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Tucker: De Blasio needs a better script

Posted: December 31, 2014 3:09 p.m.
Updated: January 2, 2015 1:00 a.m.

There’s about as much love between New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio and the city’s police department as there is between Sony and North Korea.

Cops in the Big Apple have repeatedly turned their backs on De Blasio – literally.

As the mayor stood to speak at the funeral of two NYC officers who were gunned down as they sat their patrol cars last week, hundreds of cops outside the church turned their backs on a giant screen set up to broadcast the funeral.

It was similar to another back-turn they’d given the mayor only days earlier.

In a year when there’s been a 56 percent increase in the number of police officers killed by guns in the line of duty, New York’s finest think De Blasio’s let them down. 

He ran for mayor on a platform of police reform, and following the recent incident of a black street merchant being killed by New York officers, he encouraged protests, during which some Big Apple residents yelled for NYC cops to be killed.

Whatever the circumstances, it’s a terrible standoff between the mayor of the nation’s largest city and its 34,500 police officers. If only things were as simple as they are on Blue Bloods.

That’s the CBS television hit  that follows the Reagan family, a multi-generational cop clan that features Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan, the police commissioner of the city.

The show draws consistently high ratings; I don’t know much about TV demographics, but my guess is that a hefty percentage of Blue Blood’s fans are, like me, not in that “coveted 18-35 age range” that advertisers cherish.

But hey, I like the show, and obviously, lots of other people do, too, no matter their age. 

I especially like the family dinners that take place on each episode, where three generations of Reagans eat, converse, joke and argue.

In addition to Selleck’s Frank Reagan, there’s his dad, Henry Reagan, who was also police commissioner a generation ago, and isn’t hesitant to offer advice and criticism; sons Danny and Jamie Reagan, both of whom are Big Apple cops; Erin Reagan-Boyle, Frank’s daughter and a prosecutor; Linda Reagan ... well, you get the message.  Reagans everywhere.

Frank Reagan, who started his career walking a beat before rising through the ranks, has a tense relationship with the city’s mayor, who’s always giving political considerations to every case. 

Reagan commonly tells the mayor that he is free to fire him, but not to tell him how to do his job?

Who can’t identify with speaking to the boss in that way?

Interwoven in every episode is the family dinner, where everyone gathers, and free-spirited discourse is common. Even granddaughter Nicki, a questioning-and-sometimes-rebellious teen, gets into the action each week.

The dinner thing might be a little syrupy at times, but it holds the show together. There’s lots of food, always a copious supply of red wine, and no holds barred when it comes to conversation.

Donnie Wahlberg, who plays detective son Danny, who doesn’t always go by the book but almost always get the bad guy, says, “The secret of our success is the family connection. The family dinner resonates with a lot of people.”

There are other, ancillary characters, including deputy police commissioner for public information Garrett Moore, who spends much of his time telling his boss to quit sticking his foot in his mouth with the press, advice that Frank Reagan generally ignores.

All in all, it works. Viewers see the human side of New York’s finest – yes, yes, I know it’s just a TV show – and Blue Bloods makes for a fine hour of entertainment.

If only things worked like that in real life.

(Glenn Tucker is the contributing editor of the Chronicle-Independent, Camden, S.C.) 

 

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