'Blue Bloods' Premiere Review: Tom Selleck Brings More Cops to CBS

'Blue Bloods' (10PM ET Friday, CBS) sounds good on paper.

Yet despite its good cast and competent execution, this drama about a family of New York cops feels a bit perfunctory. There's nothing necessarily wrong with the drama, which is ably headed by Tom Selleck, but there's every chance that 'Blue Bloods' will turn out to be just another cop show.

We aren't short of those.

I suppose there's a small chance that 'Blue Bloods' could turn out to be something more than the sum of its parts, a la 'The Good Wife,' which turned out to be more than just another legal drama (though the law cases are often timely and provocative enough to be interesting on their own).

But the majority of the 'Blue Bloods' pilot concerns the kidnapping of a little girl, and there's every reason to believe that upcoming episodes will similarly focus on the case of the week.

There will be an ongoing plot going forward, but as 'Burn Notice' has proved, an ongoing thread can actually become quite frustrating when it is relentlessly shoved into the margins. (I sometimes wonder, when it comes to 'Burn Notice.' if there's a command from on high that the show's mythology can never take up more than 10 or 15 percent of an episode. In 'Burn Notice's' most recent season, this rigidity came close to giving me an aneurysm, because the restricted screen time regarding the show's mythology caused the story about who burned who to feel ever more muddled, cramped and rushed.)

On 'Blue Bloods,' Selleck is effortlessly commanding as New York police commissioner Frank Reagan, an imposing man who, with a single look, can make the mayor of the Big Apple seem like a pipsqueak. Such is the power of the 'stache. OK, I kid. Of course, Selleck's mustache is as luxuriant as ever, but even more impressive is his quietly charismatic presence. He's absolutely believable as a man who has successfully navigated the treacherous and dangerous waters of the police force and New York politics.

Rounding out the cast are Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan, a detective who is Not Afraid to Do What It Takes to Get Results (this is CBS, after all. The Formula must be obeyed). And as the night follows the day, in opposition to the male character who Does What It Takes is a female character -- in this case, Danny's sister, Erin (Bridget Moynahan) -- who Says No. 'Blue Bloods' follows the pattern of most formula-driven shows, in which female characters exist to tell male characters not do what they want to do. On top of that, Erin is a lawyer, of all things. Sheesh. No wonder her husband left her.

Will Estes' character, Jamie, has a potentially interesting journey ahead of him. Jamie has given up a law career to be a beat cop, and one of my favorite scenes in the pilot was of Jamie and his training officer, a veteran officer played by Nicholas Turturro. In that moment, and a few others, 'Blue Bloods' became the kind of relaxed yet alert character drama that you would expect from Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, the creators of 'Blue Bloods' and veteran writers who've worked on 'The Sopranos' and 'Northern Exposure.'

Yet if 'Blue Blood' focuses on the catching of bad guys rather than the examination of consciences and relationships, it will no doubt fade out of my TV-watching rotation. Television, especially this season, is chock-full of shows about law enforcement and lawyers. There has to be something more to a show for it to overcome my growing case of procedural fatigue.

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