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I’m a Tom Selleck fan and have been since Magnum PI. Though I haven’t watched everything he’s done, I’ve generally been entertained when I’ve watched him. It was later that I learned that his political views run right of center, which is a plus for me.
The television show Blue Bloods has a right-of-center bent. It’s not a show about politics per se, but about law enforcement, specifically the NYPD. Selleck plays the police commissioner, and his family primarily works for or is retired from law enforcement. It’s not a realistic show with regard to how the NYPD works, there are some major gaps there, but the inaccuracies go in support of the ensemble of actors they have in the show. I suspect that the set of Blue Bloods is a good place to work, and the cast is a tight one. It’s probably why it’s lasted 12 seasons.
Still, if you want a more accurate portrayal of policing, NYPD Blue is probably better fare, though that series is hardly perfect. Still, they tried harder.
One thing refreshing about Blue Bloods is its traditional family values, and one of the highlights of each episode is their family dinners, and many of those dinners include a prayer, where the words “Jesus Christ” are uttered. It’s probably the only current mainstream television show where a positive portrayal of mainstream religion is included.
Here’s my problem. It’s the character, Detective Danny Reagan. He’s portrayed as a loving husband and father, and loyal son. And he’s violent on the job. He will break every rule he can to get the criminal. He’ll physically intimidate, and in not so rare cases assault a suspect to get a confession. In one scene, he tells a suspect he’s attempting to intimidate that if he needs a lawyer, he must be guilty. The response resonated with me. “With cops like you, you’d be a fool not to have a lawyer.”
And the shootings. It seems like he’s always pulling his gun out, and the number of people he kills in a season is just out of hand. There are even episodes where it’s mentioned that only two percent of officers in the NYPD are involved in shootings. In real police work, shootings are rare. In real life, a Danny Reagan would have either been kicked out of the department, or quietly placed on desk duty for the rest of his career. Someone who has even three shootings in a year would be taken off the street, whether by job termination or reassignment.
And really, in real life, someone who kills that many people, especially someone who is as emotional as Danny Reagan would be a wreck. Most soldiers who have killed a lot of people have done so as young adults, and they’ve paid a price for it. Most are able to overcome the guilt, and live a normal life. But they aren’t continuing to kill well into middle age. In real life, the only way to be unaffected by that many killings is to be a psychopath (a person without emotion). Conceivably, psychopaths can live a moral life. But they can’t be a loving father and husband. At best they could fake it, but can you really fake something like that over most of a lifetime? I think not.
Blue Bloods is not a major influence on the culture. That it’s allowed to continue on the CBS network is an exception that proves the rule, and it targets a certain kind of audience that does not include the Woke. Frankly, though, I’m surprised it’s lasted as long as it did.
But the problem I have is it gives the impression, that the defund the police crowd also encourage, that the police do commonly break the rules, and that they kill much more than they do. And that’s why it’s more harmful than not to the image of law enforcement especially in these days.Published in