The reason I watched the whole season of this otherwise mediocre procedural can be summed up in two words – Tom Selleck. It’s impossible not to love Tom Selleck in this role, the writers have done a very good job of creating someone who is basically perfect, even his imperfections only highlight his perfectness.
He is the perfect police commissioner, proud of his people and his city, committed to justice and the law (and mindful of the occasional conflicts between the two). When someone threatens or disrespects any of those things his retribution is swift and definitive without being cruel. He is also the perfect father, guiding and supporting his family while still allowing them to find their own paths.
Frankly this bunch needs all the guidance and support they can get because they often act like a bunch of small children, seeing everything in black and white, bickering and being generally irritating. Where Selleck’s character empathises with everyone’s point of view and searches out a reasoned and fair compromises, his children (and his father for that matter) cheerfully seek out as contrary a point of view from their sibling as is possible and proceed to throw rocks at each other.
While the group dynamics were interesting for most of the season, towards the end I was wanting a bit more – more depth, more characters, more of a sense of extended family, the conversations around the dinner table just started to feel a bit stale. Maybe I’ve been spoilt by the larger clan and comings-and-goings on Brothers and Sisters, but the Reagans were starting to feel very small and insular by the end of the season. A few stronger female voices wouldn’t go amiss either.
The plots throughout the season were somewhere in the instantly forgettable to mediocre range of the spectrum. The writing did thankfully improve from the pilot, but it rarely reached anything I’d label as ‘good’. The “mystery of the blue templar” was kind of painful, too much like a cursory arc storyline bolted on because the network wanted one. It just didn’t work and thankfully was resolved at the end of the season. I’m hoping that next season they’ll do something more with the stuff on how the police commissioner sits between the force and the politicians and how precarious that is. That makes a much more interesting counterpoint to run alongside the regular procedural stuff.
I was attracted to the show by the strong concept, as I said in my pilot review – Brothers & Sisters meets Law & Order. But the only thing that really made me stay with it was Tom Selleck. Under a lesser actor the perfectness of his character would become cloying,but I could watch him and his moustache all day long.