Monday Must Watch: THE CHICAGO CODE on FOX

Until recently, I wasn’t a fan of the police procedural – case of the week, bad guy, arrest him 40 minutes in, he almost goes free 50 minutes in, and by the end of the hour, the case if wrapped, and the detectives have another notch on their belt.  With shows like SOUTHLAND, BLUE BLOODS, and DETROIT 1-8-7 as some of the go to shows on my DVR in the past few weeks, I wasn’t sure I could make room for another.

And then along came THE CHICAGO CODE, from the mind of Shawn Ryan and executive produced by Tim Minear (two of the best in the biz), and starring Jennifer Beals as Theresa Colvin, the newest Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, (working along side a department that doesn’t think she’s cut out for the job) and Jason Clarke (my favorite Jason from BROTHERHOOD), as her ex-partner, Jarek Wysocki, a seasoned cop and local hero with a reputation for not always being the most likeable guy.  The show follows these Chicago cops trying to keep the city safe from common criminals and corrupt politicians, much like the Alderman Gibbons (Delroy Lindo is so damn charming, yet scary as anything).  The cast is rounded out by my favorite Detroit Lion Matt Lauria as Caleb Evers, Jarek’s latest (but probably not last) partner; Jarek’s niece Vonda, whose dad died in the line of duty (Devin Kelley is a real find); her partner Isaac Joiner (Todd Williams, the only weak part for me); and local Irish thug Liam Hennessey (played by one of the BLACK DONNELLY’S – Billy Lush).

The show is smart, fast, action packed, and suspenseful.  I like how it explores the power that Colvin now has as the first female superintendent and the no holds barred attitude with which she approaches her job; Jennifer Beals does a great job of towing the line between strong and powerful and an emotionally bumbling mess.  Jason Clarke is so likeable.  I want to hang out with him and watch him throw insults at the people I don’t like.  I hope he breaks out in a big way with this show.  The supporting cast is great, too, and the writing they’re getting is fast, smart, and exciting.  If the show continues to be as smart and enjoyable as the first three episodes I’ve watched so far, I’m in; and if it continues to tug on the heart strings as it does in the pilot, you better believe I’ll be in tears on more than one occasion.  I expect this show to be a hit, and I hope I’m not wrong.  Random last minute scale out of 5?  This one gets a 4-leaning-on-4.5-leaning-on-5.