I am almost hesitant to admit that last night, Fox premiered one of the best new shows this season, The Chicago Code, because let’s face it the last time people said Fox had the best new show of the season (Lone Star)it ended up getting canceled after two episodes and it too premiered right after House . However, the difference between Lone Star and The Chicago Code, is that Lone Star didn’t premier the night after the Super Bowl (which also aired on Fox) and it wasn’t promoted to death like The Chicago Code was. Still, that doesn’t mean it won’t get bad ratings, but if this show gets the ratings Lone Star received, I will be fully convinced that the average NIELSEN viewer is dumber than a rock. I have now watched the pilot twice and I must say, that even with a couple of kinks, this show has great potential and delivered a solid hour of drama and breathed new life into the cop drama.
The show revolves around Teresa Colvin (the lovely and talented Jennifer Beals, The L Word), the superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, and her new unauthorized task force to battle corruption and greed in Chicago, a mighty big task some might say. From the get go, even though there is a little bit of beating around the bush, you find out who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. The bad guys, or guy, are headed by Aldernman Ronin Gibbons (Delroy Lindo), the man who got Teresa into power as Superintendent and he isn’t afraid to remind her of that. However, what he doesn’t know is that she watched as corruption in Chicago ruined her family and that at a young age, she vowed that she would one day get justice. So, 6 months after becoming Superintendent, Teresa enlists the help of her former partner, Jerek Wysocki (Jason Clarke in creating a special, unauthorized, task force designed at ridding Chicago of its greed and corruption.
It is a mighty premise but one that is filled with a lot of potential. I am already interested in every main character on this show. I like that the show’s main character is a strong independent woman who has risen to power respectfully. From the first 20 minutes of the episode you get the sense that though there are corrupted officials who believe they can walk all over her, there are more people who trust and respect her. Yes, she is attractive, but with Teresa there’s more than meets the eye and it helps that Jennifer Beals is an extremely talented actress who can portray these features excellently.
Jason Clarke is also great as Wysocki, Teresa’s old partner who since, has had trouble keeping a new partner for longer than 8 seconds. He’s rough yet charismatic and Clarke plays the character very well. It also helps that he has good chemistry with both Beals and the partner that finally sticks, Caleb Evers who is played by the amazing Matt Lauria (the amazing Luke Caffery from Friday Night Lights. I love Matt Lauria and I am glad he gets the chance for us to see a new side of him now that FNL is now over.) Caleb and Wysocki seem like they will develop a pretty awesome bromance. It helps that they are clarified that one is a White Sox fan (Wysocki) and the other is a Cubs fan (Caleb.) That spat they had about the two teams in the middle of that raid seemed pretty authentic to the rivalry that occurs in Chicago baseball. Their spat really brought some life to who these characters will become and how Chicago as a city, has made them who they are.
Then there is Delroy Lindo as our villain, Alderman Ronin Gibbons, the most powerful man in Chicago according to Wysocki. I like where they are going with his character, he reminds me of Arvin Slone from Alias; someone who is so charismatic and charming yet so terrifying and someone who you don’t want to cross because you WILL end up dead. He adds that extra layer to this show that makes you want to stay with it and see where it ends up. This type of character is hard to master, just look at Xander Berkley as Percy on Nikita, I think they wanted him to be like Gibbons, yet to me anyways, he doesn’t have that spark. Delroy Lindo has that spark and he will be someone that I certainly will love to hate.
As I said the show has a ton of potential and though the episode started off a little slow and confusing, it picked up greatly and even left us on our seats towards the end. When Antonio, Teresa’s mentee, got shot saving her that certainly left me wanting more, even if the voiceover did bug me a little bit. Which brings me to a question, are the voiceovers completely necessary? I loved the flashbacks, but I kind of wonder if they should just leave the voiceovers to the beginning and end of the episodes like they do on Greys, because sometimes, it can get to be a little much. So let’s hope that they tone down a bit.
Anyways, after last night’s off episode of Gossip Girl, I think this show will be my go-to 9pm Monday night show, given that the ratings are good(which apparently were ok but not great, this can’t be good. So yeah, Nielsen viewers really are dumber than rocks.) I loved how the show concluded the pilot, with Wysocki, Teresa, and Caleb in the car driving from the hospital. What did everyone else think? Were the accents annoying? I saw some complaints on twitter last night that they didn’t like them but I think some people don’t realize that Beals is from Chicago and I forgive Clarke because he’s Australian and probably doesn’t know any better. But other than the accents and the voiceovers, this show turned out to be pretty great. It wrapped up the episode nicely and left me wanting to come back next week.