Klavan On The Culture

Watch Blue Bloods, Damn It!

I. Love. This. Show.

If you are a conservative and you don’t watch Blue Bloods, you are a caitiff and a knave.  And okay, I don’t know what that means either, but the point is:  you gotta watch this show.  I know I’ve talked about it before, but it really does deserve repeating.  We complain and complain about how the left has taken over the culture, then CBS puts something like this on offer and we’re too good for it or haven’t got time to pay attention.

Blue Bloods is a show about a family of NYPD cops. The dad — the wonderful Tom Selleck — is the commissioner, following in the footsteps of his own father, the equally remarkable and much under-appreciated Len Cariou.  One of Selleck’s sons has died in the line of duty, one is a detective (perfectly played by Donnie Wahlberg), and one dropped out of Harvard law to become a patrolman (Will Estes, also very good). There’s also the sister, played by Bridget Moynihan, who’s a prosecutor, and Wahlberg’s beautiful and devoted wife, Amy Carlson.

Now I’m not going to say this is the most innovative show ever. The plots are standard cop fare, and while the family stuff is ninety percent heartwarming, I’d estimate about ten percent of the time it steps over the line into sentimentality.

But the values, the relationships, and the outlook of the program are so shockingly, bracingly, thrillingly right on — so much smarter and more realistic than the rest of the pap the networks dish out — that my wife and I turn to each other repeatedly throughout the hour and say, “I. Love. This. Show.” You’ll do the same.

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.