A struggling New York police officer comes under investigation by the FBI, with her only way out being to sell out the rest of her team. Detective Harlee Santos (Jennifer Lopez) is a struggling single mother who works as part of a unit that has a somewhat debatable moral code. While she is out on a call one day, Harlee gets picked up by the FBI and is forced to turn informant on her team or go to jail. Caught between a rock and a hard place, Harlee joins the Feds, hoping to buy herself time to make a plan to get her squad, including leader Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta), off the hook. However, a number of events unfold that complicate the operation, and very soon, what Harlee thought would be an easy play-off with the FBI becomes a lot more complex, and she begins to lose herself as she searches for a way out.
Shades Of Blue hadn’t been a show I’d been too fussed about watching, but one thing led to another and guess what? I watched the whole thing. I must admit, whilst being nothing earth shattering, it was quite a fun series that I rather enjoyed, and will be returning to it should a second season be commissioned.
One reason I had initially been sceptical about the show was Jennifer Lopez’ lead role as Harlee Santos. There is bit of a rule of thumb when musicians and singers turn to acting – they’re either amazing or they’re awful, there generally is no middle ground, and the majority of the time, many fall into the latter category. However, J-Lo was actually alright in her role as Harlee. She made it reasonably believable, and gave you something to cling onto with her character, which kept you coming back each week. You can’t say fairer than that really.
The one real draw for me was Ray Liotta’s presence within the cast. He played a very complex character and was probably who I enjoyed the most. There were so many levels to his character, and there’s part of me that is sure there is more to come where Matt Wozniak is concerned.
The plot for season one was pretty solid as well, although there were times where it felt as though the writers had gotten a little too deep into the narrative. Fortunately, each time this seemed to happen, they managed to pull it back before I tuned out and wrote the show off for trying to be too clever. The narrative did well in building tension and throwing in a number of twists throughout the 13-episode run. However, like I’ve just said, sometimes the twists took the story a little way off the actual point of the show, and it was sometimes when this happened that my attention began to venture elsewhere.
Overall, Shades of Blue is another of those watchable, fun crime shows that will provide something to fill your evenings with. It certainly has a fair way to go before challenging shows like The Wire or Line of Duty, but as far as your general police procedurals go, it was okay. If there’s anything that should make you want to watch it, it’s Liotta’s performance as Wozniak, but if that doesn’t do it for you, Shades of Blue will work out as little more than average for most.
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