aims to be a different kind of cop show, walking a fine line between tough swagger and the emotional impact of all that toughness. Five rookies join a metropolitan police force (Toronto--the series comes from Canada--but the city is virtually generic): Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym, Reaper
), daughter of a former cop; Chris Diaz (Travis Milne), a by-the-book guy who lacks initiative; Traci Nash (Enuka Okuma), a single mom having an affair with a detective; Dov Epstein (Gregory Smith), a hothead out to prove himself; and Gail Peck (Charlotte Sullivan), an ice queen who feels like her connections with higher-ups make the other cops think she's not up to snuff. Supposedly the rookies get stuck with the boring or dirty jobs, yet over the course of the 13-episode first season these particular rookies regularly stumble into high-stakes trouble, be it undercover drug busts or a serial pedophile. McNally is the show's center and therefore gets the most complicated romantic life, caught between an edgy undercover cop (whose cover she blew in the first episode) and a charming homicide detective.
Peregrym's combo of tomboy athleticism, healthy farm-girl good looks (the kind that would be called "all-American" if she weren't Canadian), and assertive-yet-vulnerable personality are the essence of the show. It's essentially a more feminine take (more focused on the personal lives and emotional responses of the characters) on a traditionally macho terrain. The show occasionally goes too far with plot turns that push for over-the-top dramatic moments, but even at its most ridiculous--and the routine accumulation of guns-drawn situations can certainly get ridiculous--Rookie Blue remains likable and empathetic. It's a descendent of Hill Street Blues, but a little softer and a lot less quirky. The scripts are swift and efficient but take the time to let the characters interact; there's a sort of emotional breathing room in the show that sets it apart from most contemporary cop shows. The extras are your basic making-of featurettes, no audio commentaries. --Bret Fetzer
Five young, ambitious cops, fresh out of the Academy, are plunged into the world of big city policing on their very first day on the job, a world where even the smallest mistake can have life-or-death consequences, coupled with some serious emotional fall-out. These rookies are about to learn that no amount of training can prepare them for life on the street.