Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rookie Blue: Is it Baywatch, The Rookies or Hill Street Blues? Definitely Not the Latter

This may be a gross exaggeration, but Rookie Blue on ABC reminds me of Baywatch.  The cast of this cop drama is made up of young, beautiful people and focuses on their relationships with each other. 

The plots sound serious, but they're mere smoke screen for the camera, which is trained on the pretty faces and toned bodies.  The only difference between this and that California beach show from the 90's is that the cast members here are mostly clothed (though there seem to be a lot of locker room and getting-ready-for-work scenes that are an excuse for skin).

The drama on Rookie Blue is based on scenarios for 20-somethings - a murder at a concert, drugs at a club, a young cop’s distress at her father’s alcoholism and a party with underage drinking that ends in death.  Of course, there is a great deal of romance among the police officers who work together on the same cases and in the same squad.

I can't say the program isn't good.  It's okay, but it lacks interesting dialogue, humor and emotion that isn't robotic.

The actors are nice looking, as stated, but have marginal abilities as thespians.  I don't recognize a single face from other programs, though the credits say Missy Peregrym (Andy McNally), Gregory Smith (Dov Epstein) and Eric Johnson (Luke Callaghan) were on Heroes, Everwood and Smallville, respectively.

It's even hard to tell which city is the backdrop, though ABC's Web site does reveal that it's Toronto, which explains some of the blandness.

Contrast Rookie Blue against one of the great cop dramas of all time, Hill Street Blues, and it comes up completely empty.  Hill Street had awesome writing, a colorful and highly professional acting company and more drama in one minute than Rookie Blue has in 43 minutes.  And there was a lot of comedy within the tragedy.

If Rookie Blue is like Baywatch, then it's worth noting that the latter did have a lot of viewers.  It stayed on the air for 12 years, first on NBC and then in syndication, so Rookie Blue may do the same.  Don't count on it, though.  This one may last as long as The Rookies, another ABC entry that aired in the 70's and lasted four seasons.

In the meantime, the program does make for some easy on the eyes viewing.

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