Blue Bloods: Episode 1 review
Review by Tim Carson
What’s the story: The Reagans are a family embedded deep in the heart of the New York Police Department. Detective Danny Reagan searches for a missing girl while his younger brother Jamie graduates and hits the streets for the first time all under the watchful eye of their dad, Police Commissioner Frank Reagan.
Our verdict: Blue Bloods was Sky Atlantic’s second big launch night drama and while it hasn’t had quite the fanfare that’s preceded Boardwalk Empire it’s gone down well in the States with both audiences and critics alike. The question is can it do the same here?
Well, on the surface Blue Bloods looks like just another US cop show populated by a cast of characters you’ve seen in anything from Hill Street Blues to Southland – the retired ex-cop, the rookie, the hard-nosed detective (also an Iraqi war veteran), the assistant DA and the noble police chief. Although that’s no bad thing as America does cop shows way better than we do.
The show adds one layer of complexity to those characters by putting them all in the same family – the Reagans. And given that Blue Bloods was written and created by Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green two of the writers and producers of The Sopranos we know family will be important.
The first episode demonstrated just how that one change adds to the story-telling and morality within the show as Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg), the tough detective, searched for a missing little girl.
The political implications of him handling such a high-profile case had an impact on his Police Commissioner Father Frank (Tom Selleck), while his mistreatment of the perpetrator put him into conflict his sister Erin (Bridget Moynahan), the DA trying to prosecute the guilty man.
It made for an interesting, if tense, Sunday lunch as the family argued over the morals of whether torture should be used if it’s for the “greater good”. Not something you were ever likely to see on The Bill.
The investigation and resolution of the case held the show together and was told at a breathless pace but it was the glimpse into the family’s lives, its history and possible secrets that hooked you in and made you want to know more.
None more so than near the end when the FBI approached Jamie to reveal that the death of his brother Jack – a cop shot in the line of duty – may not have been as straightforward as it seemed and may have been part of a cover up by a secret criminal society within the NYPD. A conspiracy to add to the already gripping drama – what more could you want?
With its top-notch cast and punchy story-telling Blue Bloods looks set to become a fine addition to the ranks of US cop shows. And isn’t it great to have Tom Selleck (and his moustache!) back on our screens.
Blue Bloods aired on Sky Atlantic on Tuesday, February 1, at 10.30pm and continues next Tuesday at 10pm. Go to Sky Channel 108 for more information.