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on August 13, 2013
VERY MINOR SPOILERS:

Taken from a 2006 BBC 2-part mini-series. The aforementioned Mark Strong and Lennie James play Detroit cops Frank Andrews and Joe Geddes. Mr. Strong's credentials include everything from "Sherlock Holmes" to "Kick-Ass" while no less impressive, Mr. James is likely best known to US audiences for his 2-year stint on "Jericho".

There is a very good supporting cast, including David Costabile ("The Wire" & "Suits"), Sprague Grayden (Season 7 - "24") and several alumnus from "Generation Kill"

So a cop show set in Detroit? "Detroit 1-8-7" received a score of "63" on Metacritic (review aggregator), while "Low Winter Sun" received a score of "60". However, I like LWS much better than the former. I like the imagery of the Detroit backdrop, the potential for a multi-layered plot, which includes elements of flawed personalities and the "Old School Mafia" versus the "Young Turks". I don't see this as a show that will be easy for someone to fall in love with by virtue of one 43-minute episode. If AMC made a mistake here it was not debuting with double episode.

I say for the acting "chops" alone, give LWS a chance, with the potential to be either upgraded or downgraded a * consistent with the direction of the storylines.
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on September 14, 2013
I needed a show to watch after Breaking Bad and the easiest thing to do is simply not change the channel, and that's how I discovered AMC's newest drama, Low Winter Sun. The show is an adaptation of the novel, Low Winter Sun by Simon Donald and if it sounds familiar to you, that because it has already been turned into a movie, back in 2006. While the show has a great time slot and a star who is already familiar with the role he's playing, the ratings for the show have been low and it's because the show has a lot of bark, but it really doesn't have any bite.

Set in the bankrupt city of Detroit, Low Winter Sun, tells the story of two police detectives, who murdered a third. The dead man, Det. McCann was dirty and was putting the whole department at risk and they did what they had to do. The murder of a cop in Detroit is big news and the Mayor wants it solved by the two best homicide detectives they have, who also happen to be the killers themselves. The men are being watched by internal affairs and the mayor, so they have to make it look like they are really trying to solve the case, but a third party keeps getting in the way. This party who unintentionally keeps popping up, is the mob affiliated group that had McCann on their payroll. Their activities threaten the investigation which could ultimately lead back to the two detectives.

The story makes for a good movie, but if this show is somehow renewed, which direction does it go it? Much like the Killing, this show is centered on one murder, but here the two main characters are the killers. Either they get caught and the series has to start a new in season two or the same story will just keep repeating itself until nobody cares anymore.

The lead in the show is Mark Strong, who also played the lead in the 2006 film. The role calls for a smart, yet emotional character with a scared past, and to me the man just doesn't fit the role. Strong is a big tough guy, who is seemingly emotionless, and while he appears to be a smart cop, he just really doesn't fit or appeal to me as the lead detective.

His partner is played by Lennie James, better know as Robert Hawkins in Jericho. This guy is one of the best law enforcement actor they could have gotten. James has been in a ton of things, always playing some type of law enforcer. He is experience and really terrific in everything he does. If it wasn't for him, I don't know if I'd be watching this show right now.

The cast is rounded out by Sprauge Grayden who has gained some notoriety from the Paranormal Activity films. She is the missing link, caught in the middle between the mob aspect and the cops, having connections to both sides. She's really playing both sides and could ultimately hold the key to what is going to happen, as the first season comes to a close.

Overall, Low Winter Sun isn't bad, but not great either. The story is strong and would make a good movie plot, but it seems like there aren't many places to go after they tell the initial story. The intensity they advertise in the commercials has yet to appear, and the show really doesn't have a way of getting people hooked on the story. I've been watching it because I'm a fan of Lennie James and it's on after Breaking Bad. If it wasn't for the time slot, I probably wouldn't have continued after the first episode and I suspect that others feel the same way, as the show has cancelled written all over it.
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on January 30, 2014
As much a I love Mark Strong, this series is just not one I could connect to. I tried. Several episodes under the belt and the only thought that came to mind was, "Good chance I could find something better to spend money on..." Degenerate cops going after degenerates is not new territory in TV, but I just wanted to see them all go away. A better title might have been, "No Winter Sun". I gave it a '2' for a couple of good actors who chose a bad project, IMO.
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on December 18, 2013
I think a lot of us were optimistic about a new show from AMC that was going to air after Breaking Bad. A cop show set in Detroit with a good cast seemed like a can't miss. But it did miss, badly. The brilliant detectives were never brilliant and the dialogue felt like a caricature of hard-boiled dialogue. One thing that really bothered me was the near complete absence of humor. Look at how another tough show, Sons of Anarchy, uses humor to give some variety to the tone. LWS was just a long, slow journey to nothing.
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on August 22, 2014
This miniseries had its moments but I found Mark Strong a bit too stoic in the role. I am a big film buff and I imagined what William Holden or Burt Lancaster would have done with the role. Part of an actor's tools is not only his body but also his face through which he communicates emotion. Great actors use their facial expressions to convey a lot. I think of Robert Mitchum's reaction to Jane Greer killing Steve Brodie in "Out of the Past", or another perfect example, Marilyn Monroe awakening in the hospital room after having collapsed at the sight of her dead lover in the morgue in "Niagra." Monroe uses no dialogue but her reaction to hearing the church bells that awaken her in the hospital room is brilliant acting from an actress more remembered for comedic roles. Although I like Mark Strong, his portrayal was more like something Arnold Schwarzenegger would have done and, lets face it, Arnold is not a gifted actor.
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on September 28, 2013
VERY MINOR SPOILERS:

Taken from a 2006 BBC 2-part mini-series. The aforementioned Mark Strong and Lennie James play Detroit cops Frank Andrews and Joe Geddes. Mr. Strong's credentials include everything from "Sherlock Holmes" to "Kick-Ass" while no less impressive, Mr. James is likely best known to US audiences for his 2-year stint on "Jericho".

There is a very good supporting cast, including David Costabile ("The Wire" & "Suits"), Sprague Grayden (Season 7 - "24") and several alumnus from "Generation Kill"

So a cop show set in Detroit? "Detroit 1-8-7" received a score of "63" on Metacritic (review aggregator), while "Low Winter Sun" received a score of "60". However, I like LWS much better than the former. I like the imagery of the Detroit backdrop, the potential for a multi-layered plot, which includes elements of flawed personalities and the "Old School Mafia" versus the "Young Turks". I don't see this as a show that will be easy for someone to fall in love with by virtue of one 43-minute episode. If AMC made a mistake here it was not debuting with double episode.

I say for the acting "chops" alone, give LWS a chance, with the potential to be either upgraded or downgraded a * consistent with the direction of the storylines.
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on July 21, 2015
Really great show that was poorly advertised and poorly placed (after The Walking Dead on AMC); great cast, writing & acting- the music in the episodes was good too.
Only complaints would be the theme song was terrible & didn't fit the show's dark them or style at all- should've done something similar to the ambient, instrumental stuff that permeated the show.
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on September 7, 2013
Can't say I watch this one too easily, however, since Mark Strong is the lead and it does have a compelling storyline, I have been keeping up with it from week to week. Unfortunately only the second episode really grabbed me, so I am waiting for it to happen again which it probably will do. The problem is that this is so dark and sometimes gets so ponderous that I want to take a nap even during a murder. It hasn't been on for all that long, so with any luck it will be able to pull itself together and give us what we are all looking for. An exciting, thoughtful piece of "Noir". The only thing is when you are filming things noirish in color, producers and directors make the mistake of forgetting that their are colors out there and they can make something noirish exciting and real. "Chinatown" and "The Late Show" which are two of the best mysteries ever made were both in color. One had Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway while the other had Art Carney and Lili Tomlin. One dealt with glamour and political corruption and the other dealt with little nobodies solving a group of murders of lowlife individuals by lowlife individuals. Both were startling and held your interest and had guts. That's what this needs.
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on September 1, 2013
I'm a fan of Lennie James from the Walking Dead and Jericho. However, this series really doesn't do it for me. It's kind of hard to follow and the plot is just not that interesting to me. The basis for the series is a deceased dirty cop who is being invested by Internal Affairs. It seems to me there are no good guys in this one. Everybody is corrupt - so it's hard to root for anyone. I really don't have a vested interest in any of the characters at this point (like I did with "Morgan" when he first appeared in TWD). Also, I don't like the continual flashbacks. Other viewers may enjoy it, but the flow is slightly weird to me. On a separate note, I applaud Amazon for offering this on a "pay as you go" plan. Since I don't have AMC, I'm currently using this method to pay for The Walking Dead episodes as well as Breaking Bad. But I've decided this is one show I can live without.
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on June 25, 2016
Awesome series. Strange ending. Hard to believe their wasn't a second season. Would've dug that.

Story of a dirty cop with a good heart set in the crumbling streets of Detroit. Interesting characters and conflicts all the way around. Really enjoyed it.
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