A week later, I was tired and stressed and decided it was time for something new. I looked down at my list and saw Rookie Blue and decided having seen the promo a hundred times, I would give it a shot. As you can probably tell I did not have high expectations for it but for some reason a gut feeling was leading me towards the show. So I turned on my laptop and said “Hello, Rookie Blue“. 3 weeks and 6 seasons later, I am now saying goodbye to a show that has brought me laughter, tears, anger, adrenaline, fear, and most of all, inspiration. This, my dear readers, is a story of a binge watcher.
Before I share with you my thoughts on the show and binge-watching, I just want to say that if you have not seen the show and are planning on watching it, don’t worry I am not going to include any major spoilers. If you are a fan of the show, beware, this post may make you nostalgic.
So, Rookie Blue in one sentence is a Canadian TV series about 5 cops fresh out of the academy starting their first police jobs in the busy city of Toronto. Season one: Dov Epstein, Tracy Nash, Andy McNally, Chris Diaz, and Gail Peck are starting their careers by learning with their training officers (TO) Sam Swarek, Noelle Williams and Oliver Shaw.
Needless to say their first weeks are slightly disastrous with people forgetting to load their guns, wearing their radios on the wrong side etc. Relationships and friendships evolve and you begin to get to know the characters. As with all shows the first season is just a get to know season and although I laughed and felt sad at certain moments, I didn’t have the same emotional roller coasters as later. Although there is one scene in the second last episode of the season (1×12 – In Blue) where the rookies are getting their evaluations to see if they can cut the ties from being a rookie. Andy is looking at photos of them from their first year while 7 Years by Cedar Avenue (see below) is playing and in that moment I knew I was hooked. No matter what happens throughout the show, my favourite part is probably how they are a family, a team, and partners. Unlike other shows, because of their jobs as police officers, their lives are literally in the hands of their partners and that kind of trust is so unique and special. It doesn’t matter what is happening between them or to them in their personal lives, as soon as the they are on the job, they have each others backs.
Season 2 starts with a bang and really sets the scene for the rest of the season. Deeper and more complicated issues arise for the rookies as cops, friends, partners, and lovers. As you learn more about their pasts and predict their futures, you start to become really attached to the characters. Normally with shows I have favourites and others who are, well, meh. But as I watched season 2, I really loved every character and every scene. Each of the rookies brings something special to the team. This season was when I started to realise why I liked the show. Although each character is different, they are so real and so well-written that it is easy to forget that they aren’t actually living in Toronto fighting crime. With most other shows I like them because it is exciting or funny or has a great love story but Rookie Blue has all of them in such a real-life kind of way. It is magically normal which makes it relate-able and accessible in a way that I haven’t seen in a show in a long time.
Season 3 starts the emotional roller coaster. A shocking mid-season episode shakes up the entire show and all the story lines. Although I hated the writers for doing it, it is a great example of how the show tries to represent reality and I understand why they did it. Even if it was heart breaking. Season 4 is probably my least favourite season for obvious reasons if you have seen the show but it had to be done. It is that point in the show when things need to go wrong in order for the story to develop. I watched the entire season in one go in hope that things would get better for the characters.
So one thing I have learned from my intense binge-watching experience is that you unintentionally become convinced that you know the characters as your friends. And despite wanting to stay in bed and just see how my new “friends” were doing in Toronto, I did have some responsibilities that forced me out of bed and back into the real-world. During the day I couldn’t resist thinking about the show (yes, you can be addicted to a show) so I decided to look into the cast on social media. This was when I learned the horrifying news that season 6 which was broadcast 2 months ago was the final season. I started to grieve and think about what I would do after I finished the last two seasons. Although I had originally been dreading catching up because that would mean waiting almost a year for each season I never thought it would be over completely.
I entered a dilemma which I am sure many binge-watchers face. Do I continue to binge because it is so good and I need to know how things play out or do I slow down because when it is over, it is over? As you probably guessed, I decided to continue binging since I knew I needed to get out of bed and return to reality as dreadful as that sounded. So I did. I finished season 5 and 6 in about 24 hours. It was a crazy ride but I loved every moment of it.
Binge-watching is like going through a really intense but short relationship. In the beginning it is exciting as you get to know it. You start to get engaged and feel for the show. Then you start to have opinions. That is when things get complicated because you are upset at the writers but at the same time you know you will always love the show no matter what they end up writing. Next you realise you are close to the end and you start to feel sad. You cherish every episode and all your favourite scenes and relationships (even the ones you don’t like). Finally you start to feel all the story lines approaching an end and the problems are being solved and you know it is over.
I watched some behind the scenes of the show as a closure to my relationship with Rookie Blue and that is when I felt the inspiration. As I mentioned in my first ever post (check it out here!), my dream is to work in this industry. I want to bring stories to life that carry people on these emotional roller coasters. Watching the cast and crew talk about their experiences and how they became a family and grew together reminded me again of my determination to someday be a part of that. Together they created 74 wonderful epiphanies. Thank you to the cast and crew for bringing to life the stories of the 15 division rookies. Oh and if you ever want to create more epiphanies I am totally in!
For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about and think I am losing it, check out the trailer for the first season of the show and then decide if you want to join the roller coaster of Rookie Blue:
So, in short: binge-watching is exhilarating but exhausting and Rookie Blue is an amazing show which I will miss greatly.
Seen the show? Or are you an experienced binger? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @TheLydiaReview
Love to all ❤