The popular police procedural Blue Bloods is committed to depicting the NYPD with a certain level of realism. The series’ producers are so determined to portray the police force in a respectful and realistic way, in fact, that they hired James Nuciforo, a retired NYPD police officer, to advise “on all things police-related.”
Though far from the only reason, this decision helped make Blue Bloods the titan of television that it is today. Tom Selleck, the actor behind Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, even said that the cast and crew receive positive reviews directly from police officers.
There is one detail of the series, however, that Blue Bloods fans can’t help but notice isn’t quite true to real life. Unlike real law enforcement officers, beloved detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) doesn’t seem to have an area of focus in his career.
As a group of Redditors pointed out, Danny solves cases ranging from kidnapping to diamond robbery to homicide – and that’s just the first few episodes!
They also understand, however, that even a series as hyper-realistic as Blue Bloods can quickly become boring if it’s too close to reality. As one fan joked, Danny’s job title is “Detective – TV Division,” as too much realism would put a damper on the excitement and variety the drama provides.
As one fan explained, though, the differences are fewer than one might think. “In fictional TV, he’s part of the Major Case Squad assigned to the 54th precinct in Manhattan South,” they wrote. “In the real world of NYPD, Major Case detectives work out of 1PP and do not investigate homicides.”
‘Blue Bloods’ Star Donnie Wahlberg Explains Building Up to the Role of Danny Reagan
Prior to Blue Bloods, Donnie Wahlberg already had more than a decade of acting experience under his belt. And he had even more experience performing in front of an audience, thanks to his pop group New Kids on the Block. Wahlberg, however, once explained that he wouldn’t have been ready to play Danny Reagan any sooner than he did.
“You play a role when you’re ready to play it,” Wahlberg said during a 2017 panel with his fellow Blue Bloods stars. “As actors, we think we’re right for every part we audition for. It’s like, ‘I can play this part of an 80-year-old guy! I know I can!’ But you’re not ready until you get the part that you’re ready to be. And I think all of my years of acting prepared me for Danny.”
“I think if I’m ever fortunate enough to do a second run like Tom’s doing of such a magnum series… No pun intended. I hope that I would be ready for that,” he continued. “But all the different parts, whether it’s Band of Brothers or whatever, prepared me to be this guy.”
“What I mean is, I’m playing him,” the Blue Bloods star explained. “I’m playing a police officer who’s in a tough situation, whose life is on the line every day, who sometimes walks a very delicate line to get justice. But I wouldn’t have been able to play that role ten years ago.”