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TV Review: ‘Rookie Blue’ Will Have to Handcuff Viewers to Keep Them

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CHICAGO – The ensemble cop drama has disappeared from the network television landscape as the crimes became more entertaining than the people who solved them on shows like “C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation,” “NCIS,” and “Criminal Minds.” After watching ABC’s remarkably generic and cliched “Rookie Blue,” it’s easy to see why.

HollywoodChicago.com TV Rating: 1.5/5.0
TV Rating: 1.5/5.0

We’ve learned how to shoot and fight and drive a police car really fast.” I couldn’t make narration like that up. Even if it is tongue-in-cheek in its over-representation of the rookie class of police officers that make up the ensemble of ABC’s new Thursday night entry, it’s still a great example of why this show doesn’t work — it doesn’t sound like anything anyone would ever say in the real world.

Rookie Blue
Rookie Blue
Photo credit: Steve Wilkie/ABC

Neither does Andy’s (Missy Peregrym, so great on the much-better “Reaper”) advice to “fake it till you make it” although that’s essentially what the five police officers of “Rookie Blue” are doing. Did I say police officers? I meant beautiful people in police costumes because that’s all that “Rookie Blue” feels like, never finding genuine characters under the most genetically blessed police squad in the world.

Rookie Blue
Rookie Blue
Photo credit: Barbara Cole/ABC

Peregrym gets the lead role as the naive, sweet Andy, an officer caught up in a drug-related shooting on her first day on the job. Her partner makes fun of the fact that she doesn’t know how to turn on the radio and Andy makes a pretty big (but totally understandable) mistake, but she’s clearly a kind soul who will bring warmth to a profession that’s often perceived as pretty cold. She’s easily the most interesting character on the show and Peregrym gives the best performance but even she’s let down by a script that overplays “first day jitters.”

The rest of the cast feels even more generic. Gregory Smith (“Everwood”) and Charlotte Sullivan (“Alice”) fight over who has to search a transgendered suspect. Enuka Okuma (“24”) gets saddled with figuring out why a young boy was left in a crack house (yes, it’s ANOTHER cop show that goes to the most cliched, manipulative well of putting a kid in jeopardy). Finally, the dull Travis Milne is hit on by a hooker trying to get a deal for sharing what she knows about the drug-related shooting. None of the supporting cast has a single, solitary moment that doesn’t feel scripted or cliched.

If a computer program was designed to write a “cop show with a young cast,” it would probably spit out the premiere of “Rookie Blue.” Every element of the production from the eye-rolling dialogue to the cleanliest crack house in the history of drugs rings false.

Fans of “Southland” need not be concerned that the best cop show on TV could be in any jeopardy of losing that title. Last year, ABC tried to bring two cop shows with their own unique personalities to the masses with the underrated “The Unusuals” and “Life on Mars” and now they’ve gone the opposite route with “Rookie Blue” and produced a cop show with no personality at all.

“Rookie Blue” stars Missy Peregrym, Gregory Smith, Charlotte Sullivan, Enuka Okuma, and Travis Milne. It premieres on ABC on Thursday, June 24th, 2010 at 8pm CST.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

Anonymous's picture

Ben Bass & Missy Peregrym are really appealing

I happen to love Canadian cop shows/mysteries/police procedurals and this one is pretty good IMHO.

Thanks for making shows that are frequently head and shoulders above what we’re forced to consume down here in the USA.

Well done!

McNulty's picture

Terrible Show- Possibly Worst Cop Show Ever, Move over Coprock.

This show is painfully stupid. So, so, bad on every level. Plot, nope. Realism, nope.

How much can it possibly cost to hire one technical advisor. This show sucks like a Dyson vacuum. Tremendously.

Where are the badges on these cops? Security guards dress better. Also, no tasers, what the heck? I know this is not a reality show, but could they at least TRY some officer safety tactics? What a joke.

To say this show is unwatchable is being kind.

There’s a reason shows like The Wire and NYPD Blue were tremendous- realism. They tried. Plus they had experts consulting on how things would look. If the producers of this show think that rookie cops are THAT scared after 18 weeks of training, I wonder where the heck they live? Cops don’t make it out of the academy of they’re going to let some kid handcuff them and take their weapon. Jesus.

Anonymous's picture

Lighten Up

The A-Team was stupid, cliche and unrealistic too. What’s your point?

ex-Parkdale resident's picture

I guess the author has never seen a crack house in Toronto

cleanliest crack house in the history of drugs rings false.”

As a person who used to live just a couple of streets over from King and Jameson (where the Rookie Blue ‘crack house’ was located) I can verify that there are crack houses and crack heads with places just as clean (some cleaner, some dirtier) in that neighbourhood as depicted on the show.

MJS's picture

I agree, it was painfully

I agree, it was painfully clear they didn’t hired a technical advisor. There were so many errors that the “veteran” cops didn’t even come out feeling like cops.

The whole “cop gets cover blown” was just stupid. I expect undercover cops get picked up all the time, it’s part of the job and it helps reinforce their cover. For him to be mad at her when it was his dumbass mate who actually blew his cover is just silly.

This is the Melrose Place of cop shows.

JF's picture

Ok show so far.

I do agree that it wasn’t the rookie cop that blew the officer’s cover but his bud in lockup. That was kinda stupid.

To McNulty, you must not be Canadian or have seen many Canadian cops. Most police officers in Canada do not wear their badge on their vest. Only a few do. In Toronto, they do not, and the show is based on the city of Toronto.

The same goes for tasers. Only some police service have all their officers carry tasers. Mostly out west. The norm, as far as Ontario goes, is for the tactical unit and the supervisors to carry them.

Apart from that, the show is missing realism.

It needs a little more grittiness and cynicism. That’s my taste anyway.

ibivi's picture

Yes, I feel the same way.

Yes, I feel the same way. Why does a show like Rookie Blue get air when Southland doesn’t? A huge injustice.

Anonymous's picture

rookie's uniforms

why do all the cute rookies in the series get off not wearing there police hats. but all the one’s acutally doing police work are wearing theirs. notg make up in the cops in the back.all the cuties up front have eye shadow cheak powder. eye liner. and look refreshed after an eight hour grueling day. and they get to tell their. trainers off boy that’s great but it won’t happen in the real world. this is just to musshy to be a police movie. more like As the world turns. wish they would get their act together. could be a good weekly movie if they just quit trying to promote how pretty everybody is don’t they need to shower after a hard days work. and i don’t think they can just walk in the mens or womens clothing rooms like they do. much to much fantasy in this right now.

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