Dark Blue Review

TNT is smartly pairing "Dark Blue" -- a new drama about a deep-cover special police unit -- with the return of "Leverage," essentially another post-Cold War variant on "Mission: Impossible." The Jerry Bruckheimer label ensures that the new project will be dark, gritty and handsomely produced, though for the most part the series hews closely to safe procedural terrain -- taking far fewer chances than its life-risking protagonists. "Blue" does offer a few zestier character flourishes toward the end, but the dreary first mission is better executed than conceived.

Wearing a three-day beard and perpetual scowl, Dylan McDermott stars as Carter Shaw, a driven cop still brooding over personal loss. His elite team includes the recently married Ty (Omari Hardwick), the brash Dean (Logan Marshall-Green) and the fresh-faced Jaimie (Nicki Aycox).

It's the kind of world where the good guys occasionally have to do (or at least ignore) very bad things so they can maintain their cover and thus utter lines like "No one has ever been this close" to a nefarious crook. In the premiere, said criminal's evil is immediately established by an opening sequence in which a hostage is tortured, if nothing else suggesting that this might be Dick Cheney's favorite program.

Directed by "CSI" alum Danny Cannon and written by Doug Jung (with the two sharing story credit), the show exhibits little interest in exploring any new ground -- a meat-and-potatoes approach that has characterized most of TNT's development; rather, the cable net's formula generally relies on playing to an audience that doesn't mind soaking in shows that could just as easily be found on a 1970s or '80s primetime roster.

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Aug 20, 2009 5:14AM EDT

I'm going off this rapidly. The idea that such a crack undercover team could operate in one city among so many different villains is ridiculous. It takes real police officers months and months to get deep undercover. This one is falling flat.

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Jan 1, 2011 5:06PM EST

Please save it!! I love the show,started looking for the new season dates shortly after the end of the second season. The characters in the series have a great chemistry together and I just started figuring out the dynamics of each team member (what makes them tick) Please give it another shot, take what people have suggested the show needs and kick it up a notch. I liked the storylines and was satisfied with where the show was going. Besides the fact the cliffhanger at the end of season 2 was great and fans need to see an ending (Carter was showing feelings and Dean had progressed to a great admirable member of the team)It is sad to see the great cop shows go to be replaced by crappy hospital dramas(Hawthorne)and 2nd rate cop shows like Southland that seem to make up stuff as they go along trying to imitate the original law and order. Come on Jerry Bruckheimer Do one more season of Kicked up Dark Blue.. with a little change of scenery and some brutal organized crime villains. I do agree that it would be difficult for even an underground rogue team to arrest so many heavy hitters and not have someone recognize them as cops when they are undercover. Fix it(a few things) and make it better than ever. I had everyone I knew watching the show. and Please Please don't do the same thing to Leverage and The Closer. Don't sacrifice the viewers great cop and bad/good guy shows in the future for the new upcoming trends of families with superpowers and heroes that fly around saving cities (The Cape). I saw a few comments on "The Shield", now that was a great, edgy dirty cop show for the first 3 seasons then it became stupid because everyone wanted Vic Mackey to go clean or pay for his bad deeds. Some of us like the nitty gritty dirty or underground rogue cop shows because they are interesting. When you mess up the "vision" of the character and do not improve it by making the characters a little dirtier or they mentally evolve (like Carter, Dean, Ty, and Jamie were doing at the end of season 2) I have watched all of season 1 of Dark Blue and found the storylines of how the members of the team were in the beginning and what they had become (organized and had each others backs)like a undercover team should be (still leaving a few secrets between the characters) to be a step in the right direction (they each still had a few dark moments which could have been a little more edgy). Please do another season and finish the story that was going on. Then decide if you must to end it if the ratings do not pick up (I believe more viewers will become fans LIKE ME.. ) I watch Dark Blue over and over because it is a great show.

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