Between good cop and bad cop, there are Shades of Blue. Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta star in the new drama, on NBC Thursdays 10/9c.
Shades of Blue – the show that was hyped-up because it was starring a pop-singer, movie icon in Jennifer Lopez and Goodfellow, Hollywood star, Ray Liotta. Jennifer Lopez, who plays “Harlee Santos”, a single-mother NYPD officer, who is forced to work with the FBI in its anti-corruption task force. All while she has to contend with the most corrupt chief of police, her boss, “Matt Wozniak” (played by Rey Liotta). Does she take down her boss along with exposing herself as being one of “Woznicak’s” most trusted captains and leader of his fellow corrupt unit of cops?
While the two headliners were the catalyst to persuade viewers to tune in the first place, it has now been the quality performances from the supporting cast that is keeping fans glued each week; from Drea de Matteo (Sopranos, Sons of Anarchy) and Dayo Okeniyi (The Hunger Games), who really knocked it out of the park. Drea, who is one of the best dramatic actors in the business with such gritty, raw emotion ready to erupt or breakdown, always seems to end up stealing the scene. Drea is outstanding in this series, with simply gut-wrenching performances. A crooked cop unit, led by the station’s most overly corrupt leader doesn’t always have to produce bad cops right?
One of my favorite new actors on the scene is Dayo Okeniyi. who played a very short role in The Hunger Games movie. His story of killing an innocent boy to now being indoctrinated into the corrupt-squad, who helped cover up his mistake, is beginning to unravel with guilt. The rest of the crew do their best to intimidate him back into shape, not showing the poor man any comparison or pity, they even make him play Russian roulette on himself to see if he’s becoming suicidal or not. Real crazy stuff, but these actors seem to pull it off in a good (but twisted) convincing way.
Captain Harlee Santos, has always been the most loyal and longstanding partner in crime in the Wozniak unit. Only now she’s finally been found out by the FBI and must turn informant against the very man that has made her career, her chief. Shades of Blue shows just how easily one bad seed that heads a unit of police officers can influence all of those who are under his watch. To mold each person into the very thing he is, the very thing they are all supposed to protect, the public from…..the criminals willing to do anything to keep what’s theirs.
While the common person believes police conspiracy is a myth, that there is no plausibility it could ever happen, no matter the circumstances, we are to take the word of someone with a badge. Too bad we see time and time again that even those who have been sworn to upholding the laws, are not always quite different from any normal person with troubling issues as well.
Shades of Blue is the inside look at just how simple corruption can run rampant with police, especially those who have ‘packed’ with one another, as a unit to help better cover-up mistakes when the heat turns up on one of them.
Drea and her dramatic acting alone is worth a full star on its own. Shades of Blue is not bad for a mystery crime drama. Liotta isn’t what he used to be and it was hard watching him be convincing when he’s pulled a gun about to shoot his captain over having a hunch about a silly key. Then Jennifer strips down to show she’s not wearing a wire, it was just awful and I’ve been expecting so much more from Ray, and to this point, I’ve not see it. Then they try to make a shock factor out his character’s secret gay sex life. Jennifer is great at being sexy and over-the-top in her performances as she likes to keep stopping spontaneous street crimes in movie style fashion. She also likes to strip down a lot in this show, not that I’m complaining. The only problem for me is that, I only see Jennifer Lopez, I don’t get lost in her character. Same for the creepy FBI agent that pushes her to bring down her boss, but is also acting like a stalker to her.
We’ll see where the rest of the series takes us. I’m going to make a prediction that J-Lo is not going to make it to the very end of the season, nor will Liotta. This may leave the door open for the rest of the cast to pick up the slack to have their very own crime drama, which I think would be a good idea. The writing is decent and the supporting cast is better than the stars at this stage of the season. I would most definitely tune into a Drea de Metteo lead drama with Dayo Okeniyi and the rest of the crew.