THE CHICAGO CODE
Let me begin by thanking The TV Girl for this great opportunity. There is clearly no love lost between myself and Glee and since a majority of Americans have decided to make the show and its ridiculous plot lines and daytime acting an ever present stain on the wrestling mat of life, I have no choice but to inform people of the error of their ways.
So when I heard that The TV Girl wanted me to write about this and when I heard Glee was airing an entire Justin Beiber-centric episode, I thought, “HOLY SH*&! The world needs this now.”
A disclaimer: Please excuse some of my grammatical errors and poorly formed sentences. It’s been a while since I’ve written anything.
So what I was doing while you assailed your ears: watching The Chicago Code (CC).
The promos for this show were weak but Fox has never been the greatest at promoting shows meant to serve as mid-season replacements. Despite this, The Chicago Code is legit, entertaining, well-crafted and has great potential. I’ve heard some folks compare it to The Wire but I’ll go right ahead and debunk that even though I’ve never even seen The Wire. The CC will never be like The Wire because it airs on Fox and because it lacks the grittiness and depth that HBO shows can do and network television cannot.
The Chicago Code centers on a homicide detective, Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke), his former partner now Superintendent of Police Chief Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals), his new partner Caleb Evers (Matt Lauria) as they struggle to tackle corruption in Chicago orchestrated by a deliciously evil Alderman Ronin Gibbons (Delroy Lindo). The plot is relatively simple and pretty standard for a cop drama. Colvin has recently become the first female Superintendent of Police--higher than Chief ranking although I’m still confused about that part--and has made it her goal to take down Gibbons who she rightfully suspects is the root of all corruption and violence that permeates the city. She enlists her old partner, Jarek Wysocki, a sort of local hero for reasons unknown and a good cop, to help her with Gibbons. Det. Wysocki is at first hesitant; he has a niece in the force and his brother was killed in the line of duty but after an attack on Colvin’s life, he changes his mind and decides to fight the good fight.
This show has great potential. Not only does it do an excellent job of showcasing my city (yes, I am based in Chicago) but does not limit itself to long sweeping aerial views of the skyline; rather it utilizes the neighborhoods and films in them as opposed to around them. I’ve often heard that the city is a much a character as the actors themselves and I have no doubt that Chicago will make me proud.
The characters. Only two episodes in and I already genuinely care about each of them. I can attribute this to one man: Shawn Ryan. For those who don’t know, Mr. Ryan was the creator of Terriers, one of my favorite TV shows that unfortunately met an early death that I’m still not over. If you’ve seen Terriers, you know that Mr. Ryan writes characters and relationships better than anyone. The Chicago Code is no exception. Jarek Wysocki is clearly going to have issues. His father was a cop who was a legitimate hero, he is divorced and has a 27 year old fiancee but still finds time to sleep with his ex under the nose of his son, who strikes me as unruly. Yet, you care about this hardened man who has an extreme distaste for profanity, so much so that he fires one partner early on for his repeated use of the word "hell". His second partner, the adorable Matt Lauria is a joy to watch onscreen. The world loves to hate a villan and Delroy Lindo plays it to absolute perfection. You get the sense that the man really has no soul at all; even ordering his secretary to kiss him oozes evil, evil charm.
The only slight annoyance with the show is Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals). Perhaps it’s the whole “woman in a high position of power feels she has to get in everyones face to prove that she deserves to be there” but the act borderlines on grating when you realize that she is probably going to do that bit for the remainder of the season. But I give props to Jennifer Beals (girl is 47. 47!), she is a good actress and perhaps she can give more depth to this character.
I worry a little about the plot. There are only so many times the characters can exclaim in exasperation, “Oh, the corruption. It’s the Alderman,” without the rest of the world catching on, yet it allows for new characters to be thrown in the mix and multiple twists to be played out. But then again, network cop dramas are not exactly known for their intricate plots.
I could go on and on but I don’t want to spoil it for you. It’s exciting to see where this show will go and, so far, reception has been good but I’ve never put much faith in the (mainstream) critics. So, enjoy The Chicago Code and think of me every time you see that magnificent skyline.