Every year there’s an array of new cop shows that either fail completely or continue you on to other seasons with a following. However, it is rare to see a TV show with such an idolized lead. In this case it is Jennifer Lopez.
Lopez stars in Shades of Blue as Harlee Santos, a single mom and New York City detective who’s forced to act as an FBI informant on her crew, lead by Lieutenant Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta). The cops take kickbacks in exchange for working with drug dealers to arrange that they stay on certain corners, and other illegal acts. Santos does it for the sake of her 16-year-old in private school, whom she is unable to support financially. Unlike Law & Order, the show that anchored NBC for years, things were generally pretty straightforward: crime, investigation, arrest, prosecution. This is not the case for this new drama.
Jennifer Lopez was initially what drew me to the show but as I began to watch it I became interested. The show was no Criminal Minds or Law & Order, that would simply keep you in your bed all day because you couldn’t stop watching, but rather a show that keeps you wondering and guessing. The constant feeling that Harlee might get caught is the only driving force behind this show. Although it keeps viewers watching, it also categorizes the show as one dimensional with no substance. It would have worked 10 years ago but with the number of crime television series shown the the world today one dimensional no longer creates a successful show.
Throughout everything, Lopez gives a solid performance. Perhaps one of the best dramatic works she’s done in a while. Liotta is excellent as well which he should be since he has participated in many other television crime series . But Shades of Blue’s biggest problem is beyond Lopez and Liotta, the rest of the cops are bland. A question mark arises on how the other actors are going to perform. Which leaves me rooting for a show because I like the performances of its stars, but unless the other actors step up this will be yet another show that gets cancelled at the end of the season.
Despite these negative aspects of the show it has a extremely interesting plot that carries the show single-handedly. The suspense that follows Santo can help this survive for more seasons but some changes need to be made. I think if the writers created either a romance or some other continual plot the continues along throughout the season would help bring viewers in and keep them interested. The show has a suspenseful start and keeps people interested but lacks the addictive factor that you see in most shows today.