Crooked cops and com­rades

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Pay Television - Shades of Blue,

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

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