We’re winding down summer TV and turning the corner to fall, so it’s time to take a look at the shows that brought us through the long hot summer. At number three, Rookie Blue is my first top three pick for summer. We’re in the middle of a ridiculous heat wave and drought (send all good wishes to folks in the fires, please) in Texas, so I haven’t been finishing real life activities and sitting down until after dark, and that has meant watching fewer shows this summer. So the ones I did make time to watch had to count.
Rookie Blue is actually in its sophomore season and I’m as surprised as anybody that I started watching it and then stayed. If you’ve read me for a while (thank you!), you know I’m an unabashed Canuck fan. I watched bits and bobs of the show’s first season for the guesters, and wasn’t disappointed, but this season, I began watching it for the regulars (most Canadian, which is itself awesome), and again, not at all disappointed.
I have to disclaimer that I adored Everwood until the end of the second season and the Madison pregnancy, when I fled and didn’t return, so Gregory Smith and I have a tainted history. Aside from Smith, there are several recognizable faces–Missy Peregrym was in the WB’s Black Sash and the CW’s Reaper, Enuka Okuma was in Sue Thomas F.B. Eye, Ben Bass was in Forever Knight and has been a regular fixture of TV movies and other Canadian series, Charlotte Sullivan did Spike’s Blade series, and Eric Johnson was Smallville’s much maligned Whitney–so a pretty solid cast.
I think the thing that kept me from getting attached last year was that ABC tried really hard to characterize the show as Grey’s Anatomy, which I do not watch, in a police precinct. I can’t speak to whether it is or isn’t, but something sort of clicked into place with the writing and the cast dynamics this summer and Rookie Blue snuck up on me as a show I looked forward to and then became appointment TV.
The show evolved a bit this year, tracking the second year of its rookies and tabling the love geometry of Andy (Peregrym) and Sam (Bass) and instead rejiggering it toward Gail (Sullivan) and BFFs Dov (Smith) and Chris (Travis Milne), and it worked. We also had Camille Sullivan, most recently in Hellcats. pop up for an arc as the ex-love and former partner of Andy’s fiance, Callaghan (Johnson). She returned just in time to stoke the flame with Callaghan and put a pin in his pending nuptials with Andy.
This conveniently re-opened the door for Andy with her partner, Sam, who had only stepped back a scoche to begin with. Last week’s fairly smokin’ episode had them finally getting together, but TV 101 tells us this could be dangerous for Sam (boo!) because he’s undercover trying to take down a guy played by Callum Keith Rennie (yay!). The Peckstein/Chris friendship/relationship hit the skids when a loopy-on-painkillers Dov professed his love for Gail and Chris found out and cut both of them out of his inner circle and they both desperately want back in. So, there are a lot of balls in the air as the season winds down.
What I think reeled me in, aside from the solid chemistry and soapish aspects of the romantic entanglements, is that while the show can take dark turns, it also has a thread of hope each week. Call me dopey, but I think we need that.
You can catch up with episodes you’ve missed on ABC.com. The second season concludes this Thursday with two back-to-back episodes starting at 9 pm ET on ABC, and season three returns next summer.
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