Blue Bloods is a drama about a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement.
If the television menu has a section for comfort food, then Blue Bloods definitely belongs there. Debuting on DVD with 22 first-season episodes (on six discs, including bonus material), this is hardly the first cop show set in New York, but it doesn't have a lot more in common with those that preceded it. Here you'll find none of the jerky camera work and general rawness of NYPD Blue, the slick, sleek vibe of CSI New York, or, despite its having both police and lawyers as prominent characters, the ripped-from-the-headlines immediacy and strict formula of Law & Order. Blue Bloods isn't edgy; it doesn't have "a look." What it offers instead is a simpler, more old-fashioned form of entertainment. Meat and potatoes, you might call it, served with a side order of easily digestible family values. That family is the Reagans: Frank (Tom Selleck, solid and likable as always), the police commissioner, a job previously held by his father (Len Cariou); eldest son Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), a detective, Iraq war vet, and something of a rule-bender; daughter Erin (Bridget Moynahan), a district attorney; and younger son Jamie (Will Estes), a Harvard Law grad who chose the life of a rookie beat cop instead. (A third son, Joe, died at the hands of a group of dirty cops known as the Blue Templars; the series' sole continuing story line follows the Reagans' efforts to bring these rogues to justice.) Under Frank's "plain and honest" leadership, these and other characters (Jennifer Esposito and NYPD Blue alum Nicholas Turturro play Danny and Jamie's partners, respectively) pursue a variety of bad guys, including a child kidnapper, a band of hoods terrorizing the subway, an arrogant son of a diplomat who tries to use immunity to get away with a series of violent rapes, and miscellaneous organized crime lords and drug runners (stories involving racial profiling, terrorism, and another Mideast war veteran provide a more topical feel). The plots are pretty standard, notwithstanding a few plot twists, and the villains tend toward the stereotypical. But the family element is strong. Unlike the dysfunctional units seen so often on screens both big and small these days, this is a smart, admirable bunch who have dinner together seemingly every night; they might disagree or argue, but they always have each other's backs, and it's this wholesome, solid family element that gives Blue Bloods its pulse. Bonus material is a decent mix of deleted scenes, a gag reel, and several self-serving featurettes. --Sam Graham