Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DVR Guide: "Detroit 1-8-7"

I know, I know, I'm a little late to the party. My vacation happened to coincide with both the beginning of the Fall TV season and my beloved Texas Rangers clinching their first playoff berth in 11 years. So I'm behind. But I'm committed to this thing, yo, so here goes.

"Detroit 1-8-7" follows a squad of homicide detectives in the rough and tumble city of Columbus. No, sorry, Detroit of course. Detective Louis Fitch (Michael Imperioli) is the top dog, a guarded, edgy cop with his own way of doing everything. Pretty much everyone else in the "Detroit" cast takes on the roll of backup singer to Imperioli's soloist (at least in the pilot). It's a fairly generic set of characters including the rookie cop, the veteran on the verge of reitrement, the pretty boy trying to make a name for himself, etc. "Detroit" is a cross between "NYPD Blue" and the NBC-turned-TNT drama "Southland." Originally intended to be a single camera, mockumentary-type show, "Detroit" had to change its direction (and reshot some of the pilot) when a child was actually killed during the filming of a real life cop show that happened to take place in Detroit. As a result, the first episode is part "real life action" complete with bouncing camera and bleeped curses, part standard cop show.

I actually quite enjoyed the pilot. Imperioli is a great actor, an intimidating presence on the screen no matter what role he plays, and this is right up his alley Fitch is a strong lead, the classic hard-edged loner with unorthodox methods that seem to work no matter what. The rest of the cast is completely unrefined but the characters have room for growth in future episodes. There is, without question, a certain amount of cliche to "Detroit" that could end up ruining the show. Cop shows are a dime a dozen and every new season brings a few new guests to the table and it's a bit difficult to be completely original. The show's concept and main character, though, are good enough to bring me back a few more times.

Verdict: Week-to-Week

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