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'Rookie Blue' delivers young cops in love — and works

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Rookie Blue (9pm Thu, ABC)

This show has made the summer TV season a lot more fun during the last couple of years. It’s an absorbing cop show about young officers dealing with the complexities of their careers while looking stunning in those cute blue uniforms.

In the third season premiere, intense Andy McNally (Missy Peregrym) returns to the force after a three-month suspension. She got in trouble for letting her relationship with rogue cop Sam Swarek (Ben Bass) affect her job. Now, she’s ecstatic to be back in action. “This is the first day of the rest of my life!” she says. And what a day it is, as a drunk driver (William Shatner) causes a pile-up while searching for his kidnapped granddaughter. The crash actually turns up a clue, and Andy joins the hunt for the missing girl.

Rookie Blue isn’t the only show about cops who fall in love with each other while chasing the bad guys, but it’s one of the few that work. Watching the season premiere makes this seem like the first day of the rest of my summer.

Girls (9:30pm Sun, HBO)

Everybody has hyped this new series to the max, including me. But, dammit, I’m going to keep hyping it as long as it stays good. In this week’s episode, our four post-collegiate heroines go to an intimidating party in a New York City warehouse. “Promise me we’ll stick together in there!” pleads Marnie (Allison Williams).

They don’t stick together. Each has a disturbing encounter with a lover, an ex-lover, or a potential future lover. Each gets physically hurt, or hurts someone else, or lays the groundwork for someone to be hurt. Indeed, the episode is a veritable symphonic movement of pain, while at the same time confirming Girls’ status as one of the funniest shows on TV. The script is full of classic lines, as when basket case Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is informed that she has inadvertently smoked crack. “Oh my God!” she blurts in a panic. “Don’t tell my mom! Don’t even tell me!”

In the richest subplot, Hannah (played by creator-director-writer Lena Dunham) encounters her not-quite-boyfriend Adam (Adam Driver), who emerges as more human than she thought he was. This development leads to a happy ending, or at least an ambiguously happy one. And something tells me ambiguous happiness is the best we can expect in the Girls universe.

Rags (7pm Mon, Nickelodeon)

I know I should probably act my age and watch the creepy adult reality series premiering this week, like the new season of Gene Simmons Family Jewels. But I find myself attracted to Rags, Nickelodeon’s charming TV movie for the younger demographic. It’s a contemporary musical take on Cinderella, with the sex roles reversed. Charlie (Max Schneider) is a downtrodden New York City street singer; Kadee (Keke Palmer) is a pop princess who feels hemmed in by her image. These two meet courtesy of a fairy god-dude (Drake Bell), and sparks fly when Charlie fakes his way into an exclusive record-company ball. What will happen when the clock strikes midnight?

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