Hopefully you won't have a difficult time recovering from the Super Bowl festivities, because FOX is keeping the party going with two brand new shows to start off the week. Tonight brings the premiere of the new crime drama, The Chicago Code, at 9pm. Though I will admit that there are plenty of crime dramas out there at the moment, if what I saw in the pilot is just the beginning, The Chicago Code will have no trouble standing out from the crowd.
In Chicago there is no shortage of corruption. Growing up, Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals, The Book of Eli) witnessed this corruption first hand as her father's family business was bled dry by countless payoffs. Now as the Superintendent of the Chicago Police Force, Teresa Colvin is determined to clean up her city by any means necessary. Unfortunately that means upsetting some very powerful people including Alderman Gibbons (Delroy Lindo, Up), the man who unofficially runs Chicago. With her former partner Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clark, Public Enemies), Teresa Colvin is prepared to risk her job and her life for the city that she loves.
Where The Chicago Code differs from the rest of its brood is in its story. Though it appears as though the series will play out on a case by case basis, there is a much broader story taking place on top of it all. There is a well defined villain at the center of everything, and the protagonists will be after him at every turn. The pilot briefly touches on the personal life of Wysocki but no one else so I'm not sure how much these characters will be developed outside of their working environment. Considering how much fun it is to watch Wysocki solve cases, however, I don't know if seeing him off the clock could possibly make him more likeable.
The Chicago Code may also be one of the most well produced television series' I have seen in a while. The cinematography is fantastic from shots of the skyline to simple close ups. There is one scene in particular in this pilot involving Alderman Gibbons that conveys so much emotion and drama with almost no dialog whatsoever thanks to some perfectly placed cameras. Thankfully this attention to detail is not wasted as all the actors deliver fantastic performances. I have a small problem with the writing in one scene that I hope doesn't carry through to the rest of the season, but other than that this show appears to be flawless.
Of all of the pilots I have reviewed over the past couple of years, very few of the ones I've recommended have remained in my weekly schedule (mostly due to outside forces). The Chicago Code, however, may be one of those rare TV series' that I will actually make time for every week. I am beyond intrigued as to how this story will play out and I hope audiences will support this show so I can find out. The Chicago Code premieres tonight (February 7th) at 9pm on FOX. You definitely don't want to miss this one.
Friday, February 12, 2016, Watertown, NY