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Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2010

‘Blue’ serves and protects TV cliches

June 24, 2010

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Put the gang from “Grey’s Anatomy” in police uniforms and you have a rough idea of “Rookie Blue” (8 p.m., ABC). The show opens in a crowded bar where a graduating class of newbies are handcuffed and then challenged to break free. The first unshackled grad gets to drink for free. Frivolity and squealing ensue.

A no-nonsense attitude resumes a rough morning after when our unusually good-looking gaggle of neophytes gets partnered up with gruffer, rougher (and hungover) veterans who immediately remind them to forget their training. Except when they’re supposed to remember. One older partner dismisses her “kid” as “Jenny from the Block.” Another announces that folks on the street “can smell a rookie — like fresh paint.”

After these words of encouragement, there’s just no time for orientation and doughnuts. A shooting in a drug den sends Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym) in hot pursuit of her partner and the bad guys. We all learn that sometimes doing things by the book can buy you trouble and that sometimes a bent rule can bring valuable information from the street. But the overriding truth of this pilot is that the gorgeous Andy is no mind-reader, a shortcoming that helps her run afoul of her passive-aggressive fellow officers.

More than three decades ago, the image of attractive women wielding weapons on “Charlie’s Angels” shocked and fascinated audiences. To sugar-coat the situation, “Charlie” put a lot of emphasis on giggling and jiggling and, of course, Farrah’s hair. “Rookie Blue” shows how little we’ve progressed. Many scenes accentuate Andy’s “cute” fumbling, her apparent fear and spunky vulnerability. There’s nothing much new in “Blue,” little you haven’t already seen in shades of “Grey.”

• The eight-part documentary series “Boston Me” (9 p.m., ABC) follows staff and patients at three Boston hospitals.

• “Futurama” (9 p.m., Comedy Central) returns for a sixth season on a third network. Created by Matt Groening (“The Simpsons”), “Futurama” ran, or rather limped along, on Fox from 1999 to 2003. Like “Family Guy,” the canceled cartoon found new life as part of Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim” lineup. “Futurama” was also spun off into four direct-to-DVD movies

This sixth season will include 12 new “Futurama” installments, including the show’s milestone 100th episode, airing Sept. 12.

• Turner Classic Movies observes the 60th anniversary of the Korean War with a 24-hour marathon of movies inspired by that conflict. Highlights include “The Steel Helmet” (10 p.m., TCM), directed by the influential cult filmmaker Sam Fuller. In “This is Korea!” (9 p.m.), director John Ford uses archival footage to explain the reasons behind the war. “Hell in Korea” (5:30 p.m. Friday) marks the 1956 film debut of Michael Caine. For some reason, the marathon does not include “Pork Chop Hill,” one of the better-known films about the Korean War.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Can’t wait for Sunday’s award show? Jamie Foxx hosted “BET Awards ’09” (6:30 p.m., BET) last summer.

• Kurt joins the football team on “Glee” (7 p.m., Fox).

• “Michael Jackson and Bubbles: The Untold Story” (7 p.m., Animal Planet).

• On two episodes of “CSI” (CBS), an off-duty officer slain (7 p.m.), grim evidence rocks a bowling alley (8 p.m.).

• NBA draft (7 p.m., ESPN).

• Jack regrets a phone message on “30 Rock” (8:30 p.m., NBC).

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