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2008 TV Shows Reviews

DEA

Drug Enforcement Agents knock down doors and felons hit the floor when Spike TV takes you along for the ride as the DEA conducts risky military style sting operations to bring violent offenders to justice. As the announcer relentlessly intones before the breaks, every bust may have "deadly consequences" and "agents lives are on the line" but these raids are so professionally executed with such air tight precision and well armed teamwork that there's little room for things to go awry.

Apparently our strategy in the so-called 'war on drugs' is to bust small time dealers, get them to flip on their supplier and then the original offender can go free. On episode one, three "dangerous" criminals who were "terrorizing the neighborhood" were released back into the community in order for the officers to move up the pecking chain. And they didn't get very far from the looks of it, some people won't snitch to save their hides.

There's the potential to get to know these DEA agents over time, they are an interesting bunch. The production focuses on the Detroit office of the DEA and I doubt there are busier precincts as the Motor City is awash in guns and drugs with thousands of desperate individuals who will do anything to profit from that situation.

It's a little like watching The Shield (without the graft and womanizing, of course) as the officers use psychological intimidation to get their sketchy but generally cooperative confidential informants to give up their associates.

Funny thing, the blurring on the faces of the snitches is very minimal and the voices aren't changed. If I had done business with any of these individuals I'd recognize them in a second. Don't they realize they're on TV, their homes clearly on display, as they're giving up violent drug dealers? They probably do now...

It's a revealing look behind the scenes but maybe it's our failed drug policy and the Gestapo techniques that left me cold.

DEA debuts on Spike TV Wednesday, April 2nd at 11:00 ET/PT. Watch a video clip here.


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