Monday, September 27, 2010

Blue Bloods: Where was Tom Selleck?

Blue Blood led CBS to rating victory on Friday night. But in spite of its success, I kept wondering where Tom Selleck was. An actor who looked very much like him appeared occasionally on the screen, but the vibrant, multi-dimensional actor that I have always enjoyed failed to make an appearance.

Blue Bloods is the story of a New York family, who has a multi-generational tradition of service in the police department. Selleck plays the current Police Commissioner, whose youngest son has just joined his brothers as the newest rookie. With a conspiracy within the police department and a secret society, Blue Bloods implied that the youngest son will be investigating his family, including his father. The problem is that no one cares. None of the family members are likeable or interesting.

Tom Selleck always gives a diamond performance. Even characters who would normally be one dimensional, he has been able to breathe life into, giving them depth with humor, character and likeability. Whether a good guy as in Magnum or the not-so-much of the white hat with the dark character Jesse Stone, Selleck’s eyes were always lit with his inner passion. As Frank Reagan, Selleck’s eyes were lifeless. In fact, the character was a little more than a prop for the younger characters as was Len Cariou’s. Part of me kept waiting for the real Selleck to make an appearance. Sadly, he never did arrive.

Over all the show reminded me of out of sync gears, where the teeth failed to properly work in tandem. Or better said a choir that was singing the same song, but the individual singers fail to listen to each other. The detective son was simply unlikable. His blaming his bad behavior on his military experience just made me dislike him even more. It was just one more stereotype those who serve simply don’t need. The daughter and the youngest son had no personality. I would like to comment on Cariou character, but he wasn’t given enough air time for me to comment beyond Cariou is normally first rate.

To be honest, I was hoping Blue Bloods would be a dog simply because I wanted Selleck to portray Deek in my military series, Operation Home Base. After hearing the rumors of trouble on the set, I held out a glimmer of hope. But I was realistic enough to start looking elsewhere to cast the role. Before watching Blue Bloods, I didn’t think Selleck had a bad performance in him. He was never just a pretty face, but a talented professional who has always brought passion and life to his work. Do I still want him to play Deek? You-betcha in a heart beat. Will I watch Blue Bloods again? No. There isn’t anything in the show interesting enough for me to spend the hour.

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