Blue Bloods comes from The Sopranos writers Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, but that’s not to say it is of, or aiming towards, the same calibre. The show stars Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan, the New York Police Commissioner. The Reagans are the Royal Family of the NYPD. The eldest son, Danny (Wahlberg), is a loose-canon detective; always having is ankles snapped at by his sister (Moynahan), an assistant district attorney. The youngest son (Estes) is a rookie beat cop with a degree from Harvard Law and their grandfather (Cariou) is a retired police commissioner from humble beginnings. It’s a nice format, spanning the NYPD from the streets to the mayor’s office.
The Format of the show is procedural. Every episode opens with a crime that Danny must solve. The cases always make their way to the Reagan Sunday dinner table, where they are thrashed out between the bigoted old grandfather, the idealistic young rookie and the bureaucratic sister. Unlike in The Sopranos, the dialogue is often horribly expositional and the storylines are disposable
The over-arching storyline is of Jamie. He lives in the shadow of his recently deceased older brother, a hero gunned down in the line of duty. Jamie is offered to join a secret investigation into an illegal police fraternity, suspected of killing his brother. As the whole family become involved, and take the law into their own hands, their squeaky-clean moral superiority verges on preachy. The family are devoutly Catholic New York Irish cops. Apart from occasionally being offensively passionate, they lack any humanizing weaknesses whatsoever. Conventions of the genre, such as alcoholism, neglect and obsession, however clichéd, really seem to be missing from this series.
If you’re going to buy a DVD box-set, probably don’t buy this. It isn’t bad, but it is by no means box-set material. Sure, if it’s on Sky Atlantic, which I’m sure it will be quite a lot, it’s better than watching The One Show, but it’s not really the sort of thing I would suggest sitting down and investing sixteen and a half hours in. I did that so you wouldn’t have to.
The DVDs are peppered with sporadic opportunities to see deleted scenes, pretty unmissable stuff, obviously. There are also a couple of reasonably interesting featurettes on how the show was created, from a behind the scenes about shooting on location in New York, to how the writers developed the family dynamic.
Blue Bloods – The First Season is available now on DVD.