CBS’s Blue Bloods – A Review Of the Series To Date

by on October 3, 2010

in Entertainment

Blue Bloods on CBS starring Tom Selleck

The fall schedule is full of police shows both new and returning. So, what are the reasons we should be interested in yet another police procedural on CBS called Blue Bloods?

Well, Tom Selleck as Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, for one, although he has always been around on both the large screen and small (Killers and the Jesse Stone TV movies and numerous guest roles), he is finally returning as a lead in a network series. He’s been been most recently seen in a regular role in Las Vegas (2008), & The Closer (1998).  But most notable was his long standing series, Magnum P. I., that ran for eight seasons, from 1980 to 1988.  Of late, He has been dutifully making the rounds of the talk shows promoting Blue Bloods. He is genuinely proud of this new show and he has every right to be.

Donnie Wahlberg and Amy Carlson in Blue Bloods on CBS

Donnie Wahlberg plays Frank Reagan’s son Det. Danny Reagan.  Wahlberg is no stranger to playing a police detective.  He was Detective Moran in What Doesn’t Kill You as well as contributing as a writer. Before Blue Bloods, he appeared as Lt. Joey Grant on another favorite of mine, this summer’s hit Rizzoli & Isles, and as a detective in numerous others series. My first memory of him is from HBO’s award winning miniseries Band of Brothers.

Bridget Moynahan (Ramona and Beezus, I, Robot and The Sum of All Fears) plays Assistant D.A. Erin Reagan-Boyle, his Frank Reagan’s daughter.

Will Estes in Blue Bloods

Will Estes plays Harvard graduate and rookie Jamie Reagan Reagan’s youngest son. Will Estes has numerous roles to his credit including the award winning U-571.

Emmy award winner Len Cariou (Into the Storm, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt) plays Henry Reagan, Frank’s father and the retired police commissioner. His portrayal of Louis Tobin (a Bernie Madoff type character) on FX’s award winning, powerhouse series Damages was brilliant. Damages was canceled because its ratings were low but not before it lasted three seasons and garnered numerous awards. Recognize his face but don’t remember where you saw him? Go to IMDb and scroll through his three decades of work.

Still not impressed and need more convincing? The show is created, written, and produced by Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green who produced HBO’s The Sopranos. They have brought their considerable story telling talents to bear in providing history and depth to all the characters. I have said this before in reviews of other shows. There must be a beating human heart at the center of the story. It doesn’t have to be the love between a man and a woman. It can be the love of a father for his son, the love of a mother for her daughter or a sister for her brother but it must be there. If not, you will lose the audience. They get it.

Len Cariou and Tom Selleck in Blue Bloods

Blue Bloods is more than a police show and it is more than a show about a family dynasty of New York City cops. It is both plot and character driven. All good drama is. In each weekly episode, we are presented with a crime to be solved and a criminal to be caught but the characters are not just driven by the events. They drive the story. The characters can only do that if they each have their own story to tell. Burgess and Green have done the necessary work.

Danny Reagan, married and father of his own 2 boys, is a hard-nosed police detective that reacts quickly, almost impulsively but has a soft spot. In the pilot episode, for example, a 9-year-old girl is abducted on her way home from school. The girl is diabetic and if they don’t find her soon, she may die without insulin. When the kidnapper is found, Danny uses “enhanced interrogation techniques” to get him to give up the location of the girl. His actions made it impossible to use any of the evidence against the criminal because it was obtained from a confession obtained through torture. It is totally within the make-up of the character of Danny that he decided in favor of a little girl’s life over winning a conviction.

Blue Templars Pin in CBS's Blue Bloods

In the opening credits as Danny Reagan is getting ready for Jamie’s induction into the N.Y.P.D., he unlocks his gun safe and we see a picture of his dog tags and a Blue Templar pin.  Remember that pin. It is part of an even larger story that will be revealed gradually throughout the season.

He is a veteran of the Gulf War and we are given hints that something happened during the war and Danny still has problems dealing with it. Frank asks him if he has sought help when he questions Danny about his actions during the arrest of the kidnapper. Later Erin warns him that he may need a lawyer himself. Was she talking about his beating a confession out of the kidnapper or something else?

Frank Reagan, father of Erin, Danny, and Jamie, is a recent widower and dealing with the loss of his son Joe, an officer killed in the line of duty. He is secretly dating TV reporter, Pia, played by Andrea Roth (Rescue Me). In the second episode, she tries to extort being present at the arrest of the subway robbers from the police in exchange for not airing the video shot by Handsome, the gang’s leader. Not wanting to expose his involvement with her, Frank must conceal his irritation and tell her firmly that the N.Y.P.D. will not allow reporters present during an arrest. When they meet later, she tells him she enjoyed the danger of their relationship being discovered. Clearly, Frank has his hands full.

Blue Bloods - teen letter

Assistant D.A. Erin Reagan-Boyle is a divorced mother at odds with her daughter, Nicky, played by Sami Gayle. In the second episode, a touching father/daughter scene between Frank and Erin gives us a glimpse into the family history and demonstrates the depth of their feelings for each other. Erin’s ex-husband has taken their daughter on a trip to San Francisco. She is upset that Nicky seems to prefer her father. Frank brings her a letter from a young girl that was written to her mother. In the letter, the girl tells her mother that she doesn’t understand her. The letter was written by Erin when she was eleven. Watch this one scene and you will understand why this show will be a hit.

Harvard law graduate Jamie Reagan, the youngest son, has chosen law enforcement over being a lawyer. Although his girlfriend has accepted his decision, there is a sense that she may not be able to handle being the wife of a cop. He is recruited by the FBI to investigate the department. The FBI has not told Frank about the investigation. His brother, Joe, was investigating the Blue Templar, a secret organization within the police force. Corrupt members of the group discovered Joe was working undercover for the FBI and had him killed. Remember the Blue Templar pin in Danny’s gun safe? The presence of the pin doesn’t mean that Danny is corrupt. He could have it for a number of reasons but it gives us a mystery to be solved.

I heartily recommend Blue Bloods. It is on CBS, Fridays at 10/9C. Even though it airs on Friday night, not the best night for TV, it scored 13 million for its premiere and over 11 million viewers for the second episode. I predict it will be a financial success for CBS and receive the rewards the industry reserves for those who practice their craft well.

If you have cable or satellite, the first two episodes should be available from CBS on demand. Descriptions, clips, and full episodes of Blue Bloods are available online at CBS.com.

[ IMDb: Len Cariou.]

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie Barra August 16, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Love the show but Erin and her daughter get on my nerves, they both think they are better than any one else and for some reason Frank fawns over the 2 of them and goes against his sons and even his police officers to always take Erin’s side

jeanette eatherly May 12, 2012 at 6:53 am

i love this series! i’ve always been a fan of tom selleck, and he doesn’t disappoint. i love the cast, the writing and everything about it. one of my favorite episodes was the one in which nicky and her great-grandfather did the song and dance routine.

please keep this show on the air!!!!!!!

breadmaker June 14, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Sami Gayle is great as Nicky….she is an integrqal npart of the familyu and family is the premise of Blue Bloods.

carmen February 7, 2011 at 5:32 am

Nicky’s hair is FUGLY!

gary November 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Not my cup of tea

Blue Bloods Lover November 4, 2010 at 5:21 pm

This show is awesome. All of the cast members bring something very special to their respective roles. WJones, I completely disagree with you regarding Sami Gayle. I find her to be one of the most riveting characters in the entire series. Her real portrayal of a rebellious teenager looking to be heard in society reflects the actual challenges that teenagers face on a daily basis. Gayle performs the role beautifully.

et November 3, 2010 at 1:50 pm

are you kidding…I thought she was perfect, playing the part of a youngster at a difficult age, mad at Mom, wanting Mom and Dad back together, blaming Mom for everything…

WJones October 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm

The only weak link I can see is Sami Gayle, as Nicky. The little boys on the show are great, but this girl seems wooden to me. I notice she has Broadway credits, so maybe she’s just too self-conscious in front of cameras or something. Love the series, otherwise.

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