Boston’s Finest

Boston’s Finest premieres tonight at 9pm on TNT. Our very own Jen Penton is starring in the show, you have to check it out!

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Above all, Boston’s Finest is reality show as serialized narrative. Yes, the cases laid out in the few first episodes made available for review wrap themselves up within the course of a single hour. But by following a wide swath of officers across a broad spectrum of departments, the show not only allows for different types of cases to be covered, but also a variety of individuals enforcing the law to be covered as well. The program follows gang units, officers tasked with locating fugitives, and beat cops, all of whom combine to cover various parts of Boston and the surrounding neighborhoods. If you’re looking for the stereotypes from Southie Rules to show up, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Yes, the officers identify one criminal on the show by the shamrock on his neck. And yes, The Dropkick Murphys perform the theme song, because of course they do. But by and large,Boston’s Finest does an admirable job of displaying a cross-section of ethnicities on both sides of the law.

At center stage early on is Jennifer Penton, one of the many soldiers-turned-cops on display in this show. (There’s probably a reality show in that trend in and of itself, but that’s for another time and another show.) Her centrality stems from the ready-made storylines inherent in her life. She has a twin sister, Melissa, who in every respect reflects the road not taken for Jen. Jen has aspirations to work for the drug unit after Melissa succumbed to addiction, had to give up her child for adoption, and subsequently moved in and out of the court system. On top of that drama, Penton also has a male partner with whom she seemingly wants to share more than just a love of justice. Ostensibly, future episodes will turn the focus primarily away from her and onto the other recurring officers in the show. But it’s easy to see why Finest focused on her initially: she’s beautiful, collected, and is articulate about her personal issues as well as her experiences as a female in a predominantly male profession.