DETROIT 1 8 7 Episodes 1 & 2 Advance Review

Detroit 1-8-7 Episodes 1 & 2 Advanced Review

When ABC first announced that they had a new show about Detroit’s Homicide Division, I have to admit that I cringed a little. Detroit already has a shaky reputation nationally, and a show focusing on murders in the city didn’t sound like the best way to change that perception.

Living in Southeast Michigan, the last thing I wanted to see was Detroit turning into a punching bag for all its critics again. With that in mind, I had an opportunity to see the first two episodes of DETROIT 1-8-7 before they aired. My verdict? I think everything is going to be all right.

What’s Detroit 1-8-7 about?

It’s a police procedural that follows the detectives of Detroit’s Homicide Division as they solve crimes in the tough streets of the Motor City. Throughout each episode we get to see the hardships they face both professionally and in their personal lives. The squad pulls through it together like a family, with some arguments and friction, but together.

Let’s meet the members of the Detroit Homicide Unit:

– Lieutenant Mason (Aisha Hinds) is the tough, no-nonsense leader of the Homicide Squad.

– Detective Fitch (Michael Imperioli) is a good hard working detective, although a little eccentric.

– Detective Washington (Jon Michael Hill) is Fitch’s new partner and works his first day in Homicide during the pilot.

– Detective Longford (James McDaniel) is an experienced cop nearing retirement and the promise of a home in Tuscany.

– Detective Mahajan (Shaun Majumder) is partnered with Longford and has a good sense of humor.

– Detective Sanchez (Natalie Martinez) is the only female detective on the squad, and she is extremely tough, but cares deeply about the victims and their families.

– Detective John Stone (D. J. Cotrona) is the other recent addition to the Homicide unit, recently transferring in from Narcotics, he’s initially paired up with Sanchez.

Impressions From The First Two Episodes

It’s hard to make grand pronouncements on a show after just two episodes, but here are some thoughts on Detroit 1-8-7 two episodes into the season:

Good writing, but don’t get too cute – I will stand just about anything on a TV show except for bad writing; it is usually where I’m most critical of shows. Detroit 1-8-7’s writers deliver by creating great plotlines, and the homicide cases in both episodes were original enough to keep me interested.

The dialogue was strong, especially for Fitch, who has a monologue in the pilot that I consider must watch TV. The writers crafted some great scenes that help bring the viewer into the Detroit mindset, especially one with Longford and Mahajan early in the second episode.

On the other hand, there’s some dialogue that probably sounded good on paper, but fell flat on the screen. This was mainly in the pilot, where a couple of lines that left me shaking my head. The second episode writing seemed to be more solid, so it’s possibly just a one episode blip.

Solid acting from a good cast – I wasn’t sure about Michael Imperioli being in a lead role of a police drama (I mean, I can’t stand him in those tequila ads, so that’s not a good sign, right?), but his Detective Fitch could be the next big TV drama character. Imperioli nailed Fitch’s brilliance as a detective as well as his social awkwardness, while not making him appear too creepy–a fine line to walk.

The show has a solid supporting cast that has a good mix of serious and funny, young and old, beautiful and curmudgeonly. My favorites are Detectives Mahajan and Longford, who have good charisma on-screen and provide some comedy relief to offset the rest of the cast’s seriousness. Bonus points for the cool coroner–loved her scenes as well.

They really captured the look and feel of Detroit – I have to give props to the show’s producers. I thought this was one of the areas the show would drop the ball. They work the city’s landmarks and backdrop into the show in a natural, organic manner, and it didn’t feel forced at all. It will be interesting to see if this continues throughout the season because I think it does a nice job showing off the city in a realistic, honest manner.

Why should you watch Detroit 1-8-7

Detroit 1-8-7 is not going to wow you with a super science crime lab or ripped from the headlines cases. The strong stories and the talented cast will draw you to this tough, gritty drama. It will offer you a view of what Detroit is really like, not the sensationalized version that you may see in the media. In the end you will find yourself rooting for these Detectives, not only because they want justice for the victims, but also because it’s a sign of what can come from good, hardworking people.

Watch the premiere of Detroit 1-8-7 on ABC this Tuesday, September 21, at 10 PM ET, and then come back here and let me know what you think.

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