Friday, June 25, 2010

First Thoughts on Global's 'Rookie Blue'

Apparently, Global, that Americanized private Canadian TV network, is airing an original series. It's called Rookie Blue, a crime dramedy that tries to be Grey's Anatomy with guns and uniforms. In comparison with Southland's pilot, Rookie Blue's indicates that the show will just be a modest summer time killer.

The show takes place in an unknown Canadian city (Toronto) that epically fails at passing off for an American city.* While the pilot is focused on Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym), a rookie constable in the police of Toronto, Global's press materials indicate that we follow five rookie cops. Joining Andy are Dov Epstein (Gregory Smith), a thrill seeker; Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan), a rookie who wants to be the chief of police; Traci Nash (Enuka Okuma), a rookie who secretly smooches a detective (Noam Jenkins); and Chris Diaz (Travis Milne), a walking-talking police manual.

In the pilot, three of the rookies are paired up with training officers (Matt Gordon, Melanie Nicholls-King and Lyriq Bent) who look at them with condescension while two of them (Gail and Dov) are stuck with a desk job. During an investigation in a tenement with her training officer (Matt Gordon), Andy arrests the wrong suspect after a shooting.

He turns out to be an undercover cop, officer Sam Swarek (Ben Bass), who is getting closer to crack a drug trafficking case and Andy ultimately blows his cover. Obviously, in order to fix her mistake, Andry will go after a young gunman (Devon Bostick). Even though they're stuck in the office at the headquarters, Gail and Dov face challenges too. For instance, they argue over who should frisk a transgender.

For a summer TV series from a TV network, Rookie Blue is neither abysmal nor outstanding. Indeed, its creators definitely wanted to play safe by exploiting a formulaic and a little bit predictable narrative formula: rookie cops making mistakes on the job and fixing them by the end of the episode. In all fairness, it certainly isn't a bad thing if you're just looking for a summer entertainment.

Besides, even though the details about the other four rookies revolving around Andy are kept under wraps, one just can't wait to see the other episodes to have a better understanding of them. I would also be remiss if I didn't mention that the characters of the rookies are played with a certain ounce of charisma - especially by Missy Peregrym, Gregory Smith and the lovely Enuka Okuma - that you believe in them.

Finally, this is a show that should please to male and female viewers who just want to have fun. In fact, along with its decent, humorous and unoriginal writing, Rookie Blue many of us will certainly watch it to feast our eyes on either the leading ladies or men. Furthermore, even though it's not in the league of great Canadian cop shows like Durham County, Flashpoint or Intelligence, Rookie Blue proves that a police show doesn't need to be dark and extremely violent to catch our attention. And it works just fine that way. Of course, expect to hear some annoying and insipid pop songs during the emotional moments.

NB: Rookie Blue is simulcasted on Thursday nights at 9 PM on Global (Canada) and ABC (USA).

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