A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Chicago Fire follows a group of men and women working in a dangerous occupation that invites injury and even death. Violence is portrayed more or less realistically, so you'll see blood, serious injuries, and heavy flames. There's also unbleeped swearing that includes "bulls--t," but strong language is rare. Sexual content is mostly banter and innuendo, with some kissing and bare skin but no sensitive parts. Some co-workers are sexually involved, too. Characters smoke cigarettes, drink socially, and use prescription drugs.
What's the story?
Centering on the firefighters, paramedics, and rescue squad workers of Chicago Firehouse 51, CHICAGO FIRE picks up in the wake of an on-the-job tragedy that resulted in the death of one of their own and stirred tensions between truck leader Lt. Matthew Casey (Jesse Spencer) and rescue squad leader Lt. Kelly Severide (Taylor Kinney). But there's no time for blame when the city's next big emergency strikes, forcing everyone to pull together in spite of their differences.
Is it any good?
The best thing going for Chicago Fire, which bears the mark of Law & Order creator Dick Wolf, is that it bears the mark of Law & Order creator Dick Wolf. But that doesn't mean it's a must-see show -- only that, if you do see it, you can expect to find a solid story and an ensemble of serviceable characters. (And, in a few years, perhaps, a multi-city franchise.)
Chicago Fire, like so many other TV series, falls victim to Beautiful People Syndrome -- the compulsion to cast actors who are more believable as underwear models than working-class heroes who risk their lives every day. But in this case, even distractingly good looks aren't hot enough to compete with the elaborately staged fire and rescue scenes that, in the end, are the real stars of the show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lives of firefighters and other types of rescue workers and the level of risk they assume every day. What are the real-life consequences of working in a high-risk -- and high-stress -- profession? How honestly does the show portray the downsides to these "heroic" jobs?
How does Chicago Fire compare to other series about firefighters in terms of violence and general realism? Do these characters seem believable to you? Why or why not?
What are the potential risks to having a romantic relationship with someone you work with? Are interoffice affairs as common in real life as they are on TV?
For kids who love drama
Our editors recommend
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.