DEA (1990) 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… 1990-09-07 Crime Drama Jenny Gago Miguel Sandoval Fox
TV Review

DEA (1990)

EW's GRADE
C-

Details Start Date: Sep 07, 1990; Genres: Crime, Drama; Network: Fox

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-

Sign up for EW.com's What to Watch Newsletter!

What to watch on TV. Hear what's on tap for the night ahead and get witty, morning after recaps of top shows (sent weekday mornings).
Originally posted Sep 28, 1990 Published in issue #33 Sep 28, 1990 Order article reprints