Ray Liotta and Julia Ayres. Picture:Supplied
I love this series. It has the right amount of grittiness imbued with drama, conflict and ethics. Think along the lines of The Shield meets Rookie Blue.

And it seriously has one of the finest casts: Jennifer Lopez (Detective Harlee Santos), Ray Liotta (Lieutenant Matt Wozniak, Drea De Mateo (Detective Tess Nazario), Warren Kole (Special Agent Robert Stahl), Gino Anthony Pesi (Assistant District Attorney James Nava), Vincent Laresca (Detective Carlos Espada) and more.

The story arcs are cunningly plotted, with one interlinked with another and another and so on.

Of course, there has to be a few minefields of unadulterated mayhem planted along the way - involving one or two individuals with hidden agendas. Such an individual’s finesse at playing puppet-master irks and fascinates at the same time.

That position has been commendably occupied by Stahl. Abuse of power comes naturally to him. He’s allowed his obsession with Santos to pull his strings on more than a few occasions. He can be a mix of unjustifiably irrational or a cold, calculating fox. Heck, if he wasn’t wearing a badge, he could easily pass for a psychopath.

Having pushed Santos to the brink of selling out her entire crew, he’s now latched on to a new “informant” - Wozniak.

But he’s fast learning that Wozniak is no pushover or a sell-out. Nabbing a big fish to net a political shark isn’t working out the way Stahl expected.

In trying to box Wozniak in, he’s created a dangerous and unstable enemy. These two have been on an unrelenting mudslinging campaign with Wozniak exposing Stahl’s obsession with Santos by releasing a sex video with a call girl lookalike.

Stahl retaliated by ensuring Wozniak’s wife found out about his extramarital affair - with a male colleague.

And so the one-upmanship heightens because Wozniak refuses to betray a former colleague and friend, Julia Ayres, who is running for mayor. The FBI are investigating her for ties to the mafia.

Meanwhile, Santos’s uneasy relationship with Wozniak follows a very wobbly path. Try as she might, he’s not allowing her back into his circle of trust.

Little does she realise that that is the least of her problems. Her daughter’s daddy issues - her desperation to find her dad - has seen her unwittingly join forces with the enemy.

Meanwhile, all dodgy deals and pay-offs have been put on hold - not that one member of the team is abiding by the rules.

With Internal Affairs sniffing around the precinct, the situation is becoming rather hairy for all of them as they straddle that fine line between enforcing the law and breaking it.

This season continues to leave fans on tenterhooks at the end of every episode. The director masterfully creates an atmosphere of uncertainty and danger in how he juxtaposes the scenes.

And the writers play on sentiments as each character seems to be at an impossible crossroad. As hopeless as the situation may appear, it’s anything but.

That’s why this series has been renewed for a third season. Corruption and loyalty make for strange bedfellows. Who knew!

* Shades of Blue airs on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) on Tuesdays at 8.30pm.