I realise this thread is quite old, but what-the-hell, I will dredge it up anyway lol
I have only just finished (early january 2012) watching the first series of this show - my fiancee lent me the DVD box set of the series.
(In the Uk , US shows obviously arrive much later - usually american TV is at least one series ahead on US-produced shows. And in the case of this show, it was on a UK channel which few people actually have - “SKY Atlantic”, I think - hence we had to wait for the box set).
Well, I was both shocked and delighted at the positive portrayal of the Catholic faith and the Catholic family around which the show centers. It is very unusual these days to see any secular media which is even neutral toward Catholicism, let alone positive.
My fiancee had said she enjoyed the series, but did not tell me of the central role of Catholicism (no “spoilers” lol). She is not a Catholic herself. So it was pleasant surprise to discover this when watching and to realise that she enjoyed a show with such a positive portrayal, set often in a strongly Catholic environment.
Also, it was great to see traditional (i.e proper and decent) family values championed for a change, instead of the empty whims of modern secular society. It was very refreshing to watch four generations of a family regularly gather to share a meal together, despite their busy lives, saying grace beforehand and each sharing their lives and thoughts in conversation. Its much more common for the media to bombard us with artificial parodies of the family - e.g. Elton John & David Furnish fawning over their child amid a gaggle of obviously gay men in trunks etc.
I especially liked how humble and devout Tom Selleck’s (a great actor - Magnum P.I. rules!) character is portrayed as being. He is at times seen at confession or lighting candles in side chapels etc.
I liked the fact that clergy were portrayed as normal people, who were approachable and who listened as well as spoke. The common image of Catholic clergy is often unfair, one of dysfunction and power.
The series is balanced and also shows how Catholics are not perfect, nor lead perfect lives. The Church’s dismal handling of the abuse cases is acknowledged, as are family failings and circumstances. The detective son, very passionate about fighting crime, is prone to being aggressive and breaking rules to get the job done. The daughter’s marriage had failed, leaving her to raise her kid as a single parent. At times, members of the family bicker and fall out during their meals together. The Great Grandfather cheekily revels in the memory of his days as a tough-guy street cop, back in the day, including the odd recollect of rule bending or Police aggression.
But it also showed how Catholics identify and reflect on these imperfections and failings, and never stop trying to become better people.
I was really pleased with the series, it was such a breath of fresh air. I will definitely be eager to see future series. Of course, not every Catholic family is like that (something the show acknowledged) - close and loving, always making time for one another - but this was a portrayal of the Catholic ideal, in terms of what “family” means.
Sadly, I do think the positive image of Catholicism and traditional (natural) families could perhaps be linked to the reason why an accomplished and enjoyable TV show - featuring major & popular actors - was aired on a relatively minor / unseen TV channel, in the UK. Perhaps bigger channels will eventually pick up Blue Bloods, if it’s profile continues to rise and the quality is maintained.
I would hope that in future series that some plots last maybe 2 or 3 episodes, the tendency to start and end stories in just one episode was somewhat unsatisfying I felt. The Blue Templar story, the one story which cropped up throughout the series, was ultimately a bit of an anti-climax for me. I think some deeper, more engaging story lines would be good.
However I don’t think that criticism is uncommon for a first series of a new show. These are often initially more about introducing characters in depth, in preparation for future story lines, rather than the plots themselves.
Anyway, more power to “Blue Bloods” arm and roll on many future series!