Even before the events of the past few years, there’s been a disconnect between the way police are viewed in reality and how police dramas capture the public’s attention on TV. Bridget Moynahan, who has portrayed Erin Reagan on the hit show “Blue Bloods” since 2010, knows this better than most.
As a member of a family that has bled blue for generations, Moynahan’s character on the show is deep in the world of law enforcement. She is a lawyer in the District Attorney’s office. But the rest of her family is pretty much all cops. Her dad, Frank Reagan, is the NYPD Commissioner. So it’s safe to say Erin Reagan has an insider’s perspective.
There has been a strange phenomenon in entertainment over the past few decades. As much as police are criticized and distrusted by entire communities, people continue to be happily entertained by procedural dramas like “Law & Order” and “Blue Bloods.” It was this disconnect that prompted a question during a 2014 interview Bridget Moynahan did with The Aquarian.
“I think that many forget that police officers are people with real lives. They struggle with the same things that you and I do,” Moynahan said. “They might be behind on their mortgage. They might have a family member who’s sick. So, they’re dealing with all that stuff, while also putting their lives on the line everyday. For us! Many of us don’t pay attention to them until we get a ticket for speeding, running a light, or letting a parking meter run over. It makes you angry, but they’re just doing their job.”
Why the ‘Blue Bloods’ Star Thinks People Love Watching the Show
For all of the inconvenience that people suffer at the hands of police officers for small things like parking tickets, they often fail to see them as actual people. Bridget Moynahan believes that. And she has an idea as to what makes a show like “Blue Bloods” so appealing to those very same people.
“I think people love watching our show because you get to see the human side of their lives, their personal struggles, and also how the job and certain cases might affect them,” Moynahan continued in the 2014 interview. It encourages you to think about what they see on a daily basis and how that might affect them. I’m sure that’s something most people don’t ordinarily think about when interacting with a police officer.”
She raises an interesting point. In real life, we only get to see police officers when they’re on the job. But on “Blue Bloods,” audiences get to watch fully fleshed-out characters with personal lives, families, and relationships. The show provides a window for folks to see a different side of the men and women in law enforcement.