Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Detroit 1-8-7/Glee/Raising Hope/Running Wilde

Detroit 1-8-7 echoes, in a positive way, the grittiness and quirkiness of the seminal 80's cop show Hill Street Blues. The pilot presented a similar cross section of interesting characters in unique partnerships handling murders on the mean streets of the titular city. Michael Imperioli leads a uniformly engaging cast with the first episode sketching out character tics and partnership vibes (some in sync, others definitely not) and, like Hill Street's first episode, the pilot even ends with a poignant and shocking tragedy that will undoubtedly color the proceedings going forward.

If the various threads of the pilot dovetailed together a bit too glibly...and they did...Detroit 1-8-7 is still a drama that bears watching as it unfolds. It has the potential to become a great cop show.

On the other end of the entertainment spectrum, the season premiere of Glee was full of the same soapy, entertaining mix of music, pathos, absurdity, and angst (both teenage and adult) that made the first season such a breakout treat. The formula still works wonderfully (and next week, the much-hyped Britney Spears episode will put that formula to the test) and if the focus remains on the Glee Club (and on the undeniable force of acerbic nature that is Jane Lynch's Sue Sylvester) they seem primed to have a successful sophomore season.

Fox's two new Tuesday night comedies...Raising Hope (which seems to be trying, a bit too self-consciously, to tap into the Malcolm in the Middle vibe) and Running Wilde (feeling like they're going for the audience who adored the critically acclaimed, but ratings challenged, Arrested Development) got off to rocky starts with just enough laughs to (partially) overcome some awkward setups and make them both perhaps worth at least another look (but only just barely to be honest) to see if they can find surer footing moving on down the line. We shall see.

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