Detroit 1-8-7 premiered on Tuesday (10 p.m., on ABC). Did you watch it? Did you even know about it?
It’s been a pretty big deal ’round these parts. All kinds of people saying it’s going to destroy our image. It’s only going to position us as the murder capital of the nation, etc. etc.
And then there’s those of us who don’t think the show will be the end of us. After all, our image is already in the crapper. People already think of us as the place where you better bring heat. What can a measly hour of TV do to change or reaffirm that?
Truth is, a TV show ain’t gonna save us — or ruin us. At least, that’s what I hoped would be the case.
After the first episode, I *think* I’m right.
The show opened with a bit of funk combined with gritty shots of the city. From the shiny downtown to the downtrodden homes, they are all real shots of the city. Even down to the street signs, this IS Detroit. Now, there’s some controversy that some of the scenes were shot in Atlanta, but I’ve heard the show’s producers say that that was for the pilot only and all future episodes will be shot in the city.
Personally, I only noticed a couple hiccups that didn’t look like Detroit. As I’m sure you can imagine, Detroit has its own unique look. The show is smart to take up residence here and take advantage of all of the amazing locations that really can’t be found anywhere else.
Bottom line? I’m a fan so far.
I want you to watch this show. I want you to see my city and I want you to love it — abandoned buildings and grit and all. Because I do.
But, I want you to watch it with a caveat. It’s a caveat that anyone with common sense should be able to recognize, but a caveat that the show’s naysayers thought people wouldn’t be able handle.
It’s this: Just because this is a show about homicide, doesn’t mean homicide is the only thing that happens in Detroit.
Just like Law & Order, NYPD Blue, or any of the plethora of cop shows that take place in NYC, it’s just a backdrop, not the norm. Do you stop visiting New York just because Benson & Stabler solved a rape case on last week’s SVU? Sure, there’s crime in New York, but there’s also high fashion, power, and the elite. Hence, shows like Sex and the City and Gossip Girl.
In fact, I’d venture to say that Detroit 1-8-7 has the potential to serve Detroit like Sex and the City served New York — making the city an extra and equally important character. That is, if they get the details right. It’s “pop”, not “soda” in these parts.
So, check out Detroit 1-8-7 and think of it like this. It’s an interesting cop show, with a fabulous backdrop: The D.
And if you still watch it and think about how sad Detroit is, remember this. I live in a place that looks like this. And I have a view that looks like this. And I live squarely within the city limits.
So there, naysayers. It may not all be roses, but it’s not all homicides, either.