Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Detroit 187 and Homicide: Life on the Street

I was a huge fan of Homicide: Life on the Street. A few reviewers have noted that the new show Detroit 187 is very similar to H:LotS. Here are similarites/homages from the pilot alone:

1. Two guys searching for a shell casing in an alley. Joke is that they find many possibilities. This scene appears in both the first and last ep. of H:LotS.

2. Partnership with a young guy and an intense, brilliant, difficult-to-get-along-with older one who doesn't even want a partner. In H:LotS, this was Frank Pembleton (black, genius, veteran) and Tim Bayliss (white, innocent, rookie). Frank's a master interrogator in the Box (interview room). One of the hallmarks of some great H:LotS eps was seeing Frank be brillian in the box--and then later also Tim. We see the Michael Imperioli character being . . . interestign in the box in the new show. Also, the innocent newcomer in the Det. show is a black guy; the hardened genius veteran is the white guy, Michael Imperioli. Det. 187 is more about Imperioli so far, and I'm not sure the new partner will be in future eps. We'll have to see. I do know Imperioli has been given a great role and that I really loved his acting in the pilot.

3. Liutenant Gee, from H:LotS, spoke Italian, was Sicilian. In Det. 187, we have a female sergeant, perhaps also Italian? Have to see more.

4. The board where a record of cases are kept--red for open, black for solved--played a prominent role in H:Lots; camera often went to it for significant moments. In Det. 187, we have a significant board scene at the end. We'll see if they integrate it further.

Det. 187 has a long way to go, but mostly I felt very heartened watching it, and excited to think there might be another great police procedural show out there. We'll see if Det. 187 can do "service" to Detroit the way H:LotS did Baltimore; I know the latter was started by Barry Levinson (Bawlmer native) and was guided from a love of the city. We'll see if Det. has similar lineage/potential.

Fears for the Detroit show: will be too schmaltzy; will shy away from the grittiness. In this show, already, all the cops are basically good looking, probably too much so, and Det., a city in crisis, looked strangely pretty in some scenes. We'll see how it goes.


  1. I've heard a lot about this one, but haven't watched it. Maybe I'll give it a try. Keep us posted on your thoughts.

  2. I think Td got ep. 2 on the DVR; I'm hoping it stays good!