Like any police procedural, Blue Bloods relies heavily on drama to keep its fans entertained. The fictional members of NYPD depicted in the series regularly risk their lives for the good of the city and its citizens. What sets Blue Bloods apart from other series of its kind, however, is the attention paid to the central family of the show, the Reagans.
The multi-generational family of police officers is led by Police Commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck), who can be seen interacting with his children both in the workplace and in more intimate settings. Fans’ favorite setting by far, however, is the weekly Reagan family dinner.
Every Sunday, Frank invites his family to join him for a meal at his home, during which they discuss their workplace struggles and, oftentimes, family drama. The instant popularity of these scenes made them a series staple. Virtually every episode of Blue Bloods includes a dinner around Frank Reagan’s dining table.
These scenes stretch all the way back to the pilot, in fact, which features what many fans believe to be the best Reagan family dinner of them all. Why is it so popular? Well, it sets the tone for all the family dinners to come.
Why the Family Dinner in the ‘Blue Bloods’ Pilot is a Classic
With any family get-together, drama is inevitable. And when the entire family works in law enforcement – in the same city, no less – the drama is bound to increase tenfold. In addition to typical sibling squabbles, the Reagans regularly argue over their professional lives as well.
The dinner scene in the pilot episode is a perfect depiction of the blurred lines between personal and professional among the Reagans. Not to mention, it introduces each of the characters and their roles within the family.
Each of the Reagan children is an adult with a thriving career in the pilot. The episode, however, successfully conveys years’ worth of tension between siblings. The first Reagan family dinner features a heated argument between Danny and Erin in which Erin is angry with her brother for his rough handling of a suspect. Frank and Henry, the sibling’s grandfather, take Danny’s side, enraging Erin further.
The Reagan family, of course, loves each other dearly at the end of the day. It was crucial, however, to explain their complicated dynamic right away. And the pilot episode knocked that difficult task out of the park. While most series take a season to iron out characters’ personalities and relationships, Blue Bloods did it in a single episode.
In an interview with Drew Barrymore, Tom Selleck explained the importance of the dinner scenes. Along with being crucial to the show, they’re very special to the cast. Through their 12 years as a fictional family, the actors behind the Reagans have formed real-life bonds. “I love these people,” Selleck said. “They’re all close friends.”