Skip to comments.Tom Selleck’s “Blue Bloods” Reflects the Conservatism of its Star
Posted on 04/05/2014 11:23:38 AM PDT by JoeProBono
The television seasons best surprise is easily Blue Bloods starring Tom Selleck as the New York City Police Commissioner, and the head of a multi-generational family of cops. What looked in trailers to be a clunky cop drama is both a surprisingly original take on the genre and a provocative look at some hot-button issues.
But looking at the lineage of Blue Bloods would have given us a clue. Producers Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green have a lot of Sopranos episodes under their belts, (another family drama in a crime context) and Tom Selleckother than a brief stint on Vegashas been pretty choosy about his projects of late.
In a mere 7 episodes, Blue Bloods has taken on enhanced interrogation, profiling, vigilantism, and restrictions on the kinds of force a cop can use to protect his life. And while both sides of the issue are presented fairly, this is a show from a cop point of view, starring one of Hollywoods most prominent conservatives.
And its just cool that perhaps the number one 80s television icon makes his big return in a show as a character named Reagan.Selleck nicely underplays Commissioner Frank Reagan as a dignified fatherly type, though we get hints that he was a singularly tough cop. Donnie Wahlberg (in yet another classy cop role) is his oldest son, Danny, a senior detective and Iraq War veteran, while daughter Erin (Bridget Monyhan) is an assistant D.A., and youngest son Jamie (Will Estes) is a rookie cop, though an Ivy League law school grad.
Veteran actor Len Cariou rounds out the cast as Franks father, a former police commissioner himself, whose fall from grace has so far only been hinted at.
The show does a nice job of bringing the family together and showing how the job effects every aspect of every family members lifeboth the rewards and the stressesusually around Franks Sunday dinner table. The relationships there are convincing enough to turn what might have been a clunky clichéthe family of Irish Catholic copsinto a really effective (and affecting) part of the show.
Blue Bloods takes the opportunity of having the Reagans at every level of law enforcement to explore issues; and so far without seeming too forcedthough it does seem like a Reagan is in the thick of every controversial case in New York City. If the show wants to run for years, that is something that will have to be opened up to guest stars.
But up to now, the device has worked beautifully. In the pilot episode, (which owed a lot to Dirty Harry) Danny waterboards a murderous pedophile in a toilet to force the location of the creeps diabetic victim before time runs out. Then Danny, of course, lands in hot water.
A few weeks later, the Counter-Terrorism Task Force, which has been surveilling a Muslim radical message board raids the apartment after the bomber has already left. Both the necessity and the limits of profiling were examined in a gripping episode with a nice twist.
Blue Bloods cant live forever on issue-oriented shows, (and I really hope it doesnt become dominated by the conspiratorial back story it introduced in the pilot) but it has shown it can handle a standard crime plot, a good sign. And with its engaging cast and the smart people running things, Id say this has the potential to be classic television.
And its just plain great to have Tom Selleck back in a worthy project on a weekly basis.
My favorite show.
Surprised the network permits the praying.
I hear those scenes take all morning into afternoon
I just couldn’t get into it. I would rather he would do more Jesse Stone Movies for TV. I can’t get enough of them!
The author makes the show seem interesting.
Yet, it seems to me pure fantasy.
I love this show, but Friday night????? Horrible night to be on. It is LUCKY that CBS is so generous to this show. The ratings are horrid.
Can’t really forgive Selleck for playing a fag in the homo-propaganda film “In and Out.” Unless someone can point to proof that he has repented of this contribution to present day homo-fascism, he is complicit in it still.
Surprised the network permits the praying.
Oh brother. The network allowed Touch by an Angel, Waltons, and so so many other incredible family shows. CBS is really the best network of them all. They just have to work on their comedies .they are a bit on the raunchy side.
Six guys I grew up with were on the NYPD. None of them cared about any case 1/10 as much as depicted on this show.
I love Blue Bloods.
That was on decades ago. Perhaps he was strapped for money. Maybe he confessed his sins. We don’t know.
I watched it for the first time last week and it centered on the knock out game. And they didn’t PCify it. They clearly went after the young black gangs. And even mocked the PCness of politicians. The writers are not liberal.
“multi-generational family of cops” should be illegal because it breeds arrogance, contempt, and aloofness from other types of works in life.:
I, Perchance, being of the ignorant peon class,
would proffer the following proposition:
A. for a legislature bill that in each state for local, state and federal agencies that all law enforcement personnel be restricted by LAW to a maximum of 5 years on a public police/peace officer/state trooper etc., taxpayer funded institution employed position. Said law would allow only a one-time 5-year hire for the entire life of the officer/LEO. Said law would not allow said ex-officer to be hired again by ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY or private security company ANYWHERE IN THE USA for employment in the USA. This would allow new citizens to be hired FROM THE PEOPLE who are uncontaminated by the master-race syndrome of present day LEO`s. This would prevent abuses by former bad cops going into private industry employment marketplace.
This would include ALL FEDERAL AGENCIES including EPA, DHS, BORDER PATROL, IRS Etc. [US MILITARY EXCLUDED]
B. No more than one member from each three generation family [grandfather-father-grandson/daughter etc.] would be allowed to be hired as a police office each 20 years.
This would obfuscate the hand-me-down illegal me-master-family-you -peon attitude of present day police families.
C. Every year each police office would be required to take a required course on the U.S. Constitution and their respective state constitutions addressing the Second Amendment historical bases, precedents, principles and practices up to the year 1914.
No gun control classes would be allowed by any police officer as it would result in his/her/it immediate dismissal.
After said 5 years, no more duty would be available unless it is a national emergency call-up terrorist attack from a foreign-based country.
This would offset the arrogant -cop-for-life milieu that illicitly pervades America`s armed police.
Blue Bloods is my favorite TV show, second only to Justified.
This season we have a case on drag queens and we find out that Detective Danny Reagan is a big fan because he followed them on a reality show. He refers to the men by their female on stage names as a sign of respect then goes to the draq queen bar after the case is over to grab a drink.
Then on another show he goes out of his way to protect a closeted Hollywood A lister. Hollywood star goes under cover to help him get a mugger and they become pals based on mutual respect.
Danny Reagan is the go to Detective for the LGBT club.
Still, having said all that, one of the least liberal shows on TV. Do I DVR it.
Some of the women are hot.
You need to check your facts. The program has been renewed for a fifth season. Viewers average between 11 and 12 million each week.
We most certainly would have known if he HAD repented. The homo-Gestapo would have told us loud and clear.
I like POI as a window into the dystopian digital future (and the humor to help escape from the present).
Contrast with what Donnie Wahlberg's more successful brother Mark is producing at HBO.
Gee...I remember a time when everybody wanted to beat up Donnie Whalberg!
Yup. I DVR POI too, though, as you say, it’s way out there. And I like hot gun totin’ women.
Really like the show, but he’ll always be Thomas Magnum to me. When I watch re-runs of Magnum PI, I marvel at Selleck, Hillerman, and especially Bellasario. Just great television.
CSI New York was surprisingly conservative, lead by conservative Gary Sinise playing conservative Detective Mac Taylor.
Those weekly dinners with family are some of the best scenes of the series. The characters debate their feelings (both liberal and conservative) yet at the same time the adults shelter the kids through non-explicit discussion.
A current, minor, plot thread is how the youngest cop will get a “normal” promotion without any appearance of nepotism. An episode from a previous season included a scene that illustrated the whole family is aware they have targets painted on them - one of the characters “hit the deck” when a code phrase was uttered.
I also like the Jessie Stone movies. They are, in my opinion, a rare case where the movies are better than the books.
Agreed. It's nice to see a "family" having a meal together.
Looks like it’s gonna’ become your fave, only one Justified left. And it’s going to have to be a doozy! I can’t think they would possibly leave Eva in prison. And if Wendy needs some comforting over Kendall, I’m on my way to Harlan County!!
Latest from Zap2it:
10:00 Show Rating Viewers/millions
CBS Blue Bloods 1.5/5 11.40
ABC 20/20 1.5/5 6.33
NBC Hannibal 0.8/3 2.32
I did a brief stint in Armed Forces Police in NYC in 1967. We were covering an antiwar protest at White Hall Street with the NYPD.
An old NYPD Sargent looked at some FBI suit running around and looking impressive before the cameras and said, “Kid, the three biggest lies in the world are Home Cooking, Home F##king, and the FBI.” Never forgot that.
One or two of my extended family don't like the weekly dinner scene. I think it adds spice...no pun intended.
Even their one or two anti-Catholic TV caricature type shows treated the Catholic Church with respect, not only in attitudes of the actors, but in script conclusions.
The show does, indeed, employ some fantasy, but what cop show doesn't? It took a good part of the first season for the actors to get comfortable in their roles. An interesting test will be what they do when any of the actors move on to bigger and better things. For today it provides a escape that I like to anticipate.
“Really like the show, but hell always be Thomas Magnum to me. When I watch re-runs of Magnum PI, I marvel at Selleck, Hillerman, and especially Bellasario. Just great television.”
Blue Bloods is my aging mother’s favorite show. We always ask if TJ is in this episode, that always gets a rise out of her.
You just over forty years in your comment (The Walton's debued in '72) and you named two shows (last year is shown in parenthesis), hardly a strong record.
There may indeed be 'many others', but I am sure the number is low and the ratings lower compared to most of the tripe on TV.
He was lance white in a few episodes of Rockford as a practically perfect PI. I prefer that over magnum which was an OK series.
There were several good laughs in the recent 'high school reunion' episode.
The Shah-Reese thing is starting to be somewhat akin to the early “Moonlighting” interactions.
OH Joe Magnum PI is on COZI TV on Thursdays
Also on weekday Monday thru Friday
I like the reality show Wahlburgers his brother Paul is chef they drive each other crazy
That show got renew coming back this summer
It could just be that I'm almost completely weaned from TV.
I love Blue Bloods and look forward to watching it every week. I’m annoyed whenever it’s pre-empted.
The only problem I have with it, as a Catholic, is that they seem to be CINOs.
CBS hated “Touched by an Angel.” They kept it on the air only because it was a major hit. When the program showed the first signs of fading, they cancelled it. In reality, the show probably had another two or three years in it, and if it had been a “secular” program, CBS would have postponed cancellation until after its 10th or 11th season.
In the executive suite at CBS, “Touched by an Angel” was referred to as “Touched in the Head” I kid you not. Additionally, the network made no attempt to sign the series executive producer (Martha Williamson) for a new show after “Angel” left the air. Her latest series is airing on the Hallmark Channel.
I know it was renewed. It gets HORRID numbers in the 18-49 important area. The show’s average age is about 62 years old.
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