Take Me to the Pilots '10: ABC's 'Detroit 187'
Motown gives extra texture to a solid, straight-forward police drama
[As I've already mentioned, and will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots.]
Show: "Detroit 187," ABC
The Pitch: "So, um... Have we had a cop show in Detroit lately?"
Quick Response: Due to timing, I never got around to watching the original "Detroit 187" with its since-jettisoned documentary conceit. Instead, I watched a largely reshot Franken-pilot in which you can tell that the characters are just aching to talk to the camera but instead have to have slightly-too-confessional conversations with each other. With its documentary conceit, "Detroit 187" would have had a hook that might have interested me. Without the conceit, it's just a solid and sturdy police procedural of exactly the sort that validate (in my head) the various times I say, "I don't really like police procedurals." It's just not my cup of tea, which doesn't mean that I can't watch "Detroit 187" and respect the things it does very very well. The Detroit locations are well utilized and the show really doesn't look like any cop drama I've seen before simply because of that setting. I was also instantly intrigued by Michael Imperioli's nicely understated, yet still eccentric, performance. I liked the diversity of the casting even if Aisha Hinds' Stern Boss and James McDaniel's I'm Too Old For This S*** Veteran and Jon Michael Hill's Fumbling Newbie passed into genre cliche long ago. I didn't find the use of Motown on the soundtrack to be nearly as annoying as I initially feared I would. Etc. "Detroit 187" might have a little too much broadness at times, a tone that doesn't feel entirely committed, like somebody wanted to make an "NYPD Blue" knockoff and also wanted to make a separate knockoff of "The Unusuals" and instead combined little pieces of both without picking a side.
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