you enjoy - will look forward to your thoughts!

  3. Though I admit to liking the story-lines in Season 2 the least, this show is one of my absolute favorites, to watch both by myself, and with my family. Without a doubt, the staple Sunday lunches are the best part of every episode.

    As far as the characters go, every time I see Tom Selleck now, I instantly think Frank Reagan; he was born to play this role. And Linda and Danny are one of my top favorite depictions of a solid marriage on TV these days, Linda going back to work in S3 opening up some really great doors for her development as a character. But, when it comes to choosing my favorite Reagan, it would be sacrilege to pick anyone but Jamie. He is just such an adorable, loyal, determined, integrity-driven, SO CUTE with little kids, considerate, compassionate, awesome, awesome cop.

    I have to ask; have you seen Seasons 3-5 yet? In my opinion, they are the best; not just based on the story-lines, but also because we get to meet Erin's ex-husband for the first time, and they introduce two pretty cool new characters: Maria Baez, Danny's now permanent partner, and Eddie Janko, who rides with Jamie.

    God Bless
    Eleanor Rose

    1. *High Five* This one might not be the most "exciting" when it comes to what's on TV, but I love it. Those family dinners are one of the very best aspects. :)

      What a great listing of favorite characters and why. I agree. Tom is amazing as Frank; Danny and Linda are one of the best, if not THE best TV marriages I've seen (though I do also like El and Peter from White Collar, oh and Paige and Evan from Royal Pains); and Jamie... I have to confess, I constantly circle back to him too. He's a great character - and I admire his respect for the job and doing what's right.

      I have seen seasons 3 and 4. Five comes to DVD soon and I'll be watching it then. Erin's story drove me nuts in S4 (don't get me wrong, I still liked her), but she kind of disappointed me. I like both Danny and Jamie's new partners. Eddie, I suspect, has a lot more backstory to come. So, I'm curious to see where that goes. :) Thanks for commenting, Eleanor.


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