Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Film Yap: Detroit 1-8-7

They’re the easiest shows to put on the air: the cop show. Every network has had their share of weekly mysteries. Some of them have been some of the best shows put on air (HBO’s “The Wire”, FX’s “The Shield”, CBS’s “Homicide” and NBC’s “Hill Street Blues” to name a few), but most just fall into mindless entertainment. It’s all of the countless “CSI” spin-offs and rip-offs. “Detroit 1-8-7” wants to be different, but its changes are almost irrelevant.

It was originally going to be a mockumentary show with a documentary crew following around the cops of the station. They removed that concept when they reshot the pilot, because there are too many shows like that on the air. The handheld style remains, but it is never used effectively. A show like “Friday Night Lights” uses that method so the actors can react organically and not always stand on their mark if it doesn’t feel natural. This just looks like every other cop show…sans tripod.

Michael “Stop Calling Me Christopher” Imperioli stars at Detective Fitch who is grumpy, but solves cases. They hinted at something darker in the pilot, but it wasn’t that interesting. Mostly he’s just the token name actor with a cast of unknowns. Imperioli is a fine actor, but he has so little to work with. Most of the dialog is eye-rolling and the cases are too easy to forget while watching.

What the show does have going for it is a subtle style. The score for the show is the usual bland “This is an exciting part!” but when they use actual songs it moves smoother. The city and their offices have a nice unpolished feel to them, even though it all seems too well lit.

I love TV and I tend to follow a lot of TV news. I honestly couldn’t remember if this show was still on the air. “Detroit 1-8-7” was cancelled by ABC last season as part of the slaughtering that most of the networks performed on their new shows. I’m sure this had a few fans, but there are too many shows that can do the same thing with more style and cleverness.

There are no bonus features. Just the 18 episodes that aired on ABC.

Season/Series: 2 Yaps

Bonus Features: N/A


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