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 The Chi is a Chicago-set series about a group of neighbors living on the South Side. It deals with urban violence, and as such contains shootings, gang activity, and images of dead bodies. It also contains strong sexual innuendo, nudity, lots of cursing (and the use of the "N" word), and drinking. Drug use (marijuana) is visible, and drug dealing is a theme. Sneaker brands are sometimes referenced. Mature, older teens should be able to handle it, but it's not meant for kids.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Created by Master of None's Lena Waithe, THE CHI is a dramatic series about a group of residents living on Chicago's South Side. After the nighttime shooting of a young man, what transpires connects the lives of Emmett (Jacob Latimore), a young father of three who lives with mom Jada (Yolonda Ross); young Kevin (Alex R. Hibbert), a nice kid trying to survive his tough surroundings; Ronnie (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine), a perpetually unemployed man with a broken heart; and Brandon (Jason Mitchell), a man working hard to improve himself and build a restaurant career with his girlfriend, Jerrika (Tiffany Boone). They each struggle with their individual personal relationships and challenges, all of which are impacted by the poverty, gang violence, and illegal activity taking place in their neighborhoods daily. Meanwhile, South Side law enforcement officers like Detective Cruz (Armando Riesco) wrestle with the residents' distrust of the police while trying to work with them to stop the bloodshed.
Is it any good?
Edgy and complicated, this series presents a character-driven story that highlights the realities of living in Chicago's South Side. It has a large ensemble cast, but the main characters reveal themselves to be well-rounded and complex as they fight their individual inner demons while collectively grappling with cyclical violence, poverty, and institutional racism.
It’s well-written, but some folks may find the beginning a little hard to follow thanks to the sheer number of characters and plotlines. But everything becomes more focused as the overall story moves forward and the characters' lives become more interconnected. If you're looking for good, solid drama to commit to, The Chi has a lot to offer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the social problems urban neighborhoods must often face. Why do certain parts of cities seem more prone to violence and illegal activity than others?
Does The Chi offer an accurate portrayal of what life on Chicago's South Side is like? If so, what has to happen in order to make life there less dangerous?
Our editors recommend
For kids who love drama
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.
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