TV needs J.Lo, not the other way around

Jennifer Lopez's "Shades of Blue" gives us a more nuanced view of the police in action and dysfunction


In the land of network television, a midseason replacement is not unlike the new kid in class. Introduced to an ongoing, familiar set of shows, the midseason replacement, finds itself both privy to the tastes and preferences of its audience but at the disadvantage of having to tell its story in a briefer period of time while also asking its potential followers to interrupt their media habits after establishing a viewing regimen.

Simply, the midseason replacement must find a way to stand out, become memorable, in a short amount of time. If you’re the new kid in class maybe you convince your mom to buy you a flashy binder, or maybe you read ahead in your assignments to catch teacher’s eye, but if you’re NBC, you get J.Lo on the phone.

Jennifer Lopez as Detective Harlee Santos  in "Shades of Blue"/Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

Jennifer Lopez as Detective Harlee Santos in “Shades of Blue”/Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC)

Following the lives of New York City cops, Shades of Blue, is NBC’s solution to their lowly rated, The Player, yet another police-themed drama, starring Wesley Snipes. Both shows, from the outside, seem to boast the same appeal: the humbling of a ‘90’s megastar to the steady income and routine of the small screen. However, Shades of Blue appears almost superfluous for its star in a year that has already treated her very kindly. Currently enjoying another stint on American Idol (on Fox) and a Vegas casino residency, plus just off the heels of (handily) hosting The American Music Awards, the Lopez brand appears, like her toned stomach, as strong as ever and with no sign of softening.


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