An interesting crime-drama that was surprisingly enjoyable despite the risk of being saturated by the constraints of being on a major network.
“SHADES OF BLUE” brings Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta to the small screen in NBC’s new crime-drama venture. Lopez and Liotta play NYPD officers Harlee Santos and Matt Wozniak members of the same unit, who in doing their jobs are not always on the right side of the law. When Santos is caught up in an FBI raid she is forced to work with the agencies anti-corruption task force, or face prison time. Being a single mother, with little options, she agrees to work with the FBI despite the ramifications it can have on her fellow officers, who are much more like family to her.
First I will start by admitting two things; I had little expectations of this show before watching, and over the last couple years, with cable network shows generating compelling shorter run seasons, I have somewhat lost interest in the major networks when looking for intriguing shows to spend my time on. Unlike many, Lopez was not what drew me to this show but rather Ray Liotta, playing a semi-corrupt cop was what made me sit down for this pilot. I was curious, and wanted to see what it would result in, and after watching I can say with was much more entertaining than I thought. Sure it was loaded with genre cliches and constructed of a hodge-podge of elements from other films and shows, but it still resulted in a very watchable show (after one episode at least).
Depending on what parallels this series takes and how fleshed out the characters are will make or break this one in the long run. Also the fact NBC premiered this in January, virtually in the middle of the television season was not a good sign of their faith in the success this new show will have. Although this release date shows more confidence than that of a summer release, however this is still a ‘test the waters’ project without a doubt. While I did enjoy this show for its ability to lure my attention and hold it for forty-five minutes, it was pretty good but still far from, excellent, which is what NBC will want to compensate for cast salaries if there are any hopes for a renewal.
What this show wants to be is something that, to be as realistic as possible and not feel watered down, will need to be unhindered by parental-ratings of network television. With that in mind, this greatly effects the tense and gritty feel this show needs to deliver to reach its potential. The characters were solid enough to pass the time through one episode but there will need to be some ambition in the development of these characters to shed their cliche filled first impressions.
I’ll continue to follow this show to see where the story goes because I always love a crime-drama. After a pilot episode that offered a great twist, it may have played its hand too soon if this unique angle on the plot only leads to the same undercover cop tale. It will be interesting to see how this show fares and how high the ratings have to be to keep NBC from abruptly pulling the plug.
Pilot Prediction for “Shades of Blue” – 1 season.
This show can turn out to be something enjoyable to watch each week but I don’t think it will get renewed unless it pulls in some unrealistic viewer numbers.
– Starring –
Jennifer Lopez, Warren Kole, Dayo Okeniyi, Hampton Fluker, Vincent Laresca, Sarah Jeffrey, Ray Liotta, Drea de Matteo, Santino Fontana, Jessica Whitney Davis
– Created By –
Premiered: January 7, 2016 NBC