Ken Tucker
September 28, 1990 AT 04:00 AM EDT

DEA

type
TV Show
Current Status
In Season
run date
09/07/90
broadcaster
Fox
genre
Crime, Drama

We gave it a C-

This hyped-up cops-and-pushers show was created by Richard DiLello, who romanticized radio talk-show hosts so successfully with Midnight Caller. Here, DiLello lionizes Drug Enforcement Administration agents.

The show contains the usual good-guys-vs.-bad-guys plots, with stakeouts, bullets, bullhorns, and busts, but DEA tries to distinguish itself as a visual spectacle. The series is a frenetic jumble of filmmaking styles and techniques, using hand-held cameras, jump-cuts, freeze-frames, 16-millimeter film, and Super-8 videotape, all to disguise the fact that DEA is just Dragnet with a drug habit. The heroes are a motley group of slightly older-than-usual hunks (21 Geritol Street?); their acting is nearly as wooden as Jack Webb’s. C-

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