By Ken Tucker
Updated December 31, 2010 at 07:15 PM EST

It’s Friday, and there’s a rerun of Blue Bloods tonight, and at the risk of sounding like a no-life, I have to admit: If I’m in front of the TV when it airs, I’ll probably watch the rerun. That’s how much I like what Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, and the rest of the cast are doing in this police drama.

Blue Bloods didn’t seem all that special when it premiered in the fall. My main concern when the show was announced was that Tom Selleck might not be able to make more of his terrific Jesse Stone TV-movies, but Selleck allayed that fear in an interview in which he said he’d still do a Jesse Stone now and then.

But Blue Bloods has turned into a better-than-average cop show. Partly because it’s also a family show — all the main characters, including the stalwart Len Cariou, are related, and involved in law enforcement in some way, whether they’re cops, laywers, or detectives. The series maintains a good balance between self-contained cases and recurring story-lines so that, if you’re an occasional watcher or a newbie, you can drop in to Blue Bloods and not feel as though you have to catch up on a complex “mythology.”

Most of all, I like the authority projected by all of these characters. There are tons of TV shows about needy neurotics looking to eke their way through the universe (many of them excellent — hey, I’m a big fan of FX’s Louie, for instance).

And TV is overrun with eccentric law enforcers with excessively “colorful” personalities; just to pick from basic cable, you have The Closer, Psych, and White Collar, among others.

But there are few crime shows now on the air in which the main characters take pride in doing their jobs well and not making a big deal about their frailties, at least until their job is done and they’ve gone home. Blue Bloods is in this sense a noble show, a fresh throwback to just-the-facts-ma’am crime-solving and justice.

Blue Bloods has done well on Fridays, usually a dead ratings night for TV. On Jan. 19, it will move the Wednesdays for four weeks, in part to see if it builds its audience.

But tonight, the last night of the year, a Blue Bloods, even a rerun, sounds pretty good to me.

Do you watch this show? What do you think of it?

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