TV Review - Detroit 1-8-7 ("Pilot")

Airs: Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC
Genre: Crime drama
The Set-Up: A group of detectives in Detroit Police Department's homicide division investigate murders and catch criminals.  
The Good: Detroit is an underutilized, gritty setting for a police procedural.  The constant handheld camera work gives the show an unpolished, rough-around-the-edges look that works in its favor.  The cast of mostly unknowns (save for The Sopranos' Michael Imperioli) are believable in their roles.  The pilot ends with a big cliffhanger that entices you to come back for more.  This line (spoken by Imperioli's Det. Fitch, looking at the dry erase board of cases): "Take one off.  Put up the next.  We may be the last assembly line around."
The Bad: The pilot focuses too much on the cases, and not the people solving them.  There's no hook to the show - nothing special about it.  Though it strives for authenticity, there's a ridiculous scene in the middle where Det. Fitch stares down a suspect for a couple of hours without saying anything, which somehow works and makes the suspect confess.  The cliffhanger seems a bit cheap - strategically designed to give the pilot its lone watercooler moment.
The Verdict: Not bad, but mostly forgettable.  These days, you have to bring more to the table than "just another cop show."  If the city of Detroit becomes the main character, that could definitely prove more interesting, if not more depressing.  **1/2 stars.

Filed under: Reviews, TV

Tags: ABC, Detroit 1-8-7, reviews, television, TV


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  • I really would like to see this show play up the Detroit angle, much like "The Wire" did with Baltimore. Because anytime you can emulate "The Wire," you should. Words to live by.

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