Why the ‘Blue Bloods’ Reagan Family Dinners Are Bittersweet

There are many cop dramas on television, but far and away the most popular one to debut in the past 10 years is Blue Bloods. The show premiered in 2010, with a stellar cast including screen veteran Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg, and ever since, has been a continuous favorite with viewers and critics alike.

Blue Bloods is notorious for its devotion to realism and many fans love it for the way it portrays one family’s struggles in the face of adversity. There are many interesting quirks to the show, including the way that the iconic dinner scenes are captured on camera. 

What is ‘Blue Bloods’ about?

When Blue Bloods first debuted in 2010, there was no other cop drama like it on television. Blue Bloods expertly portrays the inner workings of the NYPD, but the show’s primary focus is the Reagan family dynasty. From Tom Selleck’s character, Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, to Sami Gayle’s Nicky Reagan, there is a character for someone in every age range to identify with and relate to. 

Blue Bloods spotlights the Reagan family both at work and at home, and the way that they handle challenges that come their way. Although every member of the family is strong individually, the show reveals that when they work as a family unit, they are able to overcome incredible obstacles, even if that means arguing at the dinner table over issues they are passionate about.

The show has been confirmed to return for new episodes, even though filming for all New York-based TV shows is on hold in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, fans can rest assured that their favorite police family will once again be returning to the small-screen. 

How realistic is ‘Blue Bloods’?

Will Estes as Jamie Reagan, Vanessa Ray as Officer Eddie Janko, Bridget Moynahan as Erin Reagan, Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan, Sami Gayle as Nicky Reagan-Boyle, Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan on 'Blue Bloods'
Will Estes as Jamie Reagan, Vanessa Ray as Officer Eddie Janko, Bridget Moynahan as Erin Reagan, Tom Selleck as Frank Reagan, Sami Gayle as Nicky Reagan-Boyle, Donnie Wahlberg as Danny Reagan on ‘Blue Bloods’ | John Paul Filo/CBS via Getty Images

RELATED: ‘Blue Bloods’ Popularity is Slipping— Are Fans Tired of the Show?

There are a lot of cop dramas who feature real locations and actual police procedures in various episodes. However, Blue Bloods has upped the ante since day one, with a retired police officer on the staff of the show.

This retired officer vets the scripts for each and every episode, verifying the accuracy of procedures and inserting actual police dialogue into the script. In many cases, the actors are required to go through weapons training, giving them the ability to inhabit their roles with confidence.

In addition, Blue Bloods features real situations and stories, and showrunners work directly with New York authorities in order to guarantee accuracy. Although the show inevitably includes a lot of fiction, Blue Bloods is widely considered to be one of the most realistic police procedural dramas on television. 

Everyone doesn’t love the dinner scenes as much as Donnie Wahlberg does

The heart and soul of Blue Bloods is the Reagan family, and the family dinner scenes are the highlight of each episode. Fans would likely be surprised to learn that the various actors on the show have wildly varying reactions to those dinner scenes.

Donnie Wahlberg revealed that the show utilizes real food for all the dinner scenes and that he is not about to waste food, so he is the first to indulge. However, Tom Selleck admitted to not loving the dinner scenes as much as Wahlberg.

“It’s nice to spend time with the entire cast once an episode, but filming an eating scene is miserable,” said Selleck. “Well, the eating part is. You have to eat the same foods over and over again to get all the shots. We’ll probably spend eight hours shooting this scene.”

Selleck didn’t reveal how tasty the food is, but it’s clear that he is dedicated to his craft, eating when required in order to make the dinner scenes look as realistic as possible.