Shades of Blue is an American crime drama television series created by Adi Hasak and premiered on January 7, 2016. The series is set in New York City and stars Jennifer Lopez as the main character Harlee Santos, a single-mother NYPD Detective who is forced to work for the FBI's anti-corruption task force, while dealing with her own financial and family problems.
On February 5, 2016, NBC renewed Shades of Blue for a 13-episode second season, which premiered on March 5, 2017. On March 17, 2017, the series was renewed for a third season.
Cast and characters
- Jennifer Lopez as Detective Harlee Santos, a corrupt officer with the Street Crimes detective squad in NYPD's 64th Precinct in Brooklyn and FBI informant for the anti-corruption task force. She is the single mother to 16-year-old Cristina; Cristina's father was abusive, and shortly after his release from prison in 2005, Harlee framed him for murder. She joined Lt. Wozniak's crew after he helped cover up her frame job. After getting arrested by the FBI in an anti-corruption investigation, she becomes a reluctant informant against Wozniak in exchange for immunity.
- Ray Liotta as Lieutenant Matt Wozniak, the corrupt commander of the 64th Precinct's Street Crimes detective squad, and the main target in an FBI anti-corruption investigation. He is a 25-year veteran of the force, and before that spent six years in the United States Marine Corps. He is very close to Harlee, whom he considers a daughter, and Harlee's own daughter, Cristina.
- Drea de Matteo as Detective Tess Nazario
- Warren Kole as Special Agent Robert Stahl, an FBI agent assigned to the Anti-Corruption Task Force, and Harlee's handler. He develops an obsession with Harlee.
- Dayo Okeniyi as Detective Michael Loman, a rookie detective assigned to the 64th.
- Hampton Fluker as Detective Marcus Tufo
- Vincent Laresca as Detective Carlos Espada
- Sarah Jeffery as Cristina Santos, Harlee's 16-year-old daughter and a musical prodigy.
- Gino Anthony Pesias Assistant District Attorney James Nava, the 64th Precinct's new ADA who becomes romantically involved with Harlee. (recurring: season 1, regular; season 2)
- Santino Fontana as Detective David Saperstein, a member of Wozniak's crew.
- Michael Esper as Lieutenant Donnie Pomp, a corrupt member of NYPD Internal Affairs who is in league with Wozniak.
- Lolita Davidovich (Season 1) and Margaret Colin (Season 2) as Linda Wozniak, Matt's wife
- Annie Chang as Special Agent Molly Chen, Stahl's partner
- Vanessa Vander Pluym as Gina Rodriguez, a prostitute that Stahl frequents due to her resemblance to Harlee. Vanessa is also Jennifer Lopez's stunt double for the same reason.
- Dov Davidoff as Detective Verco, an Internal Affairs Investigator.
- Leslie Silva as Gail Baker
- Mark Deklin as Joe Nazario, Tess' husband
- Erica Ash as Erica, Loman's love interest
- Kathryn Kates as David's mother
- Antonio Jaramillo as Miguel Zepeda, Harlee's violently abusive ex-boyfriend and Cristina's father. Wozniak and Harlee conspired to frame him for murder in order to keep Harlee and Cristina safe.
- Anna Gunn as Councilwoman Julia Ayres, a New York City mayoral candidate. She was a member of Wozniak's crew prior to her promotion to NYPD Captain. During season 2, she becomes the subject of an FBI investigation led by Stahl.
In February 2014, NBC gave a 13-episode straight-to-series order. A teaser trailer was made available on June 3, 2015, containing statements by Lopez, Ray Liotta, and Drea de Matteo.
Lopez was given the main role in 2014. On February 26, 2015, Liotta, de Matteo, Vincent Laresca and Warren Kole were cast as Lt. Matt Wozniak, Det. Shirley Nazario, Det. Tony Espada and Agent Robert Staal, respectively. Dayo Okeniyi was given the role of Det. Michael Loman. On March 30, 2015, Hampton Fluker was cast in a recurring role as Det. Marcus Tufo. On April 8, Sarah Jeffery was cast as Santos' daughter, Christina. On April 13, 2015, Gino Anthony Pesi was cast in a recurring role as Assistant District Attorney James Nava. On June 15, 2016, Anna Gunn joined Shades of Blue's second season in a recurring role.
Filming for the first season began on June 5, 2015, in New York City. Filming for the second season began in July 2016 in New York City. Filming for the third season began in April 2017 in New York City.
The show has received mixed reviews despite praise for Lopez's performance. On Metacritic, Shades of Blue has a Metascore of 58/100, based on 28 critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the show is rated 56% based on 35 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The site's consensus reads "Solid performances by Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta fail to lift Shades of Blue above the ranks of the pedestrian network procedural".
Writing for USA Today, Robert Bianco gave the series two stars out of four, calling it "a thoroughly ordinary reworking of pretty much every crooked cop show and movie you've ever seen".Slate reviewer Willa Paskin criticized the show as "moderately terrible", though praised Lopez's performance as "hugely appealing" and called her "the show's one reliable pleasure". In a more positive review, Yahoo!'s Ken Tucker called Lopez's work "solid" and felt the series was "perhaps the best dramatic work she's done since her first-rate film, Out of Sight". Molly Eichel from The A.V. Club gave the series a C+ rating, saying that "While the plot starts out cut and dry, it becomes more twisty and turny in a way that will eventually bring the audience back to the opening scene of a makeup-less, de-glammed Santos confessing her sins into a camera". Matt Zoller Seitz of Vulture wrote that "Shades of Blue isn't a deep show, but it's a sensationally effective one. It knows what it is (a compacted, melodramatic, commercial TV-friendly gloss on one of those '70s and '80s Sidney Lumet police-corruption thrillers) and it rarely steps wrong."
Awards and nominations
In India, Shades of Blue premiered on Colors Infinity on January 8, 2016, and aired shortly after its U.S. counterpart. In Canada, Shades aired on Global, at the same time as it aired on NBC. In the Netherlands, "Shades" was aired on Wednesdays on Fox. In Australia, it premiered on the Universal Channel on August 2, 2016.
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- ^ Zoller Seitz, Matt (January 7, 2016). "Shades of Blue Is a Sensationally Effective Cop Show". Vulture. Retrieved 2016.
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