Chicago Fire Midseason Report Card: A-

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We're high on Castle and less enthusiastic about The Vampire Diaries.

Where do we stand on Chicago Fire following its opening set of episodes? This NBC drama is the focus of the latest TV Fanatic Report Card...

Chicago Fire Cast Photo

Best Episode: “Merry Christmas, Etc” had everything we could ever want out of an episode: lives in the balance, Boden’s growing suspicion/doubts over the missing drugs, Casey and Dawson growing a little closer, Casey’s past. It was a great package of just about everything Chicago Fire has going for it.

Worst Episode: The series premiere. Pilots for potential series have the unenviable job of showing the best a program has to offer to audiences and network executives, and aside from a rudimentary checking off of boxes – fires, hot guys, rivalry, etc – there wasn’t very much exploration past that. Once Chicago Fire found where its strengths were (the cast, ditching the rivalry, shoving the periphery characters out of the way for now) things picked up quickly.

Best Character: Casey and Severide. These two work far better as friends and coworkers than rivals. Severide’s love of the job, desire to help people and the kind way he has with people is an interesting juxtaposition with his drug-addicted interior. He takes the pills for pain, but his increasingly erratic behavior is dragging more and more people down with him, sending them into moral gray areas that wouldn’t necessarily go down if it were anyone else.

Casey, on the other hand, is a genuinely sweet man who is only trying to do what’s best for him and his team. His unwavering loyalty to his team is wonderful, as is his compassion for the people he serves, but there’s also darkness to his past.

Worst Character: Hallie, Casey’s girlfriend. I’m not even sure if she’s still around since she and Matt broke up, or if she’s coming back. My biggest hope is we never have to deal with her again. She’s boring, a complete mismatch for Casey, and in a show like this it’s best to keep the character’s personal and private lives all contained where they work – much like Grey’s Anatomy does.

Best Fire: Without a doubt, the pilot episode where Severide rescues Casey.

Biggest Head Scratcher: How is Severide’s arm not out of its socket by now? We’re told his shoulder has severe damage and it’s amazing he’s lasted as long as he has, yet he continually puts his shoulder in harm's way.

Second Biggest Head Scratcher: Cruz letting Flacko die in the fire. I don’t really mind that a violent, drug dealing criminal burned to death, but Cruz’s story came so out of left field, and his brother is so unlikable, that I don’t much care either way what happens to Cruz or his sibling. This head-scratcher doesn’t even mention the fact that it stands in direct contrast to his job.

Hopes for 2013: Severide’s shoulder story starts progressing sooner rather than later; we learn more about Casey’s past, Dawson and Shay’s accident aftermath and the Hermann’s budding limousine empire.

Overall Grade: A-

YOUR turn, TV Fanatics: Give a grade so far to Chicago Fire Season 1...

 

Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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i absolutly LOVEEE this show! it is my MOST favorite! I have never been into a show like this since PASSIONS was out. Wednesdays are my favorite! i love how the series is going & i love the characters:) 1st i didnt like Gabriella & Mills cuz i thought she had done Casey wrong but I LOVE them together now:) theyre cuteee! & I REALLLLY dont like how the fireman that dies that casey was close withs, wife kissed him & YES he got into it tooo!!! I THINK THAT IS MESSED up! i dont think i like Casey that much anymore:( lol! but the show is GREAT i wish it was on more than once a week! lol i hate having to wait to watch it the next week!

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this is the best show ever i am so addicted i love watching it. I think cruz and flaco situation was great because its nice to get an incite of every main firefighter lives and the issues they encounter. kelly severide is so hot i love watching him.

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Love this new Show!!! Just (re)watched the Pilot and forgot somethings:
1) What happened with Casey telling Mouch he can't keep covering for him? Covering what? 2) First time around I totally missed how Otis got his name! 3) What happened to the DR who Dawson took to the Friend of the Firemans BarBQ?

Sarah-silva

Solid A for me! I would give it and A+ plus I do not want Dawson and Casey to be together! She is better chemistry with Mills!

Snakethecritic

Best Episode: "Pilot" Worst Episode: "Merry Christmas, Etc." Best Character: Chief Boden Worst Character Gabriela Dawson Best Fire Nick McHatton's Answer Biggest Head Scratcher: Nick McHatton's Answer Second Biggest Head Scratcher: Voight's disappearance + Nick McHatton's Answer Hopes for 2013: Utilize the arcs by structuring the story. Story editor fell asleep twice in the first ten episodes. "Merry Christmas, Etc" and "Two Families". Overall Grade: C+

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Kevin I agree with you all the way. TVD is awesome this season.

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I am extremely sick of this website downgrading and reminding us of how u think of tvd on nearly every report card. I, for one, actually like what they did with elena and damon's sire bond this season, so this season so far has been really strong. I don't think the vampire diaries deserves to get the lowest grade.

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I agree that without a doubt, CF is the best new show (which isn't really a high bar since most of the new shows aren't really that awesome, Arrow and Elementary are close behind)
I love how you address Hermann, since he's my favorite character. I hope he got more screentime.
As for Severide, I'm intrigued to see how his arm hasn't ripped off as well.
And Cruz's side story comes out of nowhere and yes his baby brother doesn't deserve saving anyway.
Best episode is the Thanksgiving one I think.

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IMHO best "new" show this year - With "Elementary" a close second. I started watching to see "Dr Chase" (and of course the creator of the best show in TV ever - L&O) and was pleasently surpised and want more. The behind the scene stuff that every show has is low key and good and the action is out front.

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