Shades of Blue: Season 1 (2016)


Season 1
Shades of Blue

Critics Consensus

Solid performances by Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta fail to lift Shades of Blue above the ranks of the pedestrian network procedural.



Critic Ratings: 42


Audience Score

User Ratings: 148

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Air date: Jan 7, 2016

In the premiere, NYPD detective Harlee Santos, who's part of a crew of dirty Brooklyn cops, is picked up by the FBI, which will do whatever it takes—including leveraging her daughter—to turn her into an informant against her fellow squad members.

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Air date: Jan 14, 2016

Wozniak sees informants everywhere, so Harlee suggests that he polygraph the entire crew; an appeals case causes Wozniak to watch tapes from his first encounter with Harlee; and Espada helps Tess deal with her husband's infidelity.

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Air date: Jan 21, 2016

Harlee refuses to give Stahl incriminating evidence against Wozniak and instead hands him a resolved, unofficial case about a murder committed with a 3D-printed gun. In other events, Harlee makes a dangerous bluff when she's confronted by Wozniak.

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Air date: Jan 28, 2016

Loman's loyalty is tested when his guilt over the death of an unarmed suspect becomes a liability; Wozniak sends Harlee on an errand that reveals he has a silent partner; Wozniak realizes Donnie is withholding information; and Harlee unwittingly leads the FBI to incriminating evidence.

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Air date: Feb 4, 2016

Harlee and Tess intercept a heroin shipment from a local drug kingpin; Harlee fears that Stahl's interest in her may be more than professional; and Tess tries to use Espada to get back at her husband.

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Air date: Feb 11, 2016

Wozniak suspects Saperstein of being the informant; Harlee visits her abusive ex, Miguel, who wants her to track down the man who committed the murder for which he is imprisoned.

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Air date: Feb 18, 2016

Wozniak grapples with guilt over his attempt to eliminate Saperstein; Harlee tries to protect Saperstein and keep the unit from being torn apart by suspicion and grief; and Stahl comes closer to uncovering Harlee's relationship with Miguel.

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Air date: Feb 25, 2016

Harlee decides to help Stahl once she realizes that there's no line Wozniak won't cross; the crew retaliates against abusive cops who harassed Cristina and her boyfriend; and Wozniak makes Loman feel like a part of the unit.

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Air date: Mar 3, 2016

Harlee and Stahl learn of Wozniak's relationship with Donnie; Wozniak takes charge of the big job after picking up a package that's not what he expected; and the crew face their mixed feelings about Saperstein.

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Air date: Mar 10, 2016

Harlee and Wozniak learn more about the big score; and meet Donnie's silent partner—a DEA agent. In other events, Wozniak takes a special interest in a fellow Marine veteran who's suspected of murder.

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Shades of Blue: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Jennifer Lopez stars in this gritty crime drama as veteran NYPD detective Harlee Santos, a member of a crew of dirty cops who work out of a Brooklyn precinct. Led by Lt. Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta), who looks upon Harlee almost as a daughter, they've forged alliances with the area's criminal element to keep illicit activities in the shadows—and, also, to line their pockets with cash. They also take care of their own, as rookie detective Michael Loman (Dayo Okeniyi) discovers when he and Harlee bust through the door of a suspected drug den and he shoots a second too soon, killing an unarmed man. Harlee wastes no time making it look like a legitimate shoot; and Loman wastes no time feeling guilty, with the act and accompanying cover-up weighing on him throughout the season. That's a mere subplot, though. The main story belongs to Harlee. In the pilot, she heads out for a meeting with a bookie that turns out to be an FBI sting run by Special Agent Robert Stahl (Warren Kole). He's not looking to bust her, but to turn her into an informant—which she agrees to in exchange for immunity. Not long thereafter, Wozniak confides in her that there's a mole within the ranks and, though he doesn't say so, he suspects it may be her, leading to a memorable meeting between the two at a marina. As that storyline develops and expands to include a possible big score, which greatly interests Stahl, Harlee faces another ongoing concern: her abusive former boyfriend Miguel (Antonio Jaramillo) wants a relationship with their daughter Cristina (Sarah Jeffery), who doesn't know he exists.

News & Interviews for Shades of Blue: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Shades of Blue Season 1

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (26)

[J. Lo's] new cop drama is a less fun, less interesting and a far less appealing version of the groundbreaking series The Shield.

Jan 11, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Giving full credit to all involved with Shades of Blue, especially Lopez, this series certainly cannot be classified as earth-shattering, but if you're a 'Jenny From the Block' fan, her effort here should be more than enough to keep you engaged.

Jan 8, 2016 | Full Review…

Shades of Blue is a smart, well-written star vehicle worthy of the actor-singer's talents as they have matured and been seasoned with experience.

Jan 7, 2016 | Full Review…

The show itself is only moderately terrible, another failed network attempt to make a gritty cable drama.

Jan 7, 2016 | Full Review…

There's even a hint of real promise here as well, which may be the nicest surprise of them all.

Jan 7, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

All of these elements make Shades of Blue an interesting conundrum. It's trite but kind of timely; predictable but hiding a few good surprises; fun but very serious.

Jan 7, 2016 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Shades of Blue is a story of crime, drama, passion, obsession, love and betrayal. In this show, Lopez is just Jenny from the block; which makes her loveable, charismatic and a favourite with the audience.

Jul 17, 2020 | Full Review…

If you can deal with cliched lines about "all being family" and a lead policewoman who wears too much blusher, Shades of Blue is admittedly rather watchable.

Jan 25, 2019 | Full Review…

Shade's cynical Shield-like take on law enforcement is surprising on a commercial broadcast network such as NBC.

Jan 6, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

It inspires too much eyerolling to be taken seriously.

Dec 23, 2015 | Full Review…

Cop drama's leading lady is sexy, strong, and morally shady.

Jan 19, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

As it stands, this show is on a familiar path that, if unaltered by some refreshing turns or segues, will end at the same premature dead-end/cancellation like its many forefathers before it.

Jan 12, 2016 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Shades of Blue: Season 1

  • Jul 11, 2019
    It's funny, but NBC has cancel so many good series just after 1 or 2 seasons and they keep this peace of "S&¨%" series for more than 3 seasons... That's garbage... Ray Liotta on his worse acting job and Jennifer Lopez, pff, she should just give up acting, because she is the worse actress EVER!!!
  • Mar 08, 2019
    I really liked this. Not sure what bug crawled up the collective critics' rear ends. Good all around entertaining show.
  • Jun 30, 2018
    Amazing show! Has many exciting moments.
  • Apr 16, 2017
    I like; its different and J Lo is good and downright beautiful. Ray Liotta is great.
  • Jan 06, 2017
    Personally I really like the show. I think J-Lo's performance is very strong especially since I know her so well from American Idol. Can't wait for the second season.
  • Jul 07, 2016
    Good acting but cliched plot and story line.
  • May 28, 2016
    It wasn't a bad show as I was expected, the FBI agent was creepy as hell and the ending was :/
  • Apr 28, 2016
    Best show I've ever seen! I'm so excited to finally have a show I look forward to every week! Two amazing well-known actors (Ray Liotta & Jennifer Lopez on TV, are you kidding?!!) along with a great cast - even the extras and cameos are good actors, unlike some shows where it seems like they just picked someone off the street. It's an awesome story line too that goes from week to week, so you really get into it. I cannot wait until the next season starts! You have to watch this show!
  • Apr 03, 2016
    Love Love Love this show!! My husband and I are addicted to it!!!!! I'm glad I don't listen to critics opinions I like audience opinion more!
  • Mar 29, 2016
    hands down best cop show on tv never a dull moment ray and jennifer are awesome in these rolls

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