‘Dark Blue,’ Season One: An Intense but Good TV Drama

August 24, 2011 2 Comments

Officially, Dark Blue, season one didn’t get a wide available release. Instead TNT offers a DV-R set on their site. I was “first in line” to order a copy because it’s something I’m curious about. But what does Dark Blue have to offer that the next top-rated cop drama doesn’t already have?

Dark Blue, Season One TNT Review

Deep cover requires the best detectives in the department, and some of the strongest minds. A mind that, if ones not careful can fill with the thoughts and actions that might make them believe to be invincible. Lt. Carter Shaw (Dylan McDermott) has hand-picked each of his detectives. Come to find out, the feds somehow play into Carter’s latest operation of a hardcore gang ring distributing drugs. FBI is on the case after one of their own is beaten and near death, apparently a drop by the same gang. Viewing surveillance footage, Carter recognizes a face, Dean Bendis (Logan Marshall-Green), the rebel of his team. Fearing that Dean has switched loyalties, Carter brings in another player, Ty Curtis (Omari Hardwick). A newlywed, Ty’s wife, Melissa is troubled by his line of work.  

‘Dark Blue,’ Season One: An Intense but Good TV Drama. A review of the TNT drama with Dylan McDermott. © Rissi JC

Knowing that the two of them cannot single-handedly bring down the ruthless gang, Carter recruits Jamie Allen (Nicki Aycox), a patrol cop who has fabricated a past that allowed her into the academy. Needing a person who can lie without blinking and make it convincing, Carter pulls her into his elite few to make the bust. Setbacks hurt their case but a big break leads them right back to the top where they take the steps to insure their case.

For a show that received inconsequential commendations and even slimmer ratings, it is actually one of the best cop dramas to have seen completion. Unfortunately for the show, during its timid second season, it did get a cancel notification meaning that a mere twenty episodes – in total is likely all fans will ever see of this team. There are a variety of reasons why I so like this show. 

TV SHOW REVIEW | The Closer,’ Season One (2005)
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First impressions immediately set up a concept that this is going to be much different than most of Dark Blue’s counterparts. Cumulating during the first three shows the writer reveal a strict pattern. Each takes the hour to pick out a team member – minus Carter, and dedicates that case around one of the characters. (The pilot isn’t just a pilot, it’s about Dean.) To some of us, this might seem unimportant, to others interested in the characters, this is golden. I fit in the latter category and liked getting to know the protagonists on a deeper, less formal level while seeing the entire team gel for what is an exhilarating journey. Rather than writing characters that are immediately “likable” – all American good guys, the actors and writers explore their conscious on a number of investigations.  

Normally we really want to like the main people and this elite group is likable. But they aren’t “perfect,” nor do we see them as happy-go-lucky innocents. They are messed up that, in some cases are really shameful. In wrestling so much of the time with their conscious, writers place many temptations in their paths. Nearly all their troubles are of their own making; these many flaws because of the deep undercover work they must do and lengths they take to remain alive. Jamie and Dean aren’t ideal cops. And Carter actually elects sympathy many times. His team is very “hard” on him because of his sometimes unethical methods. Emmy-Winning McDermott is a very capable actor in the role; his leader is just moderate enough but yet is as hard-nosed as the criminals. Ty is perhaps the most morally sound of the group.  

I may be the only one, but I am sorry at TNT’s decision to cancel this. It’s intelligent, well-written and seems a unique premise in a genre where competition is difficult. The characters are engaging but hints of mystery keep you engrossed in their lives post work and in some cases pre-career. Carter is a strong leader not unlike many other television favorites; Dean is a rebel; Ty is the all-around good guy and Jamie… she is a mystery who can be hard to like because of her immoral, rash decisions — choices that once led to tragedy.  

Dark Blue is one of Jerry Bruckheimer’s best, something that makes it all the worse to see disappear.  

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can find Dark Blue, season one digitally on Amazon Video

Content: Tense scenes involve shootings resulting in injuries or deaths. Implications suggest various sexual relationships. Profanity isn’t overflowing in every episode. Kidnappings, drug rings and gangs become plots. Forced to take drugs while maintaining cover, Jamie gets high once. The show is TV-14.

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

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  • Nancy July 6, 2019 at 9:59 PM

    Good review. This is new to me. Very interesting.

    • Rissi JC July 9, 2019 at 10:01 PM

      It’s a very interesting show, Nancy; one I think ended too soon. Thank you for reading. :)

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