I don’t review TV shows that often, mostly because I hate writing them. People have widely varying opinions on TV and I know, from personal experience, I hardly ever agree with critics. The Chicago Code is the exception. Why? Because it is the best new show on TV this season.
The best thing about TCC is the casting. Jason Clarke is excellent as the main detective, Jarek Wysocki, tapped to fight corruption in The Windy City. I’ve been a fan of his since first seeing him on Showtime’s under appreciated Brotherhood and thought he was great in Public Enemies as well as his small part in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. His character’s love for the Sox and hate for profanity allow for some fun dialogue with his partner (after partner after partner) and criminals. In a world of corrupt cops and city officials, he’s the shining light trying to guide people (including the police officer niece he raised) to do what’s right. It’s in the opening scene where we see how well he does this when, in a high speed chase, he convinces a criminal to drop his gun and surrender without a fight.
Jennifer Beals is also a good fit for the show. She plays the first female superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, Clarke’s character’s new boss. She has only been on the job for 6 months but has strong ambitions. After seeing what corruption in the police department, government, and criminal world did to her family, she’s vowed to put an end to it. A monumental task to be sure.
The third major character which makes this show such a delight is the one played by Delroy Lindo. Lindo plays Alderman Ronin Gibbons, a man said to be more powerful than the mayor. In the pilot episode we see this is true as it turns out he is behind a lot of the corruption we see.
The last major character in the show is Chicago herself. The Chicago Code does a great job of using shots from around the city, much like USA’s White Collar, Royal Pains, and Fairly Legal do with their settings. The scenery makes the show so much more authentic and it’s great seeing cops out on the beat and not constantly in the police station or interrogation rooms.
I’m not usually a fan of cop shows, but the great cast, setting, and fast pace set The Chicago Code above the rest. Honestly, I’ve not seen anything this good on network TV in a long time. I hope Fox (and viewers) stay with it. This will definitely become one of the shows I look forward to every week when it airs on Mondays after House (9 Eastern, 8 Central). If you missed the pilot, watch it on Hulu. You won’t be disappointed.