Jennifer Lopez possesses the incredible power to rebound. She had a lot of ups and downs in her carreer but she’s still there. She didn’t sell a single record for years before doing American Idol and then she had a couple of hits. She made a few movies the past decade which flopped at the box office and she just scored 20 million dollars with a little thriller that nobody saw coming (The Boy Next Door). Meaning Shades Of Blue, the first TV series built around her, could either flop hard or get decent ratings. I wouldn’t bet on a huge success because of the theme (corruption) and the channel (NBC). But you never know what this girl can achieve. Let’s not forget she was and she’s still “Jenny From the Block“. Now she’s also Harlee from the cops!
I expected much worse from that pilot, because of the writer attached, Adi Hasak, who’s responsible for two dumb action movies produced by Luc Besson. I’m not sure why they have chosen him, since Shades Of Blue doesn’t contain that much action scenes, but he managed to create something decent and an interesting set of all latino characters who really feels like a family. Don’t look for subtlety, it doesn’t work that way. It goes straight to the point. And sometimes, it’s refreshing. It’s meant to be a procedural with heavy serialized elements. The pilot contains a case, about a coke trafficking, and I’m honestly a bit worried that the show will always delve into this type of dark and depressing stories that could make people change the channel quickly. I mean: it’s not FX, it’s NBC! Fortunately, there are funny lines from time to time, especially coming from two secondary characters, that help lightening the atmosphere. And the scenes between Harlee and her daughter are heartwraming. Or are meant to be. Thing is, they are a little too easy to fall for it.
Let’s talk about Harlee now. Well. She’s exactly the street-tough detective we’re expecting from Jennifer Lopez. Not much is said about her appearance, except she has a pony-tail. I’m sure the actress will find a way to stay sexy whatever happens. In fact, she starts the pilot with a beautiful dress and at some point she wears stilettos. So Harlee is gorgeous, brilliant at her job, the best mother you can have -the scripts really insists on that- but no no no, she’s not perfect. She has flaws, and the first one is exposed at the very beginning in a surprising way. Let’s just say she’s not afraid to use a few bullets to hide the truth. She has unconventional ways to make things right. To sum up: she’s almost as corrupted as the people she’s asked to spy on, and that’s exactly why she was chosen by the FBI. It makes sense, somehow. And of course, she always has good reasons to do so, contrary to the others. So she’s forgiven. It’s always for the greater good. I’m ironic here, but Harlee is a character that works and that’s what counts.
Personnally, I would never watch Shades Of Blue on a regular basis but I guess there’s an audience for this and it has nothing to be ashamed of quite frankly. It would mesh well on NBC with shows like Law & Order: SVU or Chicago PD. It’s basically a female character driven procedural that tries to be a little bit more. Jennifer Lopez may have found the right vehicle to remind people she’s not just a singer and an American Idol Judge.