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Featured TV on DVD Review: Blue Bloods: Season One

September 12th, 2011

Blue Bloods: Season One - Buy from Amazon

Tom Selleck returns to network TV in Blue Bloods playing Jesse Stone, a police detective living in a small town after being fired from his big city job because of a drinking problem. No wait, that's his previous role. I'm being snarky, but for a reason. Blue Bloods is yet another police procedural series on TV, and not only is the direct competition in that genre intense, but its star has recently starred in an on-going series of TV movies in the same genre. On the one hand, this synergy could help bring in viewers. On the other hand, it could make it even more difficult for the show to stand out against the field. So how well does it perform during its initial season?

The Show

Tom Selleck actually stars as Frank Reagan, the commissioner of the NYPD, just like his father before him, Henry. Frank has three kids. His eldest son is Danny, a police detective who gets the job done, even if pushes the boundaries of what is strictly by-the-book. (That's a bit of an understatement.) The youngest son, Jamie, is also a cop, and in the pilot, he's just graduated and become a beat cop, even though he graduated from Harvard Law School. The middle daughter, Erin, is an assistant district attorney. Frank had one more son, Joe, but he was killed in the line of duty. This actually sets the first element of the show that helps it stand out. The show is about a family of cops, well, a family of cops and one A.D.A. They have regular dinners together and we get to see how this line of work affects families. (Danny has a wife and two kids, and even though he's not on the street anymore, it's still hard on the family. Erin's going through a divorce and is now a single mom. Jamie got engaged to his fiancee when his was in law school so him becoming a cop is quite an adjustment.) They also talk about the various aspects of the law like gun control, profiling, etc. Sometimes it feels a little artificial or that they are trying too hard to be topical, but at least they are trying.

Most episodes are stand alone episodes, but there is also an overarching storyline involving The Blue Templar. There's very little I can say about this story without entering spoiler territory. It deals with a group of cops that used to be an elite, but unofficial group. But then went rogue and are now corrupt. That's all the details I'm going to give, but I will say it adds another level to the show. The regular crimes are also intriguing enough to carry most episodes, although there were a few too many times where there were pretty big coincidences that strained credibility. But this storyline made watching each episode more important, as opposed to a show like Law & Order, where you could almost literally grab any episode in the show's 20 year run and watch it without having to have seen any of the earlier episodes to know what's going on.

There are a few hiccups here and there, but for the most part, Blue Bloods is a good police procedural and I look forward to season two.

The Extras

There are plenty of extras spread throughout the six-disc set, but for all but the last disc, it's just deleted scenes. Disc one has deleted scenes on all four episodes. Only one episode on disc two has deleted scenes. Coincidentally, disc three has three episodes with deleted scenes. The fourth disc only has one episode with deleted scenes. The fifth disc has three. There are only two episodes on disc six, but they both have deleted scenes. Also on disc six are several featurettes on Creating the Characters, which runs 24 minutes long and is very in-depth. Code Blue is about the Blue Templar story and runs eight minutes. Keeping it Real is a nine-minute featurette on the technical advisor. Analyzing the Scene is a five-minute featurette on the dinner scenes in the show. Empire State of Mind also runs five minutes and it is about the New York locations in the show. Keeping it in the Family runs 12 and a half minutes and it is about the family dynamic in the show. Finally, there are six minutes of outtakes.

Overall, there's a lot of extras and a wide range of topics and I can't really complain. There is one complaint, the lack of audio commentary tracks.

The Verdict

Blue Bloods finished its first season in the top 20 in the ratings with an average of 13 million viewers, making it one of the biggest new hits of the season. The Season One DVD release rewards these fans with lots of extras and it is worth picking up. And if you didn't catch the show when it started and you are a fan of the genre, it is at least worth a rental. You could be quickly hooked.

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