Blue Bloods, Episode: Critical Condition (2x3)
I’ve been relatively quiet about this show thus far because there’s, really, not all that much to talk about. And that’s precisely why it’s also so interesting. Blue Bloods is basically what would happen if you crossed 7th Heaven with a cop procedural. It’s about a family of police officers; one past police commissioner, the current police commissioner (Tom Selleck’s mustache), a first-grade detective (Wahlberg ie new kid on the block), the fresh-out-of-academy beat cop who went to harvard law school, and an assistant district attorney sister. And Donnie Wahlberg’s partner is played by Jennifer Esposito, who for some reason doesn’t get a nod in the title credits, which is just a shame because she’s great (and swoon). But, basically, big family of law enforcement.
And these are the least corruptible people on the face of the planet. Somehow, in the Blue Bloods’ universe, New York City ended up with a police commissioner that has no political ties, a devout catholic, a superb father, a responsible human being, a great police officer, no drug problems, no drinking problems, and always keeps his cool and his perspective on every situation.
The police commissioner of New York City.
Also did I mention that the entire family is the Reagans? Yeah. There’s that.
It’s just such a weird, weird show.
I finished Brotherhood earlier, so this is purely a temporary post while I formulate my thoughts on that series.
But, following the Brotherhood series finale, I started up Southland again, having watched the first season some time last year. I remember it being pretty great, but I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I did the first two episodes of season two that I saw today.
What an absurdly well-done show.
Brotherhood, Episode: Call Letter Blues 1:2-6 (2x9)
I’ve grown to have a remarkable appreciation for Brotherhood, to a degree I didn’t quite realize until I saw this episode. ”Call Letter Blues 1:2-6” was a Thanksgiving episode. And the above image is not at all related to this episode, but it is great and it is from the series, though I have yet to come across it.
It’s Thanksgiving, so naturally the episode is focused around family and the plethora of drama and family issues that come up during a family holiday gathering. Except, for the most part, there weren’t many issues. There was just the looming sense of dread that, at some point, everything was going to go terribly wrong. And, Brotherhood, never disappoints on its ability to disappoint (in all the best ways, unlike Fringe). Entire pies are eaten, a turkey is dropped, Jason Isaacs gets yet another major head wound, people cry, kids do drugs. It’s, you know, a typical Thanksgiving. And it’s all tied together with this feeling that these people almost do feel like a family.
I do take extreme issue with Donna Moss from The West Wing (ie, Janel Maloney) being a crazy mistress, though. That just goes against all that I know and understand.
Brotherhood, Episode: The Lonesome Death of… 4:7-8 (2x3)
Brotherhood is real good. Initially it doesn’t have too much to offer aside from the main brothers of the series (played by Jason Isaacs and Jason Clarke), but everything in the show revolves around them anyway. So it works out. It works out for the viewers, I mean. Almost nothing works out for any of the characters in the show. Ever. Everyone is tragically doomed from the very first episode; it’s all fairly grim. But it’s captivating in its bleakness.
Jason Isaacs, as the gangster brother, is the primary draw, but it’s interesting to see how the vaguely scummy politician brother (Jason Clark’s character) completely grows on you as time goes on. And the matriarch of the family is just vicious.
It’s also fairly entertaining to see how far Ethan Embry has come from his Can’t Hardly Wait days.
I’ve never been able to get into The Sopranos, though I’m told it’s basically a more Italian and better show than Brotherhood is. I suppose I should keep at it some day and try to get into it. I enjoy gangsters swearing and killing people while making philosophical statements about current events. I don’t know where I’m going with this other than Brotherhood is a mighty good show.
The Black Donnellys, Episode: Easy is the Way (1x13)
I’m not entirely sure whether this episode was intended to be a finale for the season, finale for the show, or just a mid-season finale (as network television loves to do). It fulfills all of those goals, but what its positioning in the overall series was supposed to be is unknown. It was a show that was cancelled before its time, and, along with Rubicon, one of the better shows I’ve seen in recent months.
For the most part, it’s a crime drama about an Irish family, but the young age of the primary cast makes it feel like a bit like Studs Lonigan might as a more crime-focused television series.
A lot of ground is covered in the show’s short run, and there’s not much in the way of filler at any given point. No aspect of The Black Donnellys is particularly original or clever, but taken as a whole, it works out surprisingly well. And following some of the reviews I read when I finished the series (which is now on Netflix), I’m moving onto Brotherhood — Showtime’s supposedly “better version” of the Irish crime serial. And it’s got Annabeth Gish, so it’s all starting out very promising.