Crooked cops and comrades
This classy new cop drama from NBC is created and written by Adi Hasak ( Generation Kill), with the first two episodes directed by Barry Levinson ( Homicide). It has a hard-boiled edge rarely seen on network TV and a noirish moral ambiguity sets it apart from the usual procedurals.
It stars international superstar Jennifer Lopez, who not only looks as glamorous as you might expect but is thoroughly convincing as tough-talking (“I don’t do banter”) Harlee Santos. She is a bent Brooklyn cop who works in the 64th precinct — led by Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta) — and who unwillingly becomes an FBI informant when she’s busted by the AntiCorruption Task Force, made to rat on her comrades.
Her tightly knit crew offers security to local businesses and resident crims in exchange for a fee, offering occasional reprehensible activities when required. Shades of Blue
“It’s all about the neighbourhood,” Wozniak likes to say. “It’s all about protection and serving the greater good.”
At a time when the US police system is under intense scrutiny, the idea of cops believing the ends justify the means has topical relevance. Santos is a devout believer in the family of police, corrupt or not — her justification is her celloplaying teenage daughter’s school tuition fees, which, of course, she’s always struggling to find.
“And that’s how this works,” she tells her rookie partner, who is falling apart morally after her cover-up of a drug dealer’s murder, a cop shooting gone wrong. Much of the tension comes from watching her wangle her way out of the tricky, sometimes deadly, situations where her betrayal is about to be revealed. If you loved The Shield you’ll enjoy this, too. Tuesday, 8.30pm, Universal (112)
The glamorous Jennifer Lopez plays tough-talking Harlee Santos in