Shades of Blue Review: “Live Wire Act”

Shades of Blue

There’s something about Shades of Blue that is inherently watchable. On paper, it’s never a show that I would’ve been interested in, but as the show has developed, the drama has gotten deeper, the characters more grounded, and the show itself is tighter and more focused than it was at the beginning. While still not the most incredible show on television, you have to give credit to the shows that show steady improvement, and Shades of Blue is one of them.

This week on Shades of Blue: Saperstein’s funeral leads to a spectacular turn of events, including a phone call to the late Sap’s desk. Harlee, now fully committed to being an FBI informant, goes to a meet with Wozniak and discovers something much deeper. Agent Stahl’s feelings begin to surface. Saperstein’s legacy is honored. Harlee and Stahl discover Wozniak’s secret.

As the police corruption goes deeper, this show gets inherently more interesting. The web of corruption goes deeper and deeper and force the main characters into ever twistier situations. Jennifer Lopez’s characterization of Harlee is strong and it shows. The deeper she gets into this, the more heroic and strong her character is.

What’s weird is that we’re definitely supposed to be rooting for the cops in this show. This episode, though, pushed me into rooting for the FBI. Maybe you’re just supposed to be rooting for whatever side Harlee is on that week, but I really appreciate the shifting morality and constantly changing perspective on what’s right and what’s wrong. I mostly sided with the FBI this week, except for everything to do with Saperstein and his pre-death adventures. Those guys are certainly doing good in the world by letting this man go. Loman especially deserves the chance to do good in the world. The best part about this show is that the lines between right and wrong are as blurred as they are in real life. And it’s compelling.

Something about this show is still missing for me. Objectively, it’s a quality show. The acting is good, the story is better each week, and they explore interesting themes like the balance shift between right and wrong. But there’s something that isn’t quite there. I guess I’m not sure that I care about every character yet. I definitely cared about Saperstein, and I care about Loman a lot. But not every character deserves sympathy, and perhaps that’s what the show is lacking. No matter how infinitely interesting the characters are, they don’t feel grounded enough to relate to. At least, not yet.

Overall, Shades of Blue is doing some fine work. They’ve really set up for their last 4 episodes to be some of their best work yet, and as the plot thickens, things will continue to improve. It’s still not my favorite show by any means, but it’s a compelling story that could use a little more sympathy in its characters. “Live Wire Act” was a great stepping stone toward that goal, and hopefully their progress continues.

What did you guys think? Did you enjoy this episode? Let us know in the comments!

Shades of Blue airs Thursdays at 10/9c on NBC.

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