DVD Review: First Season of TNT Cop Drama ‘Dark Blue’

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CHICAGOTNT’s “Dark Blue” has theatrical caliber production values, tight editing, and impressive action set-pieces for a TV show. It also has cliched characters, hackneyed dialogue, and plots that stretch suspension of disbelief far past the breaking point. The strong performances and crisp pacing often make the cliches easier to bear but the first season features as many missed shots as direct hits.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD Rating: 2.5/5.0
DVD Rating: 2.5/5.0

Carter Shaw (Dylan McDermott of “The Practice”) has seen the dark side of police work. He manages a group of undercover officers and knows very few boundaries that can’t be crossed to bring down the bad guy. His team includes a family man (Omari Hardwick), a tough guy (Logan Marshall-Green), and a new recruit (Nicky Aycox).

Dark Blue: The Complete First Season was released on DVD on July 6th, 2010
Dark Blue: The Complete First Season was released on DVD on July 6th, 2010
Photo credit: WB

“Dark Blue” debuted on TNT last summer (and returns in August — come back for a season premiere review then) to mixed reviews but pretty decent (for cable) ratings. The show’s lackluster first season release has been relegated to the WB Shop where “The Eleventh Hour” and “The New Adventures of Robin Hood” were also exclusively sold. “Dark Blue” doesn’t seem to have the pop culture cache of some other summer cable shows like “The Closer,” “Burn Notice,” or “Psych.”

Yet. Sometimes it takes more than one season for something to catch with its target audience and there’s enough that works about “Dark Blue” to think that this could certainly still happen. The flaws of season one are typical ones for programs produced by Jerry Bruckheimer in that the show is often too flashy for its own good. The episodes look like mini-films but we never get to know the characters. McDermott is talented and Marshall-Green is an interesting young actor, but “Dark Blue” is too often a game of smoke and mirrors where the action takes precedence over the characters. The best cop shows in history feature lawmen who are as interesting as the crimes they solve and “Dark Blue” has yet to figure that out.

The ten episodes from season one are presented in very lackluster transfers with very standard DVD and audio. Even worse, the season set includes not a single special feature. Four discs with no bonus material and below-par technical transfers makes for a season set that should barely attract hardcore fans of the series much less bring new ones in. The jury is still out on whether or not “Dark Blue” could be a long-term hit. Pick up season one on WB Shop and decide for yourself.

“Dark Blue: The Complete First Season” stars Dylan McDermott, Omari Hardwick, Logan Marshall-Green, and Nicki Aycox. It was created by Danny Cannon. It was released on DVD on July 6th, 2010 and is not rated.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

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