Fans love Blue Bloods because it stands out from other cop dramas. It does that, in part, by feeling more real than other shows of its kind. The writers and showrunners have found some brilliant ways to blend fiction and reality to create something altogether original.
Blue Bloods producer Kevin Wade did a Talks at Google interview with Matthew Hendershot back in 2017. During that interview, Wade discussed how they blended fiction and reality to make the show feel real.
Blue Bloods Finds the Right Blend
Hendershot asked the Blue Bloods producer, “The show is set in New York City. It is the actual NYPD. But it sort of lives in this fictional bubble universe…When you’re crafting that world where do you find yourself drawing the lines of what you can borrow from reality and what you need to create to give yourself the freedom to make the show what you want it to be?”
Kevin Wade said that Blue Bloods does take place in a fictional bubble. He then said that, more than anything else, the show is about tribes. He points to the Reagan family as an example of this. They are an Irish Catholic family with military backgrounds who are now NYPD officers. At the same time, they come from Bay Ridge Brooklyn. So, they are a specific kind of New Yorker. That allows the writers and showrunners to be very specific in their storytelling.
Wade said that they never try to adapt actual people into their stories for Blue Bloods. They don’t want to do a version of the mayor or high-ranking law enforcement officials. Instead, they create their own purely fictional characters. However, they use their surroundings and the cultures in those surroundings as influences when creating the characters. This gives them the creative latitude to tell the stories that they want to tell without stepping on anyone’s toes while doing so.
A Real NYPD Advisor
Kevin Wade said that one thing that allows them to blend reality and fiction on Blue Bloods is their technical advisor. Jim Nuciforo was a life-long NYPD officer and retired as a Gold Shield detective. He currently acts as the technical advisor on the show. They run things by him and he lets them know if they could happen or not. If he says something couldn’t happen in real life, they ask how it could possibly happen. If there is no way something could happen, they throw it out. The team behind Blue Bloods wants things to be as real as possible. They never go against what Nuciforo tells them.
So, Blue Bloods tells specific stories about a specific kind of New Yorker. At the same time, aspects of those stories are examined by a veteran NYPD detective. In these ways, they blend reality and fiction to create one of the best cop dramas on television.