Sunday, February 8, 2015

Down These Mean Streets…

I'm totally hooked on the TV series Blue Bloods. Not just on Tom Selleck, older but more handsome - but his whole family - the cast, the plots, the settings, the music - the whole megillah!

Tom, as the NYPD Commish Frank Reagan, said recently, not only " I will always have your back", but some words crime writers have engraved on their hearts.

"Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid."

Hey, you gotta love this handsome guy!

"The detective must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be a man of honor."
Instead of Raymond Chandler, these words could have been written by Tom Selleck (Frank Reagan on the TV screen). This 2010 series is now being rerun on Time Warner's Ch. 31.

Reagan, who had been working in the North Tower on 9/11, is a compelling lead character .A man of few words who quotes Raymond Chandler, completely in character for this mature Tom Selleck.

I refreshed my memory on Raymond Chandler.

"A really good detective never gets married." (Casual Notes on the Mystery Novel.)

"The perfect detective story cannot be written. The type of mind which can evoke the perfect problem is not the type of mind that can produce the artistic job of writing." (12 Notes on the Mystery Story)

Ray Chandler and Tom Selleck are not twins. Chandler became a detective writer after he lost his job as an oil company exec. Later he was President of MWA.

Tom Selleck wanted to be an architect. When he tried to sign up for a California School of Architecture, it was full. So he went to the next table and into the School of Acting! After a distinguished career on both screens, in Louis L'Amour's Crossfire Trail and A Thousand Clowns, and as a screen-play writer he became an avocado-growing philanthropist—a member of the Kennedy center, a winner of Emmys and Golden Globes.

What I love in Blue Bloods is Frank's gravitas, his honesty, his loyalty, his warmth.

Chandler created famous detectives, often played by Humphrey Bogart. His masterpieces, Farewell My Lovely, The Little Sister, The Long Goodbye—are for the ages. He was also a journalist and a romantic poet. His private life was cluttered with alcoholism, absenteeism and womanizing.

He was a gigantic influence on countless American and British writers. His gravestone reads, "Dead men are heavier than broken hearts." (The Big Sleep)

He is known for his sharp and lyrical similes.

"The muzzle of the Luger looked like the mouth of the Second Street Tunnel."

"He had a heart as big as one of Mae West's hips."

His essay "The Simple Art of Murder" is considered the canonized essay in the field of mystery fiction.

As the character of Frank Reagan, Tom Selleck has a close family—his father, a former NYPD Commish, his two NYPD detective sons, his daughter, an assistant D.A., and several grandchildren. They often share meals and life's comments on daily life. Those sessions are very touching.

Tom/Frank does not shy away from current problems in a major urban cop city.

It is reported that the real life NYPD officers often salute Tom when he's out on a film shoot as Commish Reagan!

If you are a fellow Blue Bloods devotee, please share your thoughts with me!

© 2014 Thelma J. Straw


  1. Thelma, I've never watched Blue Bloods, but based on your great post I'm going to watch it--at least once.
    Barbara Bent

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Barbara. Anyone who writes romantic fiction as brilliantly as YOU do ... will love this series! Thelma

  2. I am not a follower of Blue Bloods but will now consider looking for it in the rerun section. Thanks Thelma. Very well done depiction of this saga!!

  3. Margaret, you and your whole family will both laugh and cry at some of these episodes... it is very cathartic for humans, esp. people who have close families! It runs all day Thurs. and other times at night. Check your TV info. Thelma

  4. I love BB also, but favor Danny! I agree that the stories are terrific. As for Selleck, my husband and I have taken to counting the number of (sigh)s he puts out per episode! I think he's more suited to Jesse Stone.

  5. Yes, he does sigh. But I'll take his sighs over anybody's any day! Thanks for coming by, Camille. I always enjoy your own blogs! Thelma