Is it possible to get a truly realistic look of what it's like to be a cop on the streets of Boston? That's part of the premise of TNT's new reality show "Boston's Finest," which followed cops from various units as they tried to balance their work and home lives. The premise showed some potential, but it's still too early to tell what the future holds for the show.
"Boston's Finest" followed various members of the Boston Police Department that included SWAT, Gang Unit, Patrol Officers, and the Fugitive Unit. The officers that the show focused on each week had to go through a series of challenges as they tried to juggle their work with their personal lives. Due to the large cast, the premiere only focused closely on a few officers to get viewers familiar with the show's setting. Officer Jenn Penton had been on the force for six years and also served in Afghanistan as well. She struggled with doing her job and trying to hide the fact that whenever she pulled a male driver over that they didn't take her seriously because she was a woman. Outside of work, Penton had a twin sister who struggled with drug addiction and recently gave her son up for adoption. She tried to rebuild her relationship with her estranged sister and made an effort to be part of her nephew's life as well. The show also focused on Officer Greg Dankers who worked in the Fugitive Unit as they were tasked with catching a dangerous criminal on the run with the help of various Boston locals. Dankers' unit managed to catch the fugitive after breaking down his system of friends who helped him. Once they were out of the way, Dankers was able to catch the criminal before he committed any more crimes. Dankers struggled to maintain a normal home life with his family and keeping his work separate from it. Will Dankers be able to suceed?
In terms of questions, the biggest question that the show posed was whether viewers would be able to keep the cast members straight, because there were nineteen officers featured on the show. Sadly, not all of them will be getting top billing in every episode because it would make it very hard for viewers to follow the show. The premiere seemed to get the format right pretty early out of the gate by focusing on the cases and how the officers are impacted by them before diving into their home lives. TNT seemed to heavily emphasize Executive Producer Donnie Wahlberg's presence a little too much, but his presence as the premiere's narrator helped to give the episode a little credibility. Let's hope that the show will continue to use Wahlberg as a narrator, while not allowing it to interfere with his role on CBS' "Blue Bloods." Viewers could see that the show was trying to demonstrated that being a cop wasn't always as glamorous as the network cop show made the job out to be. There was real danger involved and your injuries can't be erased with make-up and careful editing. The only problem was that the show seemed to only be taking too many cues from other reality shows by focusing on the most shocking aspects of a case and profiling them. Future episodes should allow the work and the officers' responses speak for themselves. Only time will tell if that's the case.
As for promising stars on the show, Penton and Dankers led the pack because the premiere seemed to focus heavily on them. Penton was able to develop a comfortable rapport with her partner that allowed her to relieve some tension from when the job got to be too stressful. The funniest part of the show was when they were driving down the street and the siren on their police car stopped working properly. They were embarassed when the siren kept going on and off for no apparent reason. The partners were able to laugh as they were forced to embrace the absurdity of the situation. Dankers, on the other hand, was able to balance his work and home lives successfully in the premiere. The episode concluded with a brief examination of his home life when it was revealed that his wife Nancy was also a cop. They worked opposing shifts so that one of them would always be home to care for their four year old twins. Their separate work shifts might pose some problems for their marriage, but it helped to give their children some stability. Future episodes will give viewers a better chance to see the Dankers work on making their marriage work. It remains to be seen if the show will be able to make past season one. With a little work, the show could have the potential to last.
"Boston's Finest" premiered on February 27th and airs Wednesdays at 9:00 PM on TNT.
Verdict: A show that tried to ground a level of realism into the usual cop show, but the premise still needed a little work for future episodes.
TV Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars
1 Star (Mediocre)
2 Stars (Averagely Entertaining)
3 Stars (Decent Enough to Pass Muster)
4 Stars (Near Perfect)
5 Stars (Gold Standard)