“Detroit 187″ Pilot Review
Posted by Marlo Stanfield on September 22, 2010
Motor City. Not since “Gran Turino” has a – alright, I can’t even finish that thought. But Detroit 187 is actually another enjoyable show. Maybe I didn’t spend so much time watching the NYPD Blues and Law and Orders of yesteryear that the genre has burnt out on me, but there’s a freshness to this show that makes me want to watch.
Michael Imperioli stars as Detective Louis Fitch. And he’s crazy. Not like “I’m the King of France” crazy but “I’m the not funny, cop version of Dr. House” crazy. Detective Damon Washington, played by Chicago actor Jon Michael Hill, is his new transferred partner and it’s his first day on Homicide. They’re investigating a double at a pharmacy, and Det. Washington loses his lunch. The other detective duo of Longford and Mahajan (portrayed by James McDaniel and Shawn Majumder, respectively) investigate an attorney’s murder, complete with Funk music in the background during their scenes. The Detroit Homicide squad is completed by Det. Ariana Sanchez (Natalie Martinez), Det. John Stone (D.J. Cotrona), and Lt. Maureen Mason (Aisha Hinds). Both murders intersect to create a solid pilot episode.
The style of the show makes one feel like they are a part of the action. I know that Detroit 187 was shot single camera because of its original mockumentary conceit, but I hope Detroit 187 will continue to use that focus because it lends to the rough edges of the city of Detroit.
I do have a couple of complaints. One, how do they get to Det. Sanchez car accident so quickly? Detectives Finch and Washington arrive before the ambulance – what is that? The call that she’s in trouble is put into the radio, and they’re are immediately there. Two, sometimes the background music, while familiar and welcoming, can be a bit oversaturated.
Regardless, Detroit 187 is a cop show that has the chops to last. Good writing, interesting locale, and mounds of great acting are going to carry this show and hopefully, people will tune in. I know I’ll be DVRing it while I watch my Parenthood. Creator Jason Richman clearly was influenced by David Simon’s work for this show, but what crime drama isn’t now? It’s unfair to compare a network show to hope to achieve the scope of The Wire, but Detroit 187 is definitely a new gritty show that fans of The Wire can get behind, and maybe some older long lost fans of NYPD Blue as well. The thing that struck me about this pilot was its unforgiving nature. Detroit 187 wasn’t afraid to let loose a couple of bleeped out F bombs here and there, or really show the extremities Det. Finch will go to convict a criminal. Plus, not spoiling anything, but any show that has the guts to do what this show does at the end of the pilot is worth watching week after week.