Give “Boston’s Finest” a “B-” for effort. It’s an earnest
unscripted series, approximating the tag-along feel of ABC News’ “24/7”
franchise, which has included various hospitals as well as the NYPD. In this case, the
series — produced and narrated by Donnie Wahlberg, currently playing a cop on
“Blue Bloods” — not only follows various Boston cops but provides some insights
into their family lives, all while trying to create a cinematic look and
deliver a bit of an adrenaline rush. It’s not bad, but other than choosing a new location,
this door has been kicked down a few times too often.
Mostly, the hour plays like a companion to “Southland,”
TNT’s best (if not, alas, highest-rated) drama, reminding viewers of the toll
the dangers and uncertainty of police work exacts not just on dedicated
officers but their families as well. Even the opening borrows a technique from
that scripted series, previewing a scene that will occur later in the hour.
Those featured are a fairly colorful and likable bunch —
ranging from beat officers to the Gang Unit — and it’s clear the intent is to
highlight their bravery and heroism. (In addition to Wahlberg, Seth Jarrett and
Julie Insogna-Jarret serve as exec producers.)
TNT has taken some furtive steps into the unscripted world, in almost
every case picking projects designed to dovetail with its existing drama lineup. By
that measure, “Boston’s Finest” fits the mold; if only the mold weren’t quite
so well worn.