TV: Detroiters - S02 E01 & E02 - Reviewed

I should fully admit this up front: I was wrong about Detroiters when I originally reviewed the pilot for The Movie Sleuth over a year ago. I had no idea what to expect from the show, nor did I fully understand what kind of show it wanted to be. It is at once both simple and complicated to describe, but I’ll try my best: Detroiters is a show for Detroiters made by Detroiters. Unapologetically, however flawed or not flawed, that is what it is. 

Starring Sam Richardson and Tim Robinson as Sam Duvet and Tim Cramblin, respectively, the show focuses on the duo’s ongoing attempts to succeed in the ever-challenging world of advertising in the Motor City, oftentimes with hilarious results. How these two ever turn a profit is a question better left unanswered, yet the season two premiere, “April in the D,” focuses on Cramblin Duvet’s rivalry with the real-life Detroit ad agency Doner, and Doner’s attempts to purchase the company after a successful “hot streak.” In other words, in the year plus since the season one finale, things have slightly turned around for Sam and Tim, to the point where they’re given an opportunity to have all of Doner’s resources at their disposal. What they do, ultimately, shouldn’t be a surprise, but let’s just say that hilarity ensues. 

“April in the D” also takes a laugh-out-loud turn when Sam and Tim’s elderly secretary, Sheila (Pat Vern Harris) gets a D.U.I. and must find a lawyer to represent her. Sam and Tim naturally pick the worst lawyer in Detroit, Walt Worsch (played perfectly by Tim Meadows), who “tries his best” in every case. The episode itself parodies Detroit’s unfortunate penchant for personal injury lawyer ads that blanket nearly every local channel, especially in the morning. It is, in other words, quite brilliant, and something that any Detroiter is sure to get a kick out of. 

Episode two, “Jefferson Porger,” looks at the ramifications – good and bad – of placing Sam in an add instead of letting him remain behind the camera and the resulting ego and jealousy from Tim. The episodes “B story” focuses on Sheila’s attempts to prove she’s not a bigot when she makes a lesbian joke to Lea (Lailani Ledesma), only to later find out that Lea is, in fact, a lesbian. Her attempts to over-compensate are played perfectly, and it’s fun to see some of the supporting characters share more of the spotlight, at least within the season’s first two episodes. 

Detroiters has a lot of heart and a true love and appreciation for our beloved city. My only concern is that a show made for and about Detroiters may not have the wide-ranging audience it deserves, but that’s hardly a critique of the show itself. I just don’t want it to get cancelled due to poor ratings. I’m so glad this show is back for a second season and look forward to the ongoing specific-to-Detroit references. It’s an unapologetic love letter to our city and very funny as a result.

To anyone within the sound of my voice: WATCH THIS SHOW NOW. 

--Matt Giles