What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this character-driven crime drama includes a lot of realistic action, including shootings, drug raids, and murders (although blood is kept to a minimum). Audible language includes "ass" and "bitch" (with more creative terms like "jackhole" thrown in for good measure). There's some social drinking, too, along with plotlines involving illegal drugs and implied sex.
What's the story?
Set on the streets of the Windy City, THE CHICAGO CODE tracks the daily dramas of the Chicago Police Department, centering on Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals), the city's first female superintendent and highest-ranking police officer, and Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke), her former partner and one of the CPD's most valued detectives. As the plot progresses, they keep a collective eye on Ronin Gibbons (Delroy Lindo), a powerful alderman with unclear motives, to determine whether he's working with them or against him. But Wysocki's also adjusting to a new partner (Todd Williams) and doing his best to shield his niece (Devin Kelley) from harm.
Is it any good?
With so many other crime dramas on television, it's easy to assume that we don't need another one. But The Chicago Code succeeds in giving viewers complex characters and a real sense of place that help make it a stand-out series. Beale and Clarke are well-cast and excellent, but it's even more impressive when you consider that Clarke -- who played a mightily convincing Rhode Islander in Brotherhood and, now, a completely believable Chicagoan -- actually hails from Down Under. And as a duplicitous politican, Lindo seems like he's having a blast.
The ensemble approach helps keep things interesting and adds dimension and depth to the plot, but there might be one drawback to shadowing so many characters at once: At least early on, you don't really learn much about their personal lives. But perhaps the important thing is that you want to, which is a credit to compelling writing and strong performances.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the role that violence plays in the show's plot. Is it generally gratuitous or realistic? How does the level of violence compare with other crime dramas on television?
What message is the show sending about the level of corruption in government? Does the show exaggerate reality for the sake of drama, or do its plots seem believable?
Given the day-to-day struggles of the show's police officers and the dangers they face, would you consider a career in law enforcement? What motivates cops to do the work they do?