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Will Shawn Ryan Rebound with ‘The Chicago Code’?

January 7, 2011

Cast of FOX's Mid-season hopeful 'The Chicago Code'

When Xena kicks down one door she really does open a window! A month ago cop show writer-creator Shawn Ryan (The Shield, Terriers) was looking askance at FX over its decision to cancel his critically lauded, audience repelling witty cop dramedy Terriers. But who has time for tears when there’s a new cop show for critics to love and audiences to avoid? In the tradition of gritty cop shows such as Homicide: Life on the Street and Ryan’s own The Shield comes the latest entry into the “fugly cops are sexy because they’re bad ass” genre – pioneered by Tom Fontana – The Chicago Code. Even without reading the well crafted press blurb, it’s clear the show is being positioned as the legitimate heir to The Shield with everyone involved agreeing to pretend Terriers never happened. Set in Chicago, the show stars L-Word alum Jennifer Beals, who when not wearing a cop outfit that looks more hot cops than badass, she seems to still favor outfits worn by her L-Word character Bette. Because those outfits were such a comfort! Oh chile, you know C.C.H Pounder and her agent are sitting somewhere mad as hell. That is clearly a C.C.H role. In the blactor-with-gravitas role is the patron saint of the character trope, Mr. Delroy Lindo. However, it appears he will not be your guy if you happen to be a rich white kid in dire need of rescue from ruthless kidnappers. Instead leverages his mighty screen presence as a shady black Alderman, which seems ripped not from the headlines, but from Good Times! Rounding out the cast are the usual tropes: hard headed, possibly soft hearted white guy on a mission and some seat filler cops who might get a witty zinger or two. That said, Ryan + gritty cop show = new hotness, so naturally I’ll be all over this show when it debuts in February.

But the real question is: will the rest of the television audience?

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2011 7:56 pm

    That is what I am wondering myself; cop shows seem to be struggling these days! I’ll be curious to see if this one can make it. Everyone likes taking a swipe at Chicago so maybe they’ll suck audiences in on that angle…

  2. January 8, 2011 4:15 am

    I’m a sucker for anything set in Chicago!!

  3. unscrambled permalink
    January 8, 2011 7:21 am

    ohmanohmanohman, I hope it is even marginally good! I definitely have a trope-filled-cop-show shaped hole in my heart right now.

  4. February 8, 2011 6:59 pm

    Being a veteran of over twenty years on the Chicago Police Dept. I find this show a joke and an embarrassment . First the actors, not at all believable as a Chicago Detective or as Police Officers. Chicago accents “Horrible” .
    Not sure who they got as an advisor but it must have been someone born in the suburbs, moved to the north side and have not done any real police work.

  5. February 9, 2011 1:11 am

    I’m a sucker for anything Bette Porter. will be watching.

  6. February 9, 2011 7:29 am

    Being a veteran of over twenty years on the Chicago Police Dept. I find this show a joke and an embarrassment . First the actors, not at all believable as a Chicago Detective or as Police Officers. Chicago accents “Horrible” .
    Not sure who they got as an advisor but it must have been someone born in the suburbs, moved to the north side and have not done any real police work.

    Were you a detective or a uniformed officer. Cause my friends who were detectives and muckies are saying, other than the accents, the show does kind of reflect their lives. I notice in most cop shows the uniformed officers are the ones who tend to reflect both in class, education and racial background “cops” as most people understand that. I heard the same complaints by uniformed officers about H:LOTS, which hands down was the most authentic portrayal of police work ever on TV, based on the folks who actually did that job.

  7. February 9, 2011 7:42 am

    I have been a police officer, gangs crimes officer, and for the past twelve years a detective working on murders and robberies. Who ever said that this was realistic, either has been on the job for less then ten years or work in an area on the north side where it is comsiderbly slower. You want to see a show that is close to what we do and how we act, catch the show called The Wire, based in baltimore bbut reflects detectives and officer pretty well.

    • February 9, 2011 10:22 am

      It’s interesting that you have time to watch TV cop shows if the workload is so much more rigorous than observed on the show. I haven’t really met many cops who do have time or the inclination. Maybe Hill Street Blues, but that’s about it.

      • February 9, 2011 11:06 am

        Unless you’re ‘police’ who studied at the Academy of TV Cop Show Watching, in which case he’s right on top of his homework.

    • February 9, 2011 11:07 am

      Look, I loved The Wire (up until the last season which was a bit of a hot mess), but stop giving it a bad watered-down name by bringing it up all the damn time.

  8. February 9, 2011 10:12 am

    Actually, The Wire pales when compared to Homicide: Life on the Street, which are based on – wait for it – the same exact source material. And Charm City detectives were decidedly less thrilled with The Wire than H:LOTS. In fact, they said to me the only people dazzled by The Wire were folks who hadn’t set foot in Baltimore. Or you know, call it “BALT TE MORE”

    you don’t know me, so I’ll be polite, but I know a helluva a lot about both television cops and their real life counterparts, and I’m inclined to defer to the ones I know in real life version someone claiming to be one on the internet. No offense.

  9. February 9, 2011 11:39 am

    Listen, I am not here to argue with anyone just wanted to enlighten people that this is not at all like the Chicago Police Dept, not even close. I have been doing this for over twenty years. Plus at least ninety five percent of the police officer (and detectives) agree with everything I have said, thought the show was going to be a comedy with the way it opened up.
    Yes, I do have a life outside the job and I do watch TV, eat and sleep like anyone else. Wow, that actually surprises some people that the police actually live real lives. I only watched this because I thought it may be good, but I was wrong. The Wire just starting watching only on season two and it is pretty good. Never been to Baltimore but the scenarios they have and the way they portray the characters are CLOSE (not real) that I have seen and many agree. I usually do not watch cop shows, so I cannot comment on Homicide: LOTS. But this I live everyday and have for the past twenty years. This is just my opinion and good percentage of the WORKING police in Chicago. There are some officer who have never made it out behind a desk and be clout heavy to only work in slow districts where watching these shows are the closes they will ever get to real police work and think that this is what it is like and tell everyone that it is.

  10. February 9, 2011 12:04 pm

    not a wire fan but just using it to comparison.

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