6 - Tuesday, September 28, 2010
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
Nostalgia is subjective
"Yes sir. He hasn't moved in over three hours.
The D's big TV filmed in Detroit, that doesn't
scream convention - tired,
ment gets ruined defeated convention. Michael
Imperioli ("The Sopranos") plays
terrible writing Louis Fitch, a jaded veteran
homicide detective. Embodying a
By IMRAN SYED predictable persona seen in ahun-
DailyArts Writer dred other shows before, Fitch is
- ---a rude, demanding, quirky loner
re are two kinds of cop who bristles at the thought of
in the world - those that working with a young, inexperi-
before "The Wire" and enced partner.
that came Alongside Fitch are a handful of
Before, TV * other detectives, racially diverse,
dramas and all quite capable of spout-
get away Detroit 1-8-7 ing off tidbits of lame, over-baked
simplis- native "wisdom" that would make
characters Tuesdays real Detroiters cringe ("Fight 'em
tories and at10 p.m. here so we don't have to fight'em in
h, easy ABC Ferndale;" "This is why you don't
ins neatly go looking for bullets in Detroit;"
ged into each self-contained "We may be the last assembly line
e (any CBS drama is a good left in Detroit"). Together they
le). But "The Wire" com- fight crime and close cases - with
redefined what the genre the same mind-numbing, super-
and should be. ficial, hackneyed commotion you
his new world, even network might find in any number of reruns
are held to higher stan- on USA, FX or TBS.
and "Detroit 1-8-7" fails to The pilot episode sets the for-
:hose standards - just like mat of the show: Each episode
hings in the real-life Detroit will feature two separate crimes,
Department, whose now- being investigated by two separate
t crime lab, for example, detective teams. While there was
d evidence testing for years, once supposed to be a documenta-
g countless false convic- ry format to the show (a dramatic
twist on the technique employed
re's very little about the in "The Office," I imagine), that
which is set and will be had to be abandoned. What was
left behind in the pilot was a rather
boring story feverishly told, with
an overbearing soundtrack that
would make Michael Bay proud
(not a good thing).
There is, I suppose, enough
here to create a good show,
should the writers and produc-
ers decide they want to present a
complete, thorough drama that
looks at characters as players in a
grand conception (which need not
always open and close with each
episode). Such was the majesty of
"The Wire:" Characters were built
up to the point where simple plot
points no longer drove the show.
Admittedly judging only from the
first episode, it seems that "Detroit
1-8-7" has no interest in being that
type of show.
All this said, it would be wrong
to overlook the show's ambitious
undertaking, even if the first epi-
sode is hardly worth watching.
Setting and filming a cop show in
Detroit may be thematically per-
fect, but it's also a monumental
impracticality that ABC must be
commended for backing. The pilot
episode was shot in Atlanta (with
limited re-shoots in Detroit), but
the producers plan do all future
filming in Detroit.
Perhaps with the authentic set-
ting will also come a deeper, rich-
er, more creative show in future
usic used to be better.
I hate hearing that.
Not only because it
sounds hopelessly geriatric, but
because it's wrong.
comes to -
the last 40
and enjoyment JOE
of pop more DIMUZIO
not only prevents us from under-
standing and enjoyingimusic,
but locks us out of engaging with
popular culture at large. Opinion
is a classic American pastime,
but when we commit to a quick
judgment without actually giving
music our time, ears and effort,
it's easy to embrace a hardened
sense of self-righteous damna-
It's easy to point at Boomers
for this sort of entitlement, and
even easier when they grew up
in an era with a wide array of
talented singers, songwriters and
performers who were popular.
The mid-'60s and early'70s are
frequently reminisced upon and
painted as an untouchable, golden
pinnacle of pop music - apin-
nacle that no period beyond it has
But comparing the pop music
scene of the '60s and early '70s
to the pop music of today is like
comparing a 12-pack of crayons
to a thousand-piece art set. It's
Consider the market structure
of your standard American town
50 years ago. How would your
parents consume music? Radio
and television were expand-
ing and record stores were the
only place you could buy music.
Assuming you lived in one town
for a good period of time, the
record store, radio and TV were
about as far as you could go.
Since the corporate expansion
of the music industry, the compli-
on its o
ties it d
and variety of music have When the "rock lens" becomes
ed. What was once a musi- scripture, it condemns the quali-
ame has become every- ties of music that offer different
kdvertising, dancers, the things to different listeners.
- the market expanded not Then there's the snob. The
usically, but exponentially person whose taste is set in stone,
e trajectory of modern whose arbitrary decisions on
nications. The range and what is "real music" prevents
of recorded popular music them from admitting or even
however objectified, varies tryingto enjoy songs that are
any standard of the'60s popular.
s. There's more of it, more I love Katy Perry's "Teenage
more styles and more than Dream" without irony. It's not
ord store, radio station or the most "melodic" pop song.
bsite could ever hope to It doesn't scare me or provoke
rize. much thought. It's predict-
the capitalization of able. And yet I love how cold it
mean that talented artists sounds. I love the bombast of its
et their due? Sure. Does production. I think the video is
rket take the pretty over sexy. The chorus has no regard
anted? Of course. Is good for subtlety. It sounds great
gnored? Certainly. But blasted on the radio. I can accept
t always been? The men- its faults, and understand why
hat music is worse than someone could hate it, but that
fore seems to ignore the doesn't stand in the way of the
fact that it is vastly dif- sugar rush it provides.
And as much as I enjoy pop
"rock lens" is a sort of radio, in any time, I strongly
ity that ruins pop. It's believe that to be a true pop
eptance of a set of values music fan, aside from casting
state what a"good song" aside generalization, you have
t "good music" is. What to work hard. If you truly enjoy
the pleasures that pop music
provides, you have to spend some
time exploring. We have the abil-
The music ity to access just about any kind
of music we want now, and to find
what truly turns you on takes a
exploded,little bit of effort. You have to find
songs that make you uncomfort-
able. That challenge you. Spend
some time with the songs that
" Plenty of white people you hate at first, or the songs that
ked to about hip hop break down your idea of what
in that it isn't "melodic music can be.
." There isn't enough Of course, this doesn't even
ianship." They don't consider the world of music at
songs." Problem is, they're large. Opera. Classical. William
ng the music with the Basinski. Songs you sing while
ity of rock. Songs should washing the dishes. In the end,
elodies. They should have the most condemning failure of
res, or singing or "devel- all is to forget that music is sim-
t." They should "rock." ply complex. Pop music is a tiny
hip hop is hip hop. It's an facet of that, and in the end itis as
y different genre of pop subjective as any other art form.
one that has to be taken Whether we'd like it to be or not.
wn terms. It's like asking
game to read likea book.
n't knock a genre for quali-
.oesn't inherently possess.
Dimuzio was way better in
the early '70s. To see him now,
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RELEASE DATE- Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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