A Spike TV series (oddly enough, produced by "Today Show" weatherman Al Roker's production company) that looks somewhat like if "Cops" was filmed by Tony Scott, "DEA" follows DEA agents as they battle the war on drugs on the rough streets of Detroit. The agents are part of a task force called Group 14, and every episode of the series follows along as the group goes through their entire procedure: meetings to discuss what may be awaiting them behind the door of the houses they raid, the raids themselves and the ensuing processing that goes on after the bust.
The other element that the group has to utilize in order to try and get their mission done are the CI's (Confidential Informants), which are busted criminals who have an arrest record and have made their way into the circles that the agents are trying to take down. The agents discuss the uneasy working relationship, as the agents could be hearing what the CI's think they want them to hear. The CI's are given reduced sentences or other benefits for working with the agents to catch/"flip" other criminals - including, as the agents hope, those further up the food chain.
The series is a gritty effort that certainly explores the realities of the job. However, what I was also impressed with is how the series takes viewers into the mindset of the agents, who often have to wait to proceed, such as when a CI is trying to work a deal with a suspect. Graphics and other clips give viewers a look at the strategy and procedure that the agents take while trying to take down a suspect. Episodes are often superbly edited and keep the momentum and intensity going.
Overall, this is a riveting series that takes a fascinating look at one of the country's most dangerous jobs. The set includes all 6 episodes from season 1.
VIDEO: Paramount presents the first season episodes of "DEA" in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Image quality is fine, considering the material (some scenes filmed at night with grainy handheld cameras and what appears to be varying cameras - and different image quality - used to film some of the daylight scenes), with acceptable sharpness and detail in most scenes.
Flaws include some minor shimmering and occasional instances of noise. Otherwise, the presentation looked clean, with no edge enhancement or other additional concerns. Colors appeared natural and accurate, with no smearing.
SOUND: Crisp, clear stereo soundtrack with no distortion or other flaws.
EXTRAS: Full-length episode of "Real Vice Cops: Uncut".
Final Thoughts: "DEA: Detroit" is a powerful, intense documentary series that follows agents into incredibly tense situations. Episodes move at a rapid pace and the series is often riveting. The DVD set provides fine audio/video quality, as well as one extra.