Blue Bloods: Unmasking the Criminal Element

Movie Bunker Score:

While HBO boasts about its high-class imports like Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones, Sky Atlantic doesn’t shy away from exploring the world of low-class imports. Among these, Blue Bloods stands out – not for its excellence, but for its embrace of cliches, wooden acting, unintentional errors, and shoddy plotting.

Airing on Tuesday nights, this CBS cop show takes viewers back to a time before The Wire and NYPD Blue. In an unexpected twist, Blue Bloods seems to channel the spirit of Police Squad, the spoof series that birthed The Naked Gun movie franchise. Forget complex story arcs; the show navigates through single-episode storylines, generously sprinkled with plot holes.

Meet the Reagans, a family of crimefighters in New York. The patriarch, Henry (Len Cariou), climbed the ranks to become police commissioner. His son Frank (Tom Selleck), also a police commissioner, leads the family’s crime-fighting legacy. The cast includes Jamie (Will Estes), a Harvard-educated rookie cop; Erin (Bridget Moynahan), a tough assistant district attorney; and Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), a rule-breaking detective who consistently delivers results. The family’s deceased son, Joe, adds a touch of tragedy to their crime-solving saga.

What makes Blue Bloods intriguing is its predictable template, allowing viewers to grasp the narrative without actually watching the show. Here’s a quick guide to becoming a Blue Bloods scriptwriter:

  1. Every crime, regardless of location, falls into the lap of a Reagan family member – usually Danny or Jamie.
  2. Danny, the versatile detective, handles all types of cases, from terrorism to baby-selling rings to Russian mob killings. No other detective in the NYPD compares.
  3. Act one features a close-up of a seemingly random object, like a necklace or a tattoo, that becomes pivotal to the case.
  4. Conflicts of interest are disregarded, as family members routinely investigate or prosecute cases involving one another.
  5. Insert a random, avoidable error, such as a winter cricket game in Central Park or characters magically changing clothes between scenes.
  6. Introduce a dramatic story arc, like Jamie’s quest to uncover the truth about his brother Joe’s death, then conveniently forget about it.
  7. The family dinner scene – a misbegotten crucible where ethical dilemmas related to the week’s case are discussed. The heated conversation must end with someone storming out, leaving Tom Selleck’s concerned expression to take center stage.

Blue Bloods may not be a high-class import, but its formulaic approach offers a different kind of entertainment – one that invites viewers to revel in the predictability of crime-solving Reagan style.