The Underlying Ideology of Blue Bloods: It's All About the Hard Work

The best way to understand Blue Bloods' mentality is the episode where Danny protects the Hollywood star (well-played by Marc Blucas, who has absolutely learned his range as a decent guest star) from a scandal that could hurt his career.

It seems like Danny, who is a hard-nosed, call-it-as-it-is pursuer of the truth, would pour scorn on the pathetic Hollywood star who can't be honest about his life. And that's sort of true. Here's the dialog that makes the difference:
Danny: Come on, Russell, I don't give a damn if you like men or women or cream-filled donuts, okay? It's 2013. Men marry each other all the time. They put it in the papers, for goodness' sake.
Russell: Well, in my world, it's 1913, and they don't hire fairies to star in the moving pictures, especially the kind I make. (my emphasis)
Even the dog is saved to do a job.
Danny agrees to keep Russell's mugging "secret" when Russell's livelihood is placed on the line.

This is the ideology that underscores not only Blue Bloods but Tom Selleck's own conservatism. It is, to be frank, old-fashioned liberalism (though not, unfortunately, always defended by liberals). A police commissioner (or a police investigator) has every right to badger people--right up until the matter becomes about their personal lives AND their ability to support themselves financially.

Whenever it seems like any of the Reagans are violating their own principles (which they rarely do), it is always for this reason: we should never make earning-a-living more difficult for people. Frank doesn't punish a precinct lieutenant who has been working extra jobs to pay for his wife's treatment because he recognizes (1) that the man is not sloughing off; he is trying to balance impossible pressures in his life; (2) the man's people have risen to the occasion to help him out.

When Frank helps the mayor's illegitimate daughter who got arrested at a demonstration, he does so to keep her future job options open (and to help a man he admires). When he helps the dead bigamous cop's "other" family, it is in acknowledgement that (1) this was the man's private life; (2) the cop supported both families through his work; (3) the "other" family is not to blame.

And when he chaperones his grandson's field trip, he goes out of his way to make clear that the grandson's young friend could be a doctor AND a park ranger. There's nothing wrong with trying out and doing more than one thing. It's up to the individual.

None of the Reagans tolerate what Danny refers to when he tells Baez that there IS one reason his family would stop talking to him: "If I were on the take."

But hard work--hard work on one's own time--hard work to support one's own family--is the ultimate good and the ultimate reason to protect a city.

No comments: