DVD Review: Rookie Blue – Season 5, Volume 1

Starring: Missy Perigrym, Matt Gordon

rookie-blue 2For those who haven’t encountered any of the previous four seasons, Rookie Blue offers an engaging blend of soap and police procedural, with the young cops of 15 Division agonizing over their tangled personal lives while still finding time for a bit of protecting and serving on the side.

This season brings more growing pains for the large, likeable cast. Veteran cop Oliver (Matt Gordon), who just wants to crack jokes and be the life and soul of the party, finds himself promoted to staff sergeant against his will. Which inspires eager-beaver McNally (Missy Perigrym) to think that she can step up and become a training officer to an over-excitable new recruit … but is she cut out to be a wise mentor? Meanwhile, the romance between sensitive Dov (Gregory Smith) and the quirky Chloe (Priscilla Faia) is hit with a whole load of stress when he learns that she’s been shot and, worse, that she’s married.

Which isn’t to say that no policing gets done. Quite often this is more like social work than hard-bitten crime-busting, but one of attractive qualities of Rookie Blue is the way that stories emerge out of left field from routine gruntwork – the repossession of some property, for example, leading to the discovery of three bodies scattered across an apartment complex. Likewise, the scriptwriters are adept at upping the ante and building in some well-timed changes of tempo, as when the Division is suddenly energized to find itself with a mad bomber on its hands in the half-series finale.

The show’s trump card, however, is its array of engaging, articulate characters, brought to life with witty dialogue and sympathetic performances. As played with warm understanding by Missy Perigrym, McNally in particular makes for a thoroughly refreshing change from the driven female cops who have become such a cliché post rookie-blue 1The Killing – conscientious but also soft-hearted and humble, and equipped with a winningly dorky sense of humour. It makes you feel safer just knowing she’ll be back in the next half-series. 8/10

EXTRAS
6-min featurette with cast and crew talking about the season’s themes. ~ 29 min of webisodes, brightly written, amusing two-handers in which characters from the series pair up for various stakeouts and then philosophize and share in comical fashion. It’s typical of the show’s endearingly unstarry approach to its lead character that, in her segment, McNally gets totally dominated by the motormouthed Chloe. 8/10

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