The Chicago Code fails to meet substandard expectations

Well, we’ve made it halfway through the first season of The Chicago Code, and maybe it’s just people’s hometown pride, but I’ve been hearing a lot of hype about how good the show is. So I decided to get in on it after reading and hearing all the raves, but after catching up on seven episodes, all I could come up with was a rant.

For an action/drama that follows cops as they “fight crime and expose corruption within Chicago’s notorious political machine,” it’s surprisingly actionless and dramaless.

As far as the main characters go, we got somewhat of a Vince Vaughn look-alike playing the role of the veteran ‘bad cop,’ paired up with the young rookie of the police force. It’s a formula that’s been done a thousand times. But The Chicago Code throws in a clever twist to the rehashed roles: one of them is a Cubs fan and the other is a Sox fan. Clever, right? It’s a very bland pair with a lot of unoriginal dialog based on baseball rivalries.

And that’s one thing, The Chicago Code never hesitates to force in a Chicago reference, especially when it comes to the city’s infamous corruption. One episode has the Superintendent of Police begging a city alderman for information on a murder because Chinatown “plays by its own rules” and hasn’t been cooperating with police. An undercover police task force is set to take down the aforementioned alderman, who is “more powerful than the mayor.” Check the trailer clip. It just reinforces the corny, over-dramatized political corruption I’m talking about.
With the addition of over-dramatic lines like, “I didn’t sign up for this, man” and “but this city is already corrupt anyway!” you’d think the political landscape of present-day Chicago was run Capone-style circa 1920s, but with bad acting and surface-level plots. And for the less-than intelligent viewers who cant seem to keep up with The Chicago Code’s attempt at a storyline, the characters regularly dumb down the plot-progression for a viewer through voiceovers and over-acting. It’s another train wreck for the Fox network that won’t make it to season 2.

But I’ll probably continue watching so I can continue complaining about it.

Check back later this week for a rant about the new CTA train cars. Been on one yet?


  1. Hey, Ranter, thanks for reading my blog and commenting. You can read the complete response here but I wanted to address one of your complaints right on you blog.

    As far as the issues with TCC about the embarrassing Chicago references that they have to plug into the show that make you cringe, I have the exact same problem with shows set in Las Vegas. Instead of having actual consultants who live and work in this town to provide some of the references these producers come up with, on their own apparently by taking man-on-the-street polls or reading the front page of the newspaper, A.) clichés or B.) references to things that they think everyone in Las Vegas talks about all the time. And they never get the geography right. For Pete’s sake, pull up Mapquest!

  2. Usually, I love TV shows or movies that are set in Chicago so I can watch it and say “Oh my God I know where that is!” But this show is ridiculously cliche and it makes me laugh. It completely fails to portray Chicago in an accurate or even realistic way, only highlighting the common stereotype of Chicago; it’s as though it’s written by people who’ve never even been here, much less lived here and have an accurate idea of what the city is all about. I’ve only lived in Chicago for 2 1/2 years and I feel like WAY more of a Chicagoan than these two-dimensional, cookie cutter characters. It’s hard to believe that Fox gets better ratings than NBC.

    • same here! haha but if The Chicago Code was realistically based on the CPD, we’d get about about a half hour inside a Dunkin Donuts and then footage of them writing some parking tickets for filler. Then credits. But at least a show like that would make it through more seasons than this one’s going to.

  3. Very interesing blog.

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