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Detroit 1-8-7: Season 1

94 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Aug 30, 2011)
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No enhanced packaging
$9.90 $4.96
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

What does it take to be a detective in one of America’s toughest cities? Follow one homicide unit as Detroit’s finest reveal the crisis and revelation, heartbreak and heroism that characterize these inner city cops in Season 1 of Detroit 1-8-7. Headed by Lieutenant Maureen Mason, a strong-willed single mom struggling to balance home and work, the team is made up of quite the firing squad. There’s the damaged but driven Detective Louis Fitch (Michael Imperioli) along with his new partner, Detective Damon Washington. Detective Ariana Sanchez is the sexy and beautiful rising star in the department who teams up with narcotics undercover cop John Stone. Last but not least, Sergeant Jesse Longford is the 30-year veteran who forms an amusing match of experience and enthusiasm with his partner, Detective Vikram Mahajan, a fully Americanized son of Indian immigrants.

Disc 1 – approx 213 minutes
1. Pilot
2. Local Hero/Overboard
3. Nobody's Home/Unknown Soldier
4. Royal Bubbles/Needle Drop
5. Murder in Greektown/High School Confidential

Disc 2 – approx 215 minutes
6. Lost Child/Murder 101
7. Broken Engagement/Trashman
8. Déjà Vu/All In
9. Home Invasion/Drive-By
10. Shelter

Disc 3 – approx 172 minutes
11. Ice Man/Malibu
12. Key To The City
13. Road To Nowhere
14. Beaten/Cover Letter

Disc 4 – approx 171 minutes
15. Legacy/Drag City
16. Stone Cold
17. Motor City Blues
18. Blackout

Finding an audience for a new network-TV cop show has always been an upstream swim, and it gets harder every season to hook an audience with the right combination of character study and police procedural. Detroit 1-8-7 very nearly clicked, but ABC pulled its plug after one season when its battle against the current of ratings and critical opinion drowned the show. It's too bad there wasn't more time for Detroit 1-8-7 to settle into its own, because there's plenty to like in this 18-episode package. The concept started as a fake ride-along reality show with the homicide squad of an inner-city precinct in crumbling downtown Detroit. ABC scuttled the premise (though there are a few leftovers of what the style might have been in the first two episodes) and redirected the format into an old-school, gritty, tough-talking profile of the detectives, the grisly murders they clean up, and the messy personal lives that intertwine with the job. The jittery, kinetic, handheld style that's become pretty much the standard of modern cop shows is employed efficiently in bringing Detroit to life. The show was filmed on location and uses the blighted city's urban decay to great effect, making Detroit a primary character in itself. The other star of Detroit 1-8-7 is Michael Imperioli as Det. Louis Fitch, a grizzled veteran with a 1,000-yard stare and a knack for police work that is clearly his only interest in life. The show largely is Imperioli and it wouldn't even have lasted as long as it did without his authoritative presence and charismatic influence. There's a mystery behind Fitch that worms its way through the season. It's a secret he's carrying that drove him out of New York, where he first drew accolades as an uncompromising cop with morals of steel and a will to win. In fact each character has a thematic arc that stretches across all 18 episodes, some of which are intermingled. Second to Imperioli in making the show crackle is James McDaniel, who brings the cred of his years playing Lt. Fancy on NYPD Blue (the show to which this and all other aspiring cop dramas bow down) as the lifer looking forward to retirement with excitement and trepidation. Fitch's new partner is a rookie detective named Washington (Jon Michael Hill) who often suffers the brunt of Fitch's cranky moods (he also has the bad luck to get shot on his first day). The squad is rounded out by the beautiful, tough-as-nails Det. Sanchez (Natalie Martinez); Det. Stone (D.J. Cotrona), a hunky ex-narcotics officer who's carrying a bounty on his head; the suave, womanizing Indian-American Det. Mahajan (Shaun Majumder); and Lt. Maureen Mason (Aisha Hinds), the boss who runs her squad with firm, convincing expertise. The very nature of the cop show configuration brings a stocklike quality to ensembles that really can't be helped. But the acting and interaction here is of a consistently high quality and the scripts back them up with plausible crime-scene scenarios. The show is also improved by the kind of personal asides that augment character development without intruding on the kind of realism Detroit 1-8-7 is trying to capture. In addition to the scored musical cues, the episodes are packed with pop songs that are heavy on soul, contemporary rock, and classic R&B, also adding to the urgent sense of street-wise. The DVD package is completely bare bones with no special features or commentary tracks. Fortunately, the episodes speak for themselves, both individually and as a collection that tells the compelling and believable story of a cop shop and its grey-shaded shopkeepers. As a final aside, Detroit 1-8-7 is one of those shows that suffers more than most from the strictures of network standards and practices and the FCC. Because the production is so vibrantly realistic, it rings more glaringly false when the dialogue is limited to TV-approved bad words. The only thing that sometimes feels disingenuous about these cops and criminals is the way they talk. Who knows how Detroit 1-8-7 could have flourished if it had found a home on cable? --Ted Fry

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Imperioli, Jon Michael Hill, Erin Cummings
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: ABC
  • DVD Release Date: August 30, 2011
  • Run Time: 792 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003UD7J3A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,019 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Detroit 1-8-7: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Lady Raven RAVE! VINE VOICE on February 15, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
This is another good cop show. I love that they are not focus on one set of cops but the division. It has a feel of The shield and Law and Order without the Order, it tackles 2 story lines/murder mystery a episode instead of one throughout the episode. The season has been going good for a while and hope it comes back for a second season. Also have to say Michael Imperioli is holding his own and is doing some good acting in this show, he did a couple of episodes of law and order a few years back so I'm not surprise, good job to him and the cast.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By aussietvhobbyist on April 13, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I like my television drama (especially when it is well produced; written; and cast.) ABCs "Detroit 1-8-7" is new to our primetime schedule here in Australia - currently being aired on Seven/Prime, and the pilot episode was enough to get me hooked. With David Zabel, of "ER" fame involved in its production, I am not surprised by its exceptional creative visual and sound quality. The show's documentary style of filmmaking and soundtrack captures the perfect tone of Detroit - similar to how "Law & Order" and "NYPD Blue" captured the tone of New York City; "Homicide: Life On The Street" captured the tone of Baltimore; and "SouthLAnd" captured the tone of south-central Los Angeles, "Detroit 1-8-7" is another new show in the line, including CBSs "Blue Bloods" and NBCs "Harry's Law" giving me such great viewing pleasure. Indeed, it appears we may be heading into a revival of what Robert J. Thompson has defined as the Second Golden Age of Television Drama. I'll applaud and throw bouquets if it gets a DVD release!!!!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By AcousticEdge on May 20, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's too bad that ABC placed the show in a tough time slot, gave it minimal promotion and kept preempting it on the schedule. Then they end up showing the "season finale" which ended up being the end of the series on a Sunday night.

This was a pretty good show in the beginning and by the time it ended it was great. Great writing, great acting, great look, great use of music.

It's over now. I will miss it and I doubt that ABC will come up with anything better. If this ever becomes available on DVD buy it, I will. If it ever shows up on a cable channel support it and watch it. You will not be sorry. It deserves another shot although I doubt it will get one.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Powell on June 1, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Detroit 1-8-7 was my favorite TN show. I'm sorry that it will not be returning. The stories were more interesting than usual. But I especially enjoyed the development of the characters. I will miss them.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bekindtoall on June 8, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Detroit 1-8-7" was the best crime drama to come along in a good while on TV. Set and filmed on location in Detroit, the show follows the working and personal lives of a squad of homicide detectives. The characters are interesting and realistic, not the typical gun-brandishing overblown egos we see on many other cop shows. Michael Imperioli shines in the lead role as Detective Louis Fitch, a wily and "fascinatingly odd man" who is well-respected by his peers and who has the highest case closure rate in his division. The show carries itself on engaging story lines that focus on more than just solving homicide cases, without resorting to unrealistic stunts, car chases, flashy hot rods, bikini-clad women or high-tech gadgets. The show is really more about the characters, their lives as law enforcement officers, and the difficult choices their job often forces them to make. As Season One unfolds, their personal stories become quite compelling. If you want to see a cop show that finally comes close to showing us what a real-life detective's life might be like, this is the one to watch. Too bad ABC executives didn't have the good judgment to keep it around longer. We only got 18 episodes for Season One. If another channel picks up "Detroit 1-8-7" with its excellent cast, I will surely continue to support this well-written, well-acted show.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By maidindetroit on August 31, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In Detroit we have been accustomed to being a national joke, a version of "kick the can" where the city is viewed as a pathetic spot on the Detroit River mired in despair, scandal, and a freakishly-high homicide rate. We were worried that this show on ABC would kick us again. But instead, based on the strength of 18 episodes now pulled together on the DVD, it is evident that the writers, producers, directors, actors, and crew were less interested in knocking Detroit and more interested in beautifully illustrating the complex, multi-layered American urban landscape that many of us actually love. The stories were personal and true (the episode on the 1967 Detroit riots a case in point) and fictionalized to keep us watching a human drama from the first opening moments to the closing seconds (usually heightened by a choice of local music that became one of the best TV series soundtracks in recent years). The cast of actors was remarkable in that it was a true-to-form mix of ethnicities and genders. Though the talent level was uneven, the lead actors -- Michael Imperioli and James McDaniel -- were thoroughbreds in that stable. The thing is, ABC botched the way this show should have been promoted. They jerked it around from week to week, cut their losses early, and left the fans hanging. Okay. It's a business. But here's where it left us, the fans: Wanting more. The writing & acting were so good, particularly with these 2 characters, that viewers still ask, "What's next for Fitch and Longford? Is Fitch really interested in Arianna? Will Longford's experience end up being a problem for him as technology and the younger detectives try to leave him in the dust? Will these 2 ever connect as lead horses or will they find themselves fighting over something we can only imagine?Read more ›
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