TV Review - Shades of Blue: Season 2
For most shows, it's difficult to maintain that level of thrills episode-to-episode, let alone scene-to-scene. This show does. It accomplishes that. It maintains that thrill. It helps that the writers give a fair and decent amount of material to the rest of the cast. Each of the cast members have their own anxieties and each add to the overall sense of danger. For a show that doesn't have a lot of action unlike Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, it manages to be infused with as much, if not more tension. It might not be death but for each character a lengthy prison sentence is right around the corner.
As I believed during its first season, this show is a perfect substitute for FX's The Shield. I would argue that this show's pacing is a bit quicker, or else the pressure is a bit heavier in the beginning. Lopez is way more terrified for example than Michael Chiklis' character was in the beginning of The Shield. The show is just as sexy if not more psycho-sexual. Division amongst the ranks is also happening more quickly here than it did in The Shield.
Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) is new this season. She plays Julia Ayres, a former police captain who is now a councilwoman running for mayor of New York. She is good friends or at least is in league with Bianchi. She's also close friends with the leader of Harlee's team. This of course causes a lot of friction for Harlee and seeing Lopez opposite Gunn rubbing that friction is great.
Ray Liotta (Field of Dreams and Goodfellas) reprises his role as Matt Wozniak, the leader of Harlee's team. He's a middle-age, grizzled and cynical cop who some might call corrupt. He is certainly not opposed to working outside the boundaries. He frames Bianchi for a crime at the behest of the FBI. This starts a web of intrigue that this season has its characters tangled all up in. Seeing them untangle from it is all the fun.
Much credit again has to be given to the supporting cast. All of whom deliver fantastic performances. Warren Kole (24 and The Following) plays the obsessed FBI agent, Robert Stahl. Dayo Okeniyi (The Spectacular Now) is Michael Loman, the rookie who feels like he has to prove himself. Hampton Fluker (Major Crimes) is Marcus Tufo, the loyal hard-nose with a brother who's in prison. Vincent Laresca (24) is Carlos Espada, a soldier for the police team. Drea de Matteo (The Sopranos and Desperate Housewives) is Tess Nazario, the no-nonsense detective who is somewhere between Harlee and Wozniak, and Gino Anthony Pesi (Dallas) is James Nava, the sexy but tough district attorney. It's an addictive show for me.
Running Time: 1 hr.
Sundays at 10PM on NBC.