Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Posts Tagged ‘Blue Bloods’

Frank and Jed

Posted by CJ Cregg on October 31, 2010

Selleck as Reagan

So, I love Blue Bloods on CBS.  It’s a great crime drama with an awesome family twist set in the best city in the world.  I love this family more than the Walker family (of Brothers and Sisters) as of late.  Although the Walker family of the first three seasons might still give the crime-fighting Reagans a run for their money.

But I don’t really want to talk about Brothers and Sisters right now.  I want to talk about the West Wing.  (Stop rolling your eyes, friends.  I know I always want to talk about the West Wing, but I’m being serious now.)

So, what do the West Wing and Blue Bloods have in common?  An awesome male lead and a great supporting cast.  I’ve been watching Blue Bloods since the premiere, and I’ve been having a difficult time putting my finger on why the show is so awesome.  And I realized last night what that is.  It’s that BB reminds me of the WW.  (Abbrevs FTW!)  Not really the whole show, although I love how BB delves into controversial topics like racial profiling and torture.  The Reagan family often holds a variety of opinions on these issues, which get debated at weekly family dinners.

Really, Frank Reagan (Commissioner of the New York Police Department, played by Tom Selleck) reminds me of Jed Bartlet (you know, President of the United States, played by Martin Sheen).  Both have a quiet, reflective, educated power.  They make tough decisions carefully and thoughtfully, but decisively.  They accept the painful ramifications of their choices.  In the most recent episode of BBSmack Attack” in which the Reagans bust a drug ring at a Catholic high school, we see Frank Reagan’s spiritual side and learn about his Catholic school roots, which reminded me of Bartlet’s similar quiet spirituality.  (Confrontation in “Two Cathedrals” not withstanding.)  Reagan seems like the kind of guy who, like Bartlet, would speak Latin and understand the intellectual side of Christianity.

What do you think?  Is my comparison apt?  What differences/similarities do you see between Selleck and Sheen or Reagan and Bartlet?

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“Blue Bloods” Premiere Review

Posted by Mr. Feeny on September 28, 2010

First off, I can’t believe I’m already done reviewing new shows this season. The rest are CJ and Marlo’s. Now what? Or, in the words of Aaron Sorkin (This comes out Friday!), “what’s next?”

Blue Bloods is nowhere near as good as The West Wing. But other than a need to awkwardly transition from the first paragraph to this one, there’s also no reason to compare the two shows. As a cop show, Blue Bloods is very enjoyable. As a family drama, it’s even more so.

That’s what you have to consider when weighing your cop show options this season. What type of program do you want? Do you want nitty gritty? Then watch Detroit 1-8-7. Do you want light-hearted? Then The Good Guys is for you. How about a tried and true and dull format? Law & Order: Los Angeles. But if you want a drama that moves beyond the mechanics of crime solving (while not ignoring them completely), then you want to watch Blue Bloods.

CBS had a huge hit last year with The Good Wife. It received critical acclaim (it was my favorite new show of the season), lots of viewers and tons of award nominations. That wasn’t because it’s a legal drama. The attention it received was because the writers committed to the overarching character plots behind the weekly legal case. It basically appealed to everyone. You could tune in with no previous knowledge and try and follow the courtroom drama. Or you could see how Alicia and her family grow from week to week. It effectively mixed procedural and serial, with the focus on family and relationships.

I probably shouldn't expect Broadway-vet Cariou to break into song, sadly

The Eye hopes to do the same thing this year with cops instead of lawyers. Blue Bloods is about a family of police officers. The New York Chief of Police (Tom Selleck), his retired police chief father (Len Cariou), his veteran detective son (Donnie Wahlberg), his assistant prosecutor daughter (Bridget Moynahan) and his rookie cop son (Will Estes). The show doesn’t separate their office lives from their home lives. Their family bonds deeply influence their work on the job.

You get some very predictable plotlines and scenes in the pilot, such as a family dinner that ends with everyone walking off in a huff or the fact that one brother was killed in action. But I was surprised by some of the developments in just this first episode. Cariou was apparently forced out as chief for being too honest and open. Selleck is a widower, navigating the dating waters. Estes is being recruited as an internal affairs mole (did not see that one coming…truly, good twist that I haven’t given away). And Wahlberg’s character beat a suspect into submission by hitting his head against a toilet to get him to confess. The circumstances led to a fantastic (though predictable) debate about the merits of torture, but I was pleasantly surprised the show broached the subject so early.

Because this show is more family drama than cop drama, the pace is very enjoyable and shifts effortlessly from crime-solving to character moments. That will prevent this from becoming a traditional procedural. And like I said, this cast of characters interacting is the reason to tune in every week. Which I will be. As will my mom. She actually called afterward and said how excited she was about this show. She hates television. That should tell you a lot. Although, she does have a crush on Selleck.

Grade: A-

P.S. – I love that the family’s name is Reagan, since Selleck is a well-known conservative and Ronald Reagan supporter. But I don’t think this is a conservative show. I didn’t sense a definite slant in the torture argument. I’ll keep my out for that.

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New on Weekends this Fall

Posted by Mr. Feeny on September 6, 2010

Of course, by weekends, I don’t mean Saturday. Networks gave up on Saturday programming a long time ago. I don’t think the old Friday dumping ground counts any more, though. It looks like they’re actually trying to get viewers on Fridays. I mean, the execs have Tom Selleck and Jimmy Smits going head-to-head. Plus CBS moved CSI: New York there.

Sunday has nothing new on the networks, but two highly publicized shows on HBO and AMC.

School Pride

Basics: Reality
Twist: Communities fix schools
Stars You Know: Kym Whitley (Til Death)
Creative Team: Producers Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Denise Cramsey (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition)
Timeslot: 7:00pm (Fri)
Network: NBC
Going Against: Secret Millionaire, Medium, Human Target, Smallville
Premiere: October 15

Body of Proof

Basics: Crime Drama
Twist: Female medical examiner
Stars You Know: Dana Delaney (Desperate Housewives), Windell Middlebrooks (the guy from the High Life commercials), Jeri Ryan (Star Trek: Voyager, Boston Public)
Creative Team: Producer Matthew Gross (Dirty Sexy Money)
Timeslot: 8:00pm (Fri)
Network: ABC
Going Against: CSI: New York, The Good Guys, Supernatural, Dateline NBC
Premiere: TBD

Blue Bloods

Basics: Crime Drama
Twist: Crime fighting family
Stars You Know: Tom Selleck (Magnum, PI), Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Len Cariou (Broadway)
Creative Team: Producer Fred Keller (House, 24)
Timeslot: 9:00pm (Fri)
Network: CBS
Going Against: Outlaw, 20/20
Premiere: September 24

Outlaw

Basics: Legal Drama
Twist: Attorney is a former Supreme Court Justice
Stars You Know: Jimmy Smits (NYPD Blue, The West Wing)
Creative Team: Producer John Eisendrath (Alias, Felicity)
Timeslot: 9:00pm (Fri)
Network: NBC
Going Against: Blue Bloods, 20/20
Premiere: September 15 (special day)

Boardwalk Empire

Basics: Historical Crime Drama
Twist: 1920s gangsters in Atlantic City
Stars You Know: Steve Buscemi (The Sopranos), Michael K. Williams (The Wire)
Creative Team: Director/Producer Martin Scorsese, Producer Mark Wahlberg, Produce Terence Winter (The Sopranos)
Timeslot: 8:00pm (Sun)
Network: HBO
Going Against: Dexter, Desperate Housewives, Sunday Night Football, Family Guy, Undercover Boss
Premiere: September 19

The Walking Dead

Basics: Horror Drama
Twist: Zombies on television
Stars You Know: Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually), Jon Bernthal (The Pacific), Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break)
Creative Team: Producer Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption), Producer Charles Eglee (Dexter, The Shield)
Timeslot: 9:00pm (Sun)
Network: AMC
Going Against: Brothers & Sisters, CSI: Miami, Sunday Night Football
Premiere: October 31 (six episodes only)

Posted in Mr. Feeny, Previews | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »