As the title suggests, Dark Blue: The Complete First Season (Warner Archive) is a cop drama set in the shadows of law enforcement. Dylan McDermott (of The Practice) plays the leader of a deep cover unit of the police that “doesn’t even officially exist,” with a team that is expected to pose and pass as criminals, thinking on their feet to stay alive while infiltrating criminal organizations. There’s the married man (Omari Hardwick) who finds the stress of the job putting strains on his marriage, the reckless maverick (Logan Marshall-Green) who makes up his own rules and the rookie with a past (Nicki Aycox). All, of course, are young and sexy.
It’s created by Danny Cannon and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and like their earlier show CSI, most of the shows play on nocturnal streets and murky sets; there’s nary a well-lit interior to be found, apart from the brief scenes back in the real world of police headquarters. While they nudge up against the borders of morality and veer over the lines of the law to do their jobs, it steers clear of The Shield territory (where the most effective cops had no trouble justifying their criminal activity on the side) to focus on the rush of the danger and the toll that the job takes when everything and everyone is simply a means to end: get the bad guy.