Detroit 1-8-7

By Jeffrey Buck

Going to the Tigers game on Tuesday night prohibited me from catching the series premiere of Detroit 1-8-7, the new police drama on ABC. Although, I did catch a glimpse of the beginning at a bar in Midtown where the bartender had queued all the TVs to ABC. The audio from the show substituted for the standard music that would normally be piped through the bar’s sound system. It takes a special show to get away with that, but I think the anticipation that has been building around here was that overwhelming.

If you’re like me and still read the newspaper, you’d know about all of the articles written about the show. Articles about where they’re filming, features on the cast, how the city is being portrayed, so on and so on. Well, Tuesday night was a chance to finally see the show for yourself and render your own opinion. Thanks to the DVR box, I made mine Wednesday evening.

My first thought is, it’s a typical police drama but set in an area where I can relate to. Although the pilot was shot in Atlanta in a mockumentary style, the show was littered with generic shots of Detroit along with reshot scenes in some of the most recognizable places. Having scrapped the mockumentary shooting style after an incident involving another show the episode still seemed to have that feel especially in a scene where a man flashes his grill while lunging toward the camera lens.

I got the impression from the excessive use of profanity that the show was striving to be something that HBO would produce but instead just doesn’t work for shows that aren’t aired on the “pay channels.” In one scene the detective is bleeped out way too much not to chuckle a bit.

I don’t want this to turn into a breakdown of the entire episode so instead I’ll say that I will continue to watch the series as it develops, hoping that it has the chance to stay on the air for years to come. I understand the argument about the show putting us in a bad light but the story lines, hopefully the future ones will be more realistic than the pilot, are more about the characters and could really happen in any city in my opinion. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the pilot I recommend you give it a shot.

A few quick notes I jotted down as I watched:

–       Motown music is going to play a large role in this show judging by the first episode.

–       As an avid Lafayette supporter (Ed. note: Co-sign -MF), I was disappointed by the selection of American Coney Island as a site location.

–       Enjoyed the mention of Eight Mile neighbor Ferndale.

–       I thought the bullet scavenger hunt scene was a little bit excessive.

–       Someone took a page out of the Hung playbook and decided to use some more Black Keys which is awesome.

– JB

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