Is Reagan Family Willingness to Bend the Rules Getting Out of Hand on Blue Bloods?

Is Reagan Family Willingness to Bend the Rules Getting Out of Hand on Blue Bloods?
Image credit: CBS

Detectives in Blue Bloods do their best to ensure that criminals are brought to justice, but their tactics are frequently questionable. In fact, as is not uncommon for police procedurals, their actions are downright criminal.

Frank, Danny, and Jamie all rarely let rules and laws get in the way of solving their cases.

Danny is particularly guilty about that: he fairly routinely physically assaults suspects, once set a person up as a rat so they almost got killed and were forced to testify, in another case threw a potential informant into the trunk and drove around until he was miserable enough to talk.

One time he even facilitated a vigilante murder, by letting out details that allowed the husband of a victim to track down the criminal (admittedly, that was probably a careless slip rather than an intentional act on his part), and then, after realizing what happened, helped the vigilante by advising him how to dispose of potential evidence.

Frank, in turn, uses his position as police commissioner to block or hinder any potential disciplinary actions against his officers, including, but not limited to, his family members, effectively allowing them to break the rules without consequences. In real life such behavior would definitely be considered corruption.

Now, as mentioned above, this is not exclusive to Blue Bloods.

Too many police procedurals to remember, including such pillars of the genre as Law and Order and Law and Order: SVU are guilty of the same thing: the policemen protagonists skirt or outright break the rules, because it is a TV show and the people who end up on the receiving end of their unlawful actions invariably happen to actually be guilty.

And the Internal Affairs people who try to punish the protagonists for such behavior, are invariably portrayed as the bad guys.

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This happens for the same reason why shootouts with the criminals are rather more common on TV than in real life – the actual police routine is perceived as boring, or, at least, difficult to make interesting in the show's format, so the showrunners feel the need to add some action.

And judging by the popularity of these shows, that mostly works. But sometimes such things get out of hand, to the point of the fans noticing that maybe these characters are not actually what we would call good cops.