Detective Harlee Santos (Jennifer Lopez) is a single mother from New York City, New York. She joins the FBI's anti-corruption task force, whilst dealing with her own financial problems by bribing officers in order to afford for her daughter Cristina (Sarah Jeffery). Written by
Most of the characters forenames and surnames were changed from the first drafts of the scripts to the final ones. Harlee and Christine Santos' last name was previously McCord, Matt Wozniak was Bill Wozniak, Tess Nazario was Shirley Nazario, Robert Stahl was Robert Staal, Carlos Espada was Tony Espada and Marcus Tufo was Patrick Tufo. See more »
Jennifer Lopez plays Harlee Santos, a police woman who cares about justice, her teenage daughter, and the officers on her team. She describes them as a "family". It's a close family, bound by trust. They have each others' backs when an operation goes bad. And they rely upon each other to keep the secrets they share.
The team, which is lead by Matt Wozniak (Ray Liotta), operates on the premise that the "ends justify the means." Of course the law doesn't operate that way. It depends upon legal procedures, i.e. procedures which are legal.
The result is a complex character. Harlee is a devoted mother and she really cares about reducing crime. As citizens, viewers must decide how they feel about a woman who is paid to enforce laws yet routinely violates them. Especially in a time when the term "hero" is so easily attached to first responders, this is a challenging premise.
The good news is that Jennifer Lopez is up to it. Within the first hour, she is asked to be motherly, athletic, sexy, confident, and emotionally torn. She handles the role easily and provides a central core for the series.
As she begins to realize the destructive consequences of a web of lies, she will have to sacrifice her inner peace and maybe everything she values. It is the writing that will make this show or break it. These characters deserve emotional honesty and depth. It's worth watching to see what follows.
I do have one complaint about the pilot. At one point, Harlee fires a shot through a door with no regard for what's on the other side. That feels contrary to her nature.
Update 1/20/15: After two episodes, I am raising my grade to "8". As I have always known, Jennifer Lopez is the most under-rated actress on TV or film. Episode 2 included plenty of drama. If the writing can continue with this level of quality, higher grades will follow.
Update 4/2/16: After watching the final episode of the season, all I can say is wow! I am upping my grade to "10".
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