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Vanessa Ray Reveals Why Blue Bloods' Dinner Scenes Are So Important

"Blue Bloods" follows the grand tradition of police procedurals in several ways. However, it also manages to carve out a unique niche within that formula. It mostly does this by following the Reagan family, who all work in law enforcement in various capacities. A lot of police shows abide by the found family, where the officers forge their own connections throughout the run of the series. "Blue Bloods" does something different by following an actual family who are always there for one another through thick and thin.

This is best exemplified through the show's family dinner scenes. Close to every episode has a moment where the Reagans gather around a table and share a meal. Sometimes they talk about whatever cases they're working on that week. In other instances, they discuss more trivial matters like their favorite cop movies. Either way, they serve an essential function in the show's dynamics, to the point where Vanessa Ray, who plays Eddie Janko in the series, commented on their significance in an interview. 

Vanessa Ray says the family dinners keep viewers 'coming back'

The family dinner scenes are often highlights of their episodes. A lot of serious stuff tends to go down in your typical "Blue Bloods" outing, and the dinner sequences offer a reprieve from the violence and grittiness. Arguments sometimes ensue, but it's nothing the Reagans can't push through. For this reason and others, Vanessa Ray called the dinners in an interview with The Nerds of Color, "The bread and butter of the show. That's what makes people keep coming back because they're like, 'I know that no matter what chaos is happening, I can see these people sit down, fight it out, make a joke, tell funny stories about their first kisses,' like all those kinds of things that you have as a family."

Eddie herself got to be part of one of the most poignant family dinners when she finally got in on the fun in Season 8. The scene culminated in Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) telling her, "Welcome to our family." And, of course, Eddie had to cut through the tension by referring humorously to Frank as "Dad." It's the kind of moment that could only have the impact it did with the family dinners having the significance they've earned by receiving such emphasis over the years. And hopefully, there are plenty more powerful moments to come out of these meals, which are just as much about bringing people together as they are about eating.