Judge P.S. Colbert is finally ready to join the Donnie Wahlberg fan club.
Our review of Blue Bloods: The First Season, published September 29th, 2011, is also available.
"Justice Runs In The Family."
Meet the Reagans, a dynastic family of Irish-Catholic New York City cops: Henry (Len Cariou, About Schmidt), the family patriarch, is a former Police Commissioner. His son Frank (Tom Selleck, Magnum P.I.) is the current Police Commissioner. His sons, Danny (Donnie Wahlberg, Ransom) and Jamie (Will Estes, American Dreams) serve on the force as a detective and a patrolman, respectively, while middle daughter Erin (Bridget Moynahan, I, Robot) serves as Assistant D.A. With so many high-octane careers in play, you might suspect the Reagans almost never see one another, but that's not the case: each and every Sunday, the entire family (including children and in-laws) gather together for morning mass and evening supper.
Blue Bloods: The Second Season runs for twenty-two episodes over a span of six discs:
"Shouldn't you be out catching killers and robbers and not worrying about your sister?"
Can you say conflict of interest? The premise of Blue Bloods strains credulity in the classic television tradition, ala Hogan's Heroes (Yuks aplenty 'round the old Stalag, where a ragtag band of wily Allied prisoners take the Mickey out of those wacky Nazis on a weekly basis) and My Mother, The Car (Jerry Van Dyke walks into a used car lot and discovers that his dear, departed Mama has "crossed over" into the body of an ancient, motorized money pit. Cue the canned laughter as sonny boy tools around TV land in his Freudian fix'r upper, getting nothing but "I told you so" on the dashboard radio—in a 1928 model, no less!).
Take the case of "Reagan vs. Reagan," wherein Erin prosecutes a nubile young trophy wife for the murder of her much older husband, an extremely successful financier. What seems like a prosecutorial slamdunk for the aggressive D.A. fouls out when the defense attorney calls a surprise witness—Erin's brother, Detective Danny! Clearly rattled, Erin begins an aggressive line of cross-examination that quickly escalates into a fierce competition (witnessed by Jamie, who's been observing the trial from the gallery). Literally and skillfully, this heated exchange moves to the family dinner table in the next scene, and as Moynahan and Wahlberg square off against one another—which can't be discounted; they're brilliantly believable as sister and brother—this flashy court room scene beggars belief. Given that due process has clearly surrendered to sibling rivalry, wouldn't the defense raise an objection for badgering the witness at the very least? What judge would allow such behavior to continue? Has everyone forgotten that a woman's life is literally on the line here?!
Preposterous as it can be, I can't deny enjoying the hell out of it this procedural hybrid. Exactly the sort of puerile junk former FCC chairman Newton Minnow was referring to when he famously branded television "a vast wasteland," Blue Bloods is nonetheless top-shelf, designer junk, expertly crafted and burnished to a fine sheen; emblematic of the crime dramas currently running on CBS, aka "the Tiffany network."
Shot on location, NYC hasn't looked this fetching on screen since Woody Allen moved his operations overseas—even the seediest areas seem to radiate from gems embedded in their mean streets. Likewise, Paramount's 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfers look fantastic. Audio is clear, dynamic, and available in Dolby 5.1 Surround and stereo options, with subtitles provided in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
But wait, there's more: Cast and crew commentaries, deleted scenes, a gag reel, a seasonal overview and a nifty little tribute to living legend Tony Bennett, who appears in the season premiere—talk about polishing up the Big Apple!
Totally guilty, but good luck proving it!
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