The Chicago Code Review: Stop the Voiceovers!

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The final 90 seconds of "The Gold Coin Kid" proved that The Chicago Code has potential.

Through a couple conversations between Jarek and Vonda and then Jarek and Caleb, viewers were treated to interesting dynamics between family members and partners. I'm definitely not asking for this to become the police version of Grey's Anatomy, but I've found the character interactions so far to be about a gazillion times more interesting that the trite, predictable cases.

Caleb on the Case

Seriously, did anyone not realize at the time it was happening that Colvin's rant for Wysocki and Evers to stay away from the nightclub was never meant to be followed? I figured it out right away and I didn't even go to Northwestern.

Come on, Caleb. Try to be as insightful inside an office as you are on the street.

There was nothing unusual or original about the case of the week, which might be expected if I went into The Chicago Code thinking this would be just another procedural. But, as I've complained about since its premiere, the show promised a grander scope, a broad look at the machinations of a scandal-filled city.

Was it too much to think a network drama could match the type of narrative embraced on The Shield and The Wire? Probably. But it shouldn't be too much to expect a Shawn Ryan-penned series to avoid such outright cliches. I cringed when Jarek talked about justice being served and, as always, any time an overt reference was made to how corrupt things are in Chicago.

I'm not even sure I disagreed with the Mayor's office this time around. Considering Jarek and Caleb have been assigned to any case they desire, and considering their goal is to bring down Gibbons, is a high-priced, quasi brothel really worth their time?

I also can't help but to comment on the voiceovers yet again. They were more distracting than ever this week, taking viewers completely out of the story each time a character felt some need to give us a Chicago history lesson. It felt like nothing but filler when Colvin, who wasn't a focus of the hour at all, suddenly, randomly went into her theory on why this town produces such powerful women. Good for Oprah and all, but... huh?!?

The Chicago Code doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. A straight-up procedural? A character-based drama? A unique look at an iconic American city? This episode tried to do it all. If it settles on the former, I'll at least know to stop tuning in.

But each time it offers snippets of how life as a cop might affect personal relationships (you can lie to your fiancee, but not your partner...), and each time we're treated to a more encompassing plot that involves the slimy allure of Alderman Gibbons, I keep hope alive that there's an interesting show somewhere in here. If only the characters would stop narrating and start acting on that.

Review

Editor Rating: 3.4 / 5.0
  • 3.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (33 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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    "It felt like nothing but filler when Colvin, who wasn't a focus of the hour at all, suddenly, randomly went into her theory on why this town produces such powerful women. Good for Oprah and all, but... huh?!?" LOL I just had to write and say that made me laugh out loud at my desk.