J.Lo’s ‘Shades Of Blue’ Has Us All Shades Of Worked Up And We’re Here For It
We all know that Jennifer Lopez is the queen of the entertainment industry. She dances, sings, acts and is the host of her own reality competition show. She is also a producer with her own production company. Her production company, Nuyorican Productions, is best known for producing the show, “The Fosters,” and now “Shades of Blue.”
“Shades of Blue” wrapped up in its third and final season just days ago and we were not ready to see how crooked cop, Harlee Santos, walked out of this mess. Watch out because there are some spoilers ahead.
“Shades of Blue” isn’t a unique police drama but it’s definitely binge-worthy.
There isn’t some spectacular plot twist, where Harlee Santos has a twin sister or anything. It’s not a telenovela, after all. However, it is about your typical shady NYC cop drama with sh*t going down. Basically, this group bends the laws to serve “the greater community,” which is obviously illegal.
Jennifer Lopez never planned to play the star on the show she produced.
The story goes that when Lopez went to pitch the concept to NBC executives, they asked her why she wouldn’t play the lead role of Harlee Santos. Lopez confessed that she didn’t really think of it, but when she agreed to do it, NBC agreed to air it.
The show ran from January 2016 to June 2018.
She had a good run, and it plays like a watered down telenovela, with Harlee Santos as the bad cop turned FBI informant. Obviously she also had to deal with her own financial and family problems.
The show is even donating proceeds from their auction to Hurricane Maria victims who are still recovering.
Santos is a single mother to her daughter, Cristina.
Santos takes the payouts from neighborhood businesses who pay for extra police protection to help send Cristina to private Catholic school. Cristina is a brilliant cello player, who sees Santos’s police unit as family, though she never knew her father.
Sarah Jeffrey, who plays Cristina, was casted in a “Charmed” reboot.
Born and raised in Canada, Jeffery is Mexican-Italian. We are so stoked that the charmed three is going to get the Latina spice of life.
When Cristina’s father, Miguel, is released from prison after Santos set him up for murder, things gets messy.
Oh, and Miguel used to abuse Santos. He was an abusive, calculating, sadistic man, and he immediately starts to spy on Cristina and Santos within hours of his release. He even manipulated Cristina into turning against her mother and going away with him for a night.
When Miguel breaks into Santos’s apartment to rape her at gunpoint, Santos casually snaps his neck.
It might give you some “Enough” flashbacks and that would be a fair critique. However, setting up your ex for murder and then murdering him and covering it up has to catch up with you at some point.
FBI agent Robert Stahl is the officer who’s assigned to handle Santos as an informant.
He threatened to haul her off to prison and ruin Cristina’s life if she didn’t help. Oh, and he ends up developing a very sick obsession with Santos. She knows because she set up a camera in his bedroom and watched him pay a sex worker to dress and act like her.
Agent Stahl ends up stalking Santos before she kills him.
I mean, to be fair, he showed up in her apartment with a gun, all bitter that Santos heisted millions of dollars from the DEA, killed her ex-boyfriend and got away with it. But Cristina brought her mom a gun in her back pocket and she was able to use it to shoot Stahl half a dozen times in the chest.
The real star relationship in the series is the one Santos has with her boss, Woz.
Lieutenant “Woz” Wozniak was the detective who initially put Miguel away for life, knowing that Santos planted a murder weapon with Miguel. The two met as dirty cops and their loyalty grew from there. Both tried to protect the other when working as informants for the FBI, and their father-daughter relationship is fiery AF.
Initially, Santos was asked to take down Woz, and it screwed with her identity as a loyalist.
The show is based on a novel by Michael Rudolph, “Shades of Blue: 30 Years of (Un)ethical Policing.”
From the very first episode, we could see everything wrong with Woz’s unit. They “protect their own” and that doesn’t mean the community. When a new detective shot an unarmed black man, Santos immediately covered it up, making it look like the man shot at the detective. That is one very light shade of blue.
Ray Liotta, who plays Woz, said that towards the end of the series, J.Lo started showing up late to the set.
He said that working with her was fantastic and always knew all her lines (and his), but that towards the end, she showed up late a couple times, setting the whole production back.
If you Google “Shades of Blue Jennifer Lopez” the next word is “hair.”
People have been obsessing over her hair in this show for the last three years. FBI Agent Stahl even paid a sex worker to wear a wig that looked like her own hair. That hair is everything.
In the series finale, Santos becomes hell bent to come clean.
Santos arranges for Cristina to move in with Woz and his wife Linda while Santos serves time in prison. Santos comes clean about all the shady police work she’s seen in the NYPD, hoping to clean up the force as her one final act as a police officer.
The show received mixed reviews during its three-season run.
Metacritic has it scored at 58/100 based on 28 critics and Rotten Tomatoes rates it as 56 percent. Slate reviewer Willa Paskin was a major critic with one compliment: that Lopez’s performance was “hugely appealing” and “the show’s one reliable pleasure.”
J.Lo put her heart into the show, and was by far the crown jewel of the whole production.
The Unit’s catchphrase: “Home safe. Safe Tomorrow.” There are no more tomorrows for “Shades of Blue,” but thankfully there are many more for the most treasured content of all: Jennifer Lopez.