Sunday, 20 May 2012

TV: Blue Bloods (S2) (5/10)

I want to like Blue Bloods, I really do, it has a decent cast, led by Donnie Wahlberg and Tom Selleck but the writing really lets the show down.

Firstly, the writing for the children on the show is complete drivel. Thanks to the writers, Blue Bloods's children may well be the most annoying children in the history of moving picture. I cannot accept that any 10 or 13 year old, no matter how well they have been raised, or even if they are a Reagan, would ever come out with such sickly sweet and pretentious lines, delivered in the majority by Erin's daughter. What world have these writers been living in? The following are two of my vomit-inducing favourites, Nicki saying "I do know what it means, I buried my Uncle when I was 13" and Danny's son (about 10 or 11) on the family business, "I think you have two lives, one you are born into and one you choose". I rest my case.

Moving on. The family is so self-righteous and respectable it is tedious. I have lost count on how many times I have been told what it means to "be a Reagan" or why anyone one else would do this or that but not Selleck's brood because they are Reagan's. This saintly and holier than thou attitude is served up by Selleck for family dinner each week and gives me indigestion. It is in stark contrast to Danny, apparently the only detective in New York it would seem, running around slapping 10 bells out of any criminal he can get his hands on.

Thirdly, the family dinner. The writers use the weekly family dinner as an opportunity to discuss the moral implications of the episodes cases. Given Erin's role as Assistant District Attorney, like Law and Order, the show is able to argue cases from both sides of the arrest with Erin arguing for the law, right or wrong, and Danny arguing for justice at whatever cost with Tom Selleck acting as judge from the head of the table. If it wasn't for the  way the writers get the children involved in the discussions, or use the unflinching Reagan moral compass as a way of discussing the cases, these discussions could really deliver a decent view of the episodes cases. As it is though, the family dinner is usually a cringing low point of each episode. 

All the above spoils what is actually an average show. The idea of a police version of the Corleones, with Selleck as the Godfather and all his offspring in the family business of delivering justice in one way or another is a unique one. The episode plots are pretty simple but it can be enjoyable watching Danny, Jackie and Erin work their cases episode to episode. The writers clearly made the decision to build in a longer length story arc each season, Jimmy and the Blue Templars or Jimmy and the Mob in the case of season two, but they just don't dedicate enough time to develop this arc week to week for it pay off at the end of the season with any satisfaction.

I think Blue Bloods is probably the first show to give an insight into the mixed political/police role of a police commissioner. While Selleck's role was interesting in the first season, the writers seems to be fast running out of story lines for Frank Reagan this time around. The episode featuring the Catholic Church visiting him to get his opinion over a sainthood for his conflicted childhood priest was the worst by far.

The terrorist threat and missing child cold case season finale felt like we were covering old ground from the first season and apart from Frank resignation dilemma was a disappointment.

The show has been renewed for a third season so they are obviously doing something right, either that or maybe the network boss is a Reagan.

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