Blue Bloods Season 14 Is Hurting The Show’s Legacy By Cutting Down 1 Beloved Part Of The Series

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Blue Bloods is likely ending after season 14. That leaves the series limited time to correct a serious problem that could hurt its legacy.

The way Blue Bloods is approaching one beloved aspect of the series could harm its legacy if the series ends after season 14 as expected. The Tom Selleck-led cop drama stands out because of its emphasis on a family of cops rather than the cases of the week. The main characters always have each others’ backs when it counts, no matter how much they butt heads over how cases are handled. They also turn toward Henry, the oldest member, for advice or to hash things out over Sunday family dinner.

This emphasis on family has contributed to Blue Bloods’ popularity over the past 14 years. However, the series has become expensive to produce and thus, CBS announced after the end of the writers’ and actors’ strikes that season 14 would be Blue Bloods’ final year. This cancelation gives the veteran series limited time to wrap everything up. There is a beloved aspect of the series that has been cut down recently, and changing this is one of many things that must happen before Blue Bloods ends.

The Reagan Family Dinner Scenes Are A Vital Part Of Blue Bloods
The Iconic Scene Is Symbolic Of The Series’ Family Values

The family dinner scenes have been an essential aspect of Blue Bloods since the series began. Sometimes, they have been important to the plot, such as when Erin and Eddie were at odds over how they each handled their part of a case and confronted each other during their visit to Frank’s home. Even when they don’t directly affect plot events, the family dinner is a time for the Reagans to put their two cents into the decisions each member of the family is grappling with during the episode.

The family dinner scenes are essential even when they don’t help advance the plot. Blue Bloods’ dinner scenes symbolize the Reagans’ commitment to family values, something that Frank made explicit during season 13 when he expressed gratitude for being able to spend most Sundays with his family. He then lamented that American society has become so fast-paced that most people don’t have these types of family experiences anymore. However, these scenes have become a smaller part of Blue Bloods during season 14, which could hurt its legacy as a family-oriented police drama.

Blue Bloods’ Family Dinner Scenes Have Been Shrinking Over Time
They Often Feel Like An Epilogue For Blue Bloods

Early seasons of Blue Bloods included lengthy family dinner scenes where family members asked Frank or Henry about the past, Danny’s kids inserted comments that showed their youth and lack of life experience, and the family celebrated special occasions such as Henry’s birthday together. However, the family dinner scenes have gotten smaller over time, and now they often take up the final two minutes of the episode. This treatment of the dinner scene often feels tacked on, as if the dinner scene is an afterthought rather than an important part of the Blue Bloods story.

This problem is partially due to cast changes. Linda Reagan (Amy Carlson) was often behind surprises for other family members, but Linda was killed off-screen after Carlson declined to renew her contract after Blue Bloods season 7. Danny’s older son Jack (Tony Terraciano) was also written out after his actor went to college, as was Erin’s daughter Nicky (Sami Gayle). Thus, there aren’t as many people participating in family dinners as there were in the past, so there are fewer potential interactions.

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The family dinner should still be a critical part of the series despite this issue. Blue Bloods has wasted Henry’s potential by only having him appear at the dinner table for most of season 14, and this problem has been made worse by cutting these scenes so short. Similarly, sometimes Jamie or Eddie doesn’t have a storyline and only appears during the short dinner scene. These rushed appearances only serve to highlight the characters’ absences during the main part of the show.

How Shortening The Family Dinner Scenes Hurts Blue Bloods’ Legacy
The Series Should Be Remembered For Its Family Values, Not For Action Scenes

Blue Bloods is one of the few family-oriented series left on network television. After family dramas like This Is Us went off the air, they were replaced with police and medical dramas. While Blue Bloods is also a police procedural, the family elements help make up for the lack of shows about families on the air, and the emphasis on family draws in audiences who are hungry for it. Shortchanging the family dinner scenes hurts the Blue Bloods’ legacy by putting the emphasis back on the crime drama aspects of the show.

In real life, many people are too busy to sit down and eat dinner with their family regularly. Blue Bloods offers a fictional alternative to that reality in which a family of cops not only tries to live by its values on the job but takes the time to get together regularly. Shortening the dinner scenes only reinforces the idea that nobody has time to sit down and eat as a family. These abbreviated scenes also move Blue Bloods in the direction of yet another police procedural instead of showcasing its unique focus on family.

Why Blue Bloods Is Probably Ending After Season 14
Despite Fan-Led Protests, The Chance For A Reprieve Is Slim

The cancelation news has led to a massive fan-led campaign to save Blue Bloods. Some stars have signed onto the campaign, notably Donnie Wahlberg (Danny). Tom Selleck has repeatedly indicated in interviews that he would like to participate in potential future seasons. Blue Bloods’ future is in doubt despite all this support for the series. Fan-led protest movements rarely move the needle with network executives once a cancelation decision has been made. In addition, Blue Bloods’ cancelation likely involves financial factors, as the series is expensive to produce.

It’s not certain that the cancelation will stick. CBS recently renewed SWAT after a cancellation, and other shows have come back from the dead in the past. However, season 14 is most likely the final season of Blue Bloods, and if this is the case, the series has limited time to course correct. It’s imperative that they restore the dinner scenes as soon as possible to avoid potential harm to the series’ legacy after the final credits roll.

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