Some examples from the last episode. Commissioner Selleck — in an opening scene totally unrelated to the rest of the story — ends a speech to a new class of mounted police with the words, “God bless the United States of America.” I had to wring my ears to make sure I heard him right. A viral video that shows a cop beating up a suspect turns out to exonerate the officer when seen in context — a context previously obscured by a biased journalist. An idealistic union organizer (okay, that’s a stretch, but still) exposes union corruption that links the union to the bosses. And when a scummy little killer complains that the arresting detective (Wahlberg) broke his arm, Wahlberg says, “This one?” and smacks him on it. And that’s all in one episode.
The show has also dealt forthrightly with Islamic terrorism, race baiting, and political correctness — all while being careful to note that there are good, patriotic Muslim Americans, and that the opposite of race baiting shouldn’t be racism and so on. By any measure, there are more guts and real life on display here than in any twenty episodes from the later seasons of Law and Order.
The depiction of the family is uplifting without being smarmy. They say grace. They mention Jesus. Favorably. Even if you don’t believe, you gotta — gotta — love the fact that basic American religious values are being offered up without blushes on mainstream TV.
I have no personal dog in this fight. I don’t know anyone involved in the show. I understand it’s already a hit and doesn’t need me stumping for it. But come on! EVERYONE should watch it. That means you.
You don’t want to be a caitiff, do you? I didn’t think so.