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DVD Review

DVD cover

Rookie Blue
The Complete Fourth Season 4


Starring: Missy Peregrym, Gregory Smith, Charlotte Sullivan, Travis Milne, Peter Mooney, Priscilla Faia, Enuka Okuma and Ben Bass
Distributor: Entertainment One
RRP: £29.99
Certificate: 15
Release Date: 01 September 2014

Back from their undercover operation Andy and Nick reintegrate back into 15 Division continuing their journey from rookie cop to seasoned law officer.

Rookie Blue (2013. 13 eps x 40 mins approx.) is a Canadian police procedural show. The show stars Missy Peregrym as Andy McNally, Enuka Okuma as Traci Nash, Ben Bass as Sam Swarek, Travis Milne as Chris Diaz, Gregory Smith as Dov Epstein and Charlotte Sullivan as Gail Peck.

Procedural shows seem to fall into two broad categories, the first shows their characters having relationships, but mostly they are about the crime/disease of the week, whereas others have elements of procedure, but are really concentrated on the characters relationships, Rookie Blue very much falls into the latter category.

The show's main protagonist, Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym) is one of five newly graduated police officers, in an unnamed city, which is actually Toronto. Each has both hopes and baggage, allowing the writers to explore tales about various aspects of becoming a new police officer.

The show has been a success, evidenced by the fact that this is its fourth season and season five has already started. For the life of me I’m not sure why as there are better shows portraying professional people obsessing about their relationships and there are far superior cop shows. At its heart Rookie Blue is a light hearted soap opera. It has a certain amount of wit, but The Rockford Files did this better. It has various standard cases which can be seen in any cop show. It’s the television equivalent of middle of the road easy listening, good to stretch out on your sofa, passing the odd hour, but there is little here which will challenge or surprise.

Each of the season episodes seem to follow the formula that a crime happens, the cops get involved and then must deal with the impact on their emotions, personal/love lives or spend their time lusting after either perpetrators or victims. Honestly, the show should have been called 'Hormone Blues'.

The makers of the show are not stupid, by investing the audience in the personal lives of the characters you essentially create a story which never ends. Add in a mostly attractive cast who like to stay on the right side of the law, but are willing to bend the rules, because we all love a bad boy and you pretty have the formula for a winning show.

Personally, I couldn't give a hoot about the love lives of other people, certainly not as a form of entertainment, so it wasn’t really for me, but then there are a lot of people out there who find other people's emotional turmoil exciting.

Season Four is presented on a three disc DVD set with two audio tracks, a DD2.0 and DD5.1; obviously for the action sequences the DD 5.1 is better, giving the show a much needed punch. The set has a goodly number of extras.

In Session Webisodes consists of eleven; three to five minute little pieces with the cast, in character going for their psych evaluations. Behind-the-scenes Featurettes, are split into Change or Die (9 min, 45 sec) has the writers of the show and the cast discussing the changes made to this season to keep it fresh.

Meet Chloe and Marlo (5 min, 08 sec) introduces this season's new characters, both a new rookie and a new senior officer. Remembering Jerry (3 min, 59 sec) is a retrospective of a character no longer on the show with lots of testimonials from the cast. Greg Directs (5 min, 10 sec) has Greg Smith discussing his experience of directing eps 412, with contributions from the cast. Lastly, we have Inside the Writers’ Room (11 min, 07 sec) lets up peek behind the curtain to see how the show is written.

In the end the show is innocuous and unchallenging/ Perhaps, had I watched the show from the beginning and invested myself in the personal lives of the characters, it would have been more enjoyable. Still for fans of the show this is a good package with a significant number of extras.


Charles Packer

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