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Review: Rookie Blue 1x1

Posted on June 30, 2010 | Post a comment | Bookmark and Share

Rookie Blue

In Canada: Thursdays, 9/8c, Global Television
In the US: Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC

Despite her odd name and the fact she's always tended to play characters you're supposed to hate, I've always kind of liked Missy Perygrym. She was probably the most interesting of the 'kids' in Carlton Cuse's old martial arts show Black Sash and she was plausibly interesting as the post-pilot love-interest on Reaper.

So I'm quite pleased to see she has her own show now. Okay, it's a Canadian show getting simulcast on ABC in the US; it's also an ensemble piece about rookie cops just starting out on the job; and most of the time, her character is a bit of an idiot.

But it's actually quite enjoyable; really, she's the star of the show; and despite the general backdrop of drug dealers and murders, it's all Canadian and fluffy and nice. Here are some trailers, both a little spoiler-laden for the second episode and beyond - if you look hard, you'll notice the second trailer carries the show's original, very Canadian title, Copper:

Plot
Rookie Blue
is a new generation’s cop show, served straight up with a twist of danger, sex and high-stakes drama. It's a series that candidly reveals the world of those who walk the thin blue line.

We follow five officers from their first day on the streets—as they're plunged into the world of big-city policing, where even the smallest mistake can have life-or-death consequences.

The heart of this close-knit group is 26-year-old Andy McNally. Andy's dad was a cop. Not the best cop maybe—he retired under a cloud, though Andy has yet to find out why. And not the best dad—lately she's been spending a lot of time picking him up off the floor, and taking the Scotch bottle out of his hands. Still, all she ever wanted to be is a cop.

Andy's a born rescuer, but she joined the force not just to help people but to discover a sense of family she's never had. And she’s definitely found it among her fellow trainees—a group of young, ambitious twenty-somethings, carrying big guns and even bigger emotional baggage.

These five rookies trained at the Academy together—they learned the rules together—they fought, drank and slept together. Now they’re walking the beat together, learning the toughest kind of policing there is. They're the first responders. First on the scene, never knowing what dangers they're about to face. They're the officers walking into dark doorways without knowing what’s behind them. The police who get shot during routine traffic stops. The cops who never know whether their shift’s going to bring them a dead body, a violent home invasion, a john sweep, or a drug raid.

They’re making mistakes, they’re trying to get ahead, they’re trying to watch each other’s backs while proving they can do this on their own. They’re falling in love. Dealing with messy stuff at home. Learning to trust their instincts—since they don't have experience to fall back on.

And they’re doing all this as they learn first-hand the hardest kind of policing there is.

Rookie Blue is a drama about the trials and triumphs, competition and camaraderie of this rookie family, who are about to learn the hard way that no amount of training can prepare them for the job…or for life.

Is it any good?
Beyond the fact you're going to see lots of cops cocking up in Rookie Blue, there's not much here you won't have seen before and the show does have a few cliches. This is not radical television.

But actually it's not bad. It's not got much of an edge, but it has a heart.

In common with that other Canadian show doing well for itself in the US - Flashpoint - Rookie Blue is Canadian but tries to hide it. Sure, those are Canadian police uniforms, you can hear some Canadian accents, and the locales are all Canadian. But it's not like the CN Tower is on display, no one ever mentions which city the show is set in and there are enough Americans in the cast to make you think it could be the US.

It also can't hide its Canadian nature (again see Flashpoint, The Listener) in the softness of its stories. The cops don't kill people. No one really gets hurts. They just want to help people, rather than put them away.

Which is quite pleasing, actually. Rather than epic firefights, the story revolves around cops getting to know people, getting to know the job, getting to understand how it works and, yes, helping people.

The characters are all very nice, although we've not really gotten to know many of them other than Andy (Perygrym) and her mentor, Dov. It's a little hard to care for anyone but Andy and the men she's met since despite a few attempts at giving the other rookies personalities and story, the first episode really failed to give them anything but generic stories or dialogue.

As of episode one, the promised Grey's Anatomy style romance is missing, but as those spoiler-ific trailers highlight, it'll be coming soon and the foundations for all the love intrigues are set up in this first episode. Eric Johnson from Smallville/Flash Gordon is one obvious paramour for Andy but there is another (I won't spoil it for you by saying who). Ooh.

This has all the feel of a The CW show, and if it ever needed to find a new home, that would do nicely, provided they could get another songs onto the soundtrack. At the moment, it's actually quite enjoyable, kind of like an over-eager puppy who wants to play with you. Perygrym for once isn't irritating and is actually quite appealing; the rest of the cast are just fine; the plots are simple, but not simplistic; and the details are enough that it makes you think the writers might have done some research.

Not bad as a summer show, and you could do a lot worse.

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