Posts Tagged ‘Blue Bloods’

Blue Bloods Must End

January 27, 2020

It is pretty clear that most cop shows often show an idealized world where the police are always right and the criminals are always wrong. The only cops who are villains are the police who go rogue and they are treated as an anomaly. They are detested and immediately caught or killed by their fellow cops. However, since I was born in Baltimore City and I keep my eyes open, I know that this is a fantasy. Law enforcement has not and never will deserve blanket respect or trust. There will always be “bad apples” on the force and administrations and the brass will always cover up for them. There will be no reform because the system works for the government. They can blame the problem on the people of color instead of fixing economic and racial disparity in order to repair society.

Anyway, there is one cop show that I keep watching that is actually fairly accurate to the reality of law enforcement in our world. That show is Blue Bloods. The show follows a family that has dedicated their lives to law enforcement. Fittingly, the family’s name is Reagan because most of them do not care about citizen’s rights or about being good people. They constantly espouse an “us versus them” mentality. This mentality does not just encompass the police department’s relationship with the criminals but also with the public at large. Every single cop automatically assumes the guilt of people they are dealing with and act like complete assholes most of the time.

The most obvious offender is the character that even fans of the show love to hate. Detective Danny Reagan is played by Donnie Wahlberg. He is a stereotypical rogue cop with anger issues who often bends or breaks the rules in order to “get his guy”. He even has an inexplicable Brooklyn accent even though the rest of his family does not. This is how “blue-collar” he is supposed to be. However, he is consistently a dirty cop and is constantly under investigation but is constantly cleared. He has real psychological problems and in the latest season, I feel like he might be a sociopath. For example, in one episode he rolls up on a hostage situation that has nothing to do with him. He waits until everybody has their backs turned and he walks in and shoots the unstable criminal. He never shows any remorse that he shot a human being who may or may not have had psychological issues. This is pretty indicative of his behavior on the show.

The actual worse offender is patriarch Frank Reagan, the New York City commissioner played by Tom Selleck. Frank is an old school cop who basically hates anybody who is not in law enforcement. To him, a cop is a shining example in the world and is to be given every chance to make up for horrendous behavior. In one episode, a bunch of cops are verbally harassed outside of a housing project so his response is to send in three precincts, SWAT, and everything else he can throw at the project. He directs cops to round up every single person who lives there and question them and detain them in search of criminals. No probable cause, no logical reasoning. He felt police had been insulted so he sends in the troopers to shock and awe civilians. He is rightfully blasted in the press for it until the search randomly produces a serial killer they did not know about and he is exonerated. He is a hero because he stumbled into a win.

More recently, he revisited something good he actually did and ruined it. In an earlier season, he fired a young cop because she stopped somebody for being brown and media backlash forced him to let her go. He later stumbles on her working a waitressing job. He feels guilty and reverses his decision. He hires back a known racist because he thinks that waitressing (a noble profession) is beneath her and he thinks that she should be a cop. Not only that but he gives her a get out of jail card by telling her that he personally has her back. So when she once again commits some racist act, he will get her out of it instead of firing her this time. Awesome.

There are some exceptions. Erin Reagan is an Assistant District Attorney played by Bridget Moynihan. She actually has compassion despite basically being a cop herself. She often fights against her brothers and father to get leniency for people actually damaged by the system. Her daughter, Nicky, played by Sami Gayle, is even more compassionate and is often the one voice futilely fighting against her family. Vanessa Ray plays Officer Eddie Janko and, as somebody who has experienced both upper class and lower class life, she displays a little more perspective but not much. Her fiance, Jamie Regan (played by Will Estes) often toes the line too much but is at least a little nicer than his family. Garrett Moore (played by Gregory Jbara) is Frank’s PR commissioner. He absolutely views things as the rest of us would and often preaches restraint and understanding if only to make the police look good. His voice is often lost and lately, he is often straight-up ridiculed for his views.

While the show always held this kind of darkness, it feels like it has gotten worse and worse over the seasons. I would not even mind the show as much if the Reagans were not treated as the show’s heroes instead of rightfully being depicted as the villains. They often make situations worse than they found them and rarely feel too bad about them. So, why do I keep watching the show? Honestly, I do not know. The acting is really good and I love a handful of really good characters. Still, every so often I will hit an episode that will make me furious and I will stop watching for a while. I may be hoping for the show to get canceled soon so some of those good actors can be on a project with more merit.

Media Update 2/16/17

February 16, 2017


Blue Bloods

Do not let the title fool you, this show has nothing to do with nobility or the upper crust of society. It is mostly about what it is like to be a cop and in a cop’s family. The show follows a family that includes a former police commissioner, the current police commissioner, a detective, a police officer and an assistant district attorney. I thought nothing of this show until my mom showed me an episode or two while I was visiting her. Of course, that means I watched some later season episodes first but I do not usually sweat that sort of thing. I started to watch this show from the beginning and I really like it. While I am familiar with Tom Selleck’s previous work, I have not really watched it. He is great as a level-headed, fatherly police commissioner and is a great anchor of the show. Donnie Wahlberg plays his son who is a hot-headed, rule-bending detective. His other son is a rookie police officer in Season one but graduated from law school previously so he is very intelligent and a natural cop. His daughter, played by Bridget Moynihan, is a brilliant lawyer who often has to butt heads with her hard-headed father and her rule-bending brother. Every episode includes all of them and their spouses and children sitting down for Sunday dinner where the issues of the episode are discussed from multiple viewpoints. It really is a pretty interesting show and I definitely recommend it.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine

I had seen gifs (pronounced like gifts) of this show several times on Tumblr and Twitter and I know there are a lot of fans of it. I had been interested in the show since I found out that Andy Samberg was on it. Samberg is one-third of The Lonely Island and a very funny comedian. Unfortunately, he has allied with Adam Sandler but outside of those movies, he is great. This show looked a bit stupid but the gifs I saw made me think I had judged it too quickly. I would compare this show to one of my favorite short-lived cop shows, The Unusuals. It is about a misfit precinct that somehow still closes cases trying to adjust to a new no-nonsense captain and fight crime. Samberg is a flippant, goof of a detective. That character can be annoying but becomes less so knowing that he often gets his comeuppance and ends up looking like a fool. Terry Crews plays a police sergeant who is now gunshy and it is a fun twist to see a friendly giant as a police officer. Stephanie Beatriz plays a tough, intelligent detective who has to put up with Samberg. Andre Braugher is great as a tough police captain who is the first gay captain with a command and wants to prove himself. The show is pretty funny so far and I will definitely watch more of it once I get access to more than the first three episodes. I recommend it.


Ripper Street

The identity of Jack the Ripper is a mystery that still exists today. As time goes by, it is less and less likely that that mystery will ever be solved. In the time directly after those murders, Whitechapel must have been a very scary place to work or live. That is largely what this show is about. In the shadow of those horrible murders, a cop vows to make the streets safer and protect the city from the possible return of The Ripper or anyone like him. He enlists a surgeon who used to work for the US Army and The Pinkertons (and almost worked for Johns Hopkins) to be a medical examiner and forensics expert. The cops also form an unspoken agreement with a local brothel to get information about what is happening in the underground of Whitechapel. After the Ripper, the prostitutes have a vested interest in keeping killers off the streets of London. It is a brutal time period when forensic science was primitive and beating information out of suspects was not exactly frowned upon. As one expects, it is a dark and dirty series. They deal with their own broken lives and an area shattered by the legend of the Ripper. I have only seen a few episodes, but I like the chemistry of the cast. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:

Garbage – Special

Big Sean – Bounce Back

Memphis May Fire – Carry On

The Specials – Ghost Town

Halsey – Ghost

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Fighting Crime on the Streets”
– I continued Season 4 of Haven
– I watched more Law and Order: SVU
– I loved Lady Gaga’s Halftime Show
– I started watching The Librarians from the beginning
– Sorry that this is late, I fell asleep and forgot to post


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