Skip to main content

Undercover and Over the Top: A Brief Review of TNT's "Dark Blue"

I was going to write an entire review for TNT's new undercover cop drama Dark Blue, which launches tonight at 10 pm ET/PT, but I just couldn't muster up any enthusiasm for what manages to be an oppressively dreary and hopelessly formulaic take on undercover cops operating in the seediest of seedy underbellies in Los Angeles.

Created by Doug Jung (Big Love), directed by Danny Cannon (CSI), and executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Dark Blue stars Dylan McDermott (Big Shots), Omari Hardwick (Saved), Logan Marshall-Green (Traveler), and Nicki Aycox (Supernatural) as members of a special undercover police task force committed to ridding Los Angeles of violent criminal scum.

McDermott is the team's haunted linchpin Carter Shaw, a relentlessly determined cop who is prone to wearing aviator sunglasses and making pronouncements like, "This better be good; I haven’t seen 7 a.m. since 1992," just to show how doggedly put off he is by his bumbling supervisors who can't manage to rein in Shaw's maverick methods, even when they may have led to an undercover cop turning to the dark side.

And what a dark side it is. I had to wait until nightfall to watch the series as each and every scene seems to be overflowing with darkness as the cinematographer seems to have fallen in love with the sepulchral blue tones of bruises and oxidized blood. Which might be fitting, given the grittiness of the Dark Blue's plot but it doesn't make for very interesting viewing when every scene looks exactly the same as the one before.

The one interesting element of Dark Blue is what a wild card actor Logan Marshall-Green has become. As deep undercover officer Dean Bendis, Marshall-Green is virtually unrecognizable and he gives the underwhelming and cliched pilot episode its few moments of frisson as we see a cop treading that thin line between being undercover and actually crossing over to criminality. His on-screen presence adds a much needed energy to the proceedings and he quickly outshines McDermott, who seems lusterless and tired here.

All in all, Dark Blue covers some of the same gritty territory as A&E's short-lived undercover cop series The Beast, which starred Patrick Swayze. For a network that promises that they know drama, TNT certainly didn't bring their A-game here with Dark Blue and one can only hope that their next drama series effort results in something more original and less derivative.



Dark Blue airs tonight at 10 pm ET/PT on TNT.

Comments

susie que said…
Wow. I can't believe that someone who worked on Big Love (one of the most brilliant dramas ever on TV) could come up with this schlock. The Henrickson clan would be disappointed.
Tempest said…
So, do you think we could get TNT to dump this and pick up The Unusuals instead?
Anonymous said…
It wasn't the greatest, but i think that's cause its the pilot episode. Most pilots are kinda slow to get started. I liked the online game that launched with the show...something about going undercover.

Popular posts from this blog

What's Done is Done: The Eternal Struggle Between Good and Evil on the Season Finale of "Lost"

Every story begins with thread. It's up to the storyteller to determine just how much they need to parcel out, what pattern they're making, and when to cut it short and tie it off. With last night's penultimate season finale of Lost ("The Incident, Parts One and Two"), written by Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, we began to see the pattern that Lindelof and Cuse have been designing towards the last five seasons of this serpentine series. And it was only fitting that the two-hour finale, which pushes us on the road to the final season of Lost , should begin with thread, a loom, and a tapestry. Would Jack follow through on his plan to detonate the island and therefore reset their lives aboard Oceanic Flight 815 ? Why did Locke want to kill Jacob? What caused The Incident? What was in the box and just what lies in the shadow of the statue? We got the answers to these in a two-hour season finale that didn't quite pack the same emotional wallop of previous seas

Have a Burning Question for Team Darlton, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, or Michael Emerson?

Lost fans: you don't have to make your way to the island via Ajira Airways in order to ask a question of the creative team or the series' stars. Televisionary is taking questions from fans to put to Lost 's executive producers/showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse and stars Matthew Fox ("Jack Shephard"), Evangeline Lilly ("Kate Austen"), and Michael Emerson ("Benjamin Linus") for a series of on-camera interviews taking place this weekend. If you have a specific question for any of the above producers or actors from Lost , please leave it in the comments section below . I'll be accepting questions until midnight PT tonight and, while I can't promise I'll be able to ask any specific inquiry due to the brevity of these on-camera interviews, I am looking for some insightful and thought-provoking questions to add to the mix. So who knows: your burning question might get asked after all.

Katie Lee Packs Her Knives: Breaking News from Bravo's "Top Chef"

The android has left the building. Or the test kitchen, anyway. Top Chef 's robotic host Katie Lee Joel, the veritable "Uptown Girl" herself (pictured at left), will NOT be sticking around for a second course of Bravo's hit culinary competition. According to a well-placed insider, Joel will "not be returning" to the show. No reason for her departure was cited. Unfortunately, the perfect replacement for Joel, Top Chef judge and professional chef Tom Colicchio, will not be taking over as the reality series' host (damn!). Instead, the show's producers are currently scouring to find a replacement for Joel. Top Chef 's second season was announced by Bravo last month, but no return date has been set for the series' ten-episode sophomore season. Stay tuned as this story develops. UPDATE (6/27): Bravo has now confirmed the above story .