Actors: Missy Peregrym, Gregory Smith, Ben Bass
Director: David Wellington
Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
Region: Region 1
Number of discs: 3
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Entertainment One
DVD Release Date: August 18, 2015
Run Time: 473 minutes
It has been done before, and there isn’t a whole lot new in this Canadian-made cop show aside from the blending of soap opera elements which make it feel like “Grey’s Anatomy” with guns. There is less that is realistic within the cop drama involving highly attractive professionals who enjoy bed-hopping between catching crooks, but somehow that seems to be the point. It is less about gritty realism and more about the melodrama. And somehow that has worked well enough to last five seasons and counting, even if the narratives get increasingly unbelievable and contrived.
The leading protagonist is primarily Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym), who has the main romantic entanglements and usually offers voiceover introductions in the style of Meredith Grey. All seem to look at the police force as a dating pool rather than a job. There are so many on-job relationships that the series has a promotional photo on the back cover of the DVD with romantic partners handcuffed together; only one of the nine characters handcuffed together is not a police officer and co-worker. But this is the point of the show, so I digress. When not making out with each other in closets and behind one-way mirrors, they occasionally go out on calls and somehow become as entangled in the cases as the detectives do, despite being mere beat cops. This is a show was meant to be about rookie cops, but they are no longer rookies and the fifth season makes the wise choice of adding in a new recruit.
The new rookie also happens to be the entitled son of the police commissioner, as well as a complete screw up. This inevitably leads to some frustrating situations where fellow cops are endangered, though his privileged connections somehow shelter this terrible rookie from deserved punishment. There are also several love triangles and one that goes four ways, involving the predictably drama-filled relationship of our protagonist. Season five even gives a drug addiction problem to one of the main characters, and moments of this show begin to feel like a “Degrassi” episode.
This series is clearly a guilt pleasure, with very little critically praiseworthy about it, and after five seasons you will either be a fan or not. It isn’t necessarily worse than previous seasons, but the amount of drama has merely gotten increasingly ridiculous over time. There are certain storylines that seem also perfunctory, such as the inclusion of a lesbian relationship and surprise pregnancies. What feels cheapest about this release, however, is the choice to split a season up. With only the first half of season five, only 11 episodes are included in the set, and the final cliffhanger on the final episode is obviously not enough to justify the split. The special features include a featurette, as well as some webisodes continuing the show’s subplots.
Entertainment Value: 5.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 1/10