Tom Selleck is Blue Bloods' Only Asset

Hollywood’s best-known moustache and its owner have scored a part in new NYPD procedural, Blue Bloods (Tuesday, 10.30pm on Sky Atlantic). The Reagans are a New York cop family and Tom Selleck (aided by his trusty face fur) plays its widowed, police commissioner patriarch, Frank.

One of his sons, we learn, died on duty and his remaining two are also in law enforcement. Danny (Donnie Wahlberg) has been in the job for years while Jamie Reagan (Will Estes) is a nervous, idealistic and overqualified rookie (he has a Harvard law degree). The Reagan boys also have a sister, Erin (Bridget Moynahan), a fiery assistant district attorney. She puts away perps but doesn’t hesitate to scold Danny when he disregards the law for what he decides is the greater good.

This new cop show is a big deal for the Magnum, PI star and his British admirers. Selleck dropped off our radar in the late 90s after he played Richard Burke, Monica’s over-aged boyfriend in Friends, though had a year-long cameo as billionaire casino owner, A.J. Cooper in Las Vegas before the show cashed out prematurely.

In Blue Bloods, Selleck reminds us why he deserves big parts in chunky shows. He’s the only cast member whose performance isn’t a huge embarrassment. Somehow Selleck walks away untarnished by the horrible script and cliché cascade that dominate the pilot episode. Even Donnie Wallberg is dismal. But his screen dad’s measured, confident performance helps airbrush out the cracks.

Sadly, Selleck doesn’t get do much on the show. Along with his own father Henry (a retired cop, naturally), Reagan jnr/snr presides over his brood and watches their backs. He’s not central to the main plot, which sees Danny search for a kidnapped little girl. At best it’s an adequate storyline but you’ll have seen similar and better on any number of the CSI (insert city here) episodes. The family scenes, meanwhile, are actively painful: from the alliances and banter to the scuffles and hushed sorrow. Their chemistry is all off.

Blue Bloods’ old boy Selleck is its only asset, but we reckon even he won’t be able to save the show from the critics’ knives and CBS's axe.

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May 19, 2016
Most shows need some time to find their rhythm and Blue Bloods certainly has. The only complaint I have was the show dumping Danny's first partner Jackie because the actress portraying her had a condition the show wasn't willing to work around.

My favorite episode was The Blue Templar and my favorite scene in every episode is the Sunday dinner scene when the entire Reagan brood breaks bread and works through the issues they face every day.
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Apr 28, 2016
Wrong again Ruthie.
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Jan 03, 2014


How does this writer figure Tom Selleck is the show's only asset? I love Tom but the entire cast and show is awesome! It's more than just another cop seriel as it has the whole family background.
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Sep 28, 2013
This article is a prime example of the maxim: Those who can't create criticize. I will agree that Wahlberg's character continues to be irritating - the kind of cop that would scare me whether I had done anything wrong or not - but I think that's more an effect of the writing than Donnie's acting style. Overall, I really enjoy this show for the blend of procedural with a continuing picture into family dynamics, and the struggle it is to make ethics, loyalty, and faith work in practical ways. I say keep Blue Bloods and cancel Ruth Margolis instead.
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May 10, 2012
This show is amazing. Tom Selleck is an amazing actor but so are Will Estes,Bridget Moynahan, Donnie Wallberg and Lou Cariou. It was just renewed for a third season so i guess you were very wrong!
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May 04, 2012
So funny to read this from a year ago and realise how wrong it was. I love this show and it has gone from strength to strength. Season 3 has just been approved and all the actors are on fine form. It makes a refreshing change from all the forensic shows (excl Bones of course). I love Donnie Wahlberg in this show and I am not ashamed to say it. Blue Bloods and Hawaii 50 are the only two shows I watch religiously.
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May 07, 2011
Leave it to a grammatically off critic to think she knows what the public likes or wants. I disagree with practically everything Ruth said, the insult to Donnie Wahlberg and the rest of the cast who - if you ask me - are holding their own, and hauling around Tom Selleck's dead weight week after week. I do think that the writing could be a little stronger especially when it comes to an underdeveloped, possibly enticing mystery surrounding the 'Blue Templar.' Instead we have to listen to the air go through Tom Selleck's nostrils whenever he decides to show a little 'emotion'. He is so one-dimensional and so bland, that it's become part of the show's underlying humor, or character, that somehow makes it addictive. It's different from the other cop shows in that it chooses to push the focus off of dead bodies and sprawled brain matter, to something a little gentler like the high-spiritedness of a close knit law-enforcement family that doesn't always know what's right. It's a welcomed change, and a classier alternative to the horrors of reality shows and bad sitcoms. I hope Blue Bloods will stick around for a while, at this point I just can't do without it.
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Mar 09, 2011
I agree with usgilly. Quite a good show - I like the family aspect to the show - creates a nice thread. I think its going to turn out to be quite a good series
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Mar 07, 2011
Ruth, come on, Tom is the only asset? Some one should tell Tom to trim his eye brows and change the type of eye glasses he wears. He looks like Grouch Marx in some of the scenes. I wish that they would get him out of uniform, the police commissioner is a CIVILIAN. He does NOT have or wear a uniform.
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Feb 17, 2011
I think this could be one of the better series in years. I like the acting. Maybe some of the dialogue is a little too folksy. But the overall plots are great, and they wrap them up quite well. The backdrop of course is a winner as well. Any critic that doesn't give this show at least a B plus is out of it. Selleck is great in anything.
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Feb 03, 2011
Blue Bloods is an amazing show and i adore Tom Selleck. The story line and plot of the show are both great and i can never miss an episode. All of you critics need to wake up and realize how great this show is. Tom Selleck is my hero and is the star of blue bloods :)
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Oct 26, 2014
You know the saying those that can't act become critics.
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Feb 02, 2011
OMG! You are so wrong!! As much as I love Tom Selleck, the whole cast is great! EVERYONE I know loves this show and wants to see it on the air for a long time!!!!
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Feb 02, 2011
The show needs time to find its feet, i hate that critics and networks don't give shows a fair chance. I think by episode 4 the show picked up a bit and although I haven't watched it since because I'm waiting for the UK premiere I'm sure it keeps getting better.
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Feb 02, 2011
For me, this show was/is doomed by 2D Donnie Wahlberg and his character. He's a poor man's version of many actors out there who, at the very least, have a modicum of gravitas. Where other actors (and their writers) go for a more mindful approach to getting criminals to stumble, Wahlberg's will have been written in the literal.

You can just imagine him being the kid who never grew out of kicking chair backs, tripping up other children in halls or, pounding on them when he'd been outsmarted and needed to feel better about himself - and his Blue Bloods writers are fully aware.

This 2D type, if you will, shows through in Blue Bloods with all Wahlberg's relationships, what with his constant preaching to all that a good belt here, or threat to life there, is justified for his version of the greater good. And this inability to use the law in a clever and/or provocative way, win arguments of morality or sheer decentness at work or at home (with his long suffering wife or his extended family) are constants - emotions or rights be damned.

This approach corrupts a 'family led' cop show which, on the one hand, hangs on Wahlberg's Republicanesque handling of cases, whilst on the other, espouses an ongoing Democrat family sense of morality within the justice system. The two simply cancel each other out, in my opinion, and no amount of Sellecks' character's stoicism can save the day.

Perhaps the show should've been based around the trials of Selleck's police commissioner and his (still) venturing out in the field and running cases - ala CSI's successful agency/job hopping roles? I'd buy that for a dollar!
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Feb 02, 2011
Ruth, you obviously don't follow @DonnieWahlberg on Twitter. He has a huge following as an actor, stage performer and all around great person. I love BlueBloods and the entire cast. I am a former CSI fanatic but that show has lost its luster with the departure of Grissom. BlueBloods survives because of the whole cast! No one person carries this show! #BlueBloods
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Feb 02, 2011
I agree. Will Estes and Donnie Wahlberg are good actors and Bridget Moynahan is also. And, she's not hard on the eyes either! I think the program has a good chance to be renewed for a second season, although moving it to a different night does leave me wondering a bit.
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Feb 02, 2011
Wow! Harsh much? Show has been getting excellent ratings. And Will Estes and Donnie Wahlberg happen to be good actors and assets to the show.
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