Review of "Shades of Blue" on NBC From The TV MegaSite

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Shades of Blue

"Shades of Blue" review by Suzanne 1/6/16
Premieres Thursday, January 7,
10/9pm ET/PT on NBC

I have a confession: I don't like cop dramas where the lead characters are corrupt.  Nowadays, it's hard to find any cop shows where the cops are really the good guys. I'm torn on the issue, because on the one hand, I like TV shows to be realistic, and cops are humans, so they do have flaws. There are certainly corrupt police out there.  But on the other hand, I prefer to see shows where the protagonists are not horrible human beings or criminals or evil. That's why I can't watch "Chicago PD." 

When this show begins, the lead character, Harlee (Jennifer Lopez), is one of a group of corrupt police detectives that steal and kill whenever they can. They uphold the law, but they also get paid on the site for protection. If a cop accidentally shoots the wrong person, they plant a gun or stage the scene in their favor.

What makes this show a bit different is that Harlee gets caught by the feds, who then force her to be their mole in the department, so that they can take down the corruption. She's like Serpico, but she's not a willing Serpico.  It's interesting to see how she does her job, with all of the guilt that will follow her for turning on her fellow detectives. She's a single mom, so she has to consider what will happen to her daughter if she doesn't cooperate (we wonder why she didn't think of her daughter in the first place when she became corrupt and risked her life).

The writing is pretty good, and the actors do a fine job, particular Lopez and Ray Liotta (Matt) as her boss.  When you watch shows or movies like this, though, you have to get past the idea that someone as beautiful as Lopez would become a cop. It's quite a stretch. No matter how much they try to make her look plain, they don't succeed.

The other problem with this and many drama and action shows on broadcast TV today (especially cop and medical shows) is that they care far more about "excitement" than real drama. They have lots of car chases, violence, gunshots, sex etc. and they keep amping it up as the show goes along, a very ridiculous and unbelievable manner until eventually, they just can't top themselves and it becomes either cartoonish or repetitive.  Now, obviously some viewers like this kind of brainless action and adventure. They find it entertaining. I really don't. I really do love Jennifer Lopez, and I think she's a very good actress, but she needs to find a better show than this.

Check it out and see for yourself!



Harlee Santos (Jennifer Lopez) is a charismatic single mother and resourceful detective at the heart of a tight-knit crew of Brooklyn detectives, led by enigmatic Lieutenant Matt Wozniak (Emmy Award winner Ray Liotta, "Goodfellas," "Field of Dreams"), who often leads the team to step outside the limitations of the law in order to effectively protect their precinct and their own.

As a big illegal job looms on the horizon, the FBI catches Harlee in the act and pits her against her own unit. As a newly turned informant, she struggles to safeguard her on-the-job family and avoid arrest in order to stay with her daughter. Harlee engages in a perilous dance with her FBI handler, Special Agent Stahl (Warren Kole), who develops an unhealthy obsession with her. Meanwhile, Wozniak, acting as the unit's patriarch, begins an all-consuming hunt for the informant. Pressure mounts as the crew struggles to perform their brand of street justice under FBI watch.

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