I had high expectations when Fox debuted The Chicago Code” last Monday. Part of it was from the heavy hyping Fox did for the series, but most of them came from the fact that the series was created by Shawn Ryan.

The last time Ryan tackled corruption and cops? The Shield.

It’s too early to say how The Chicago Code fares when compared to one of the best TV series of all time in my opinion, but the premiere episode was certainly very encouraging.

A lot of that was due to Delroy Lindo, who portrays corrupt Chicago Alderman Ronin Gibbons to perfection. Maybe my love from this character stems from the fact that I routinely cover politics for a daily newspaper in my day job, and have met my share of Gibbons-style characters in real life. Lindo’s performance is completely on the nose (unfortunately for us taxpayers).

But Lindo is surrounded by a very capable cast, led by Jennifer Beals as police superintendent Teresa Colvin, who has worked her way through the ranks and is trying to weed out corruption both within the department and in the city. To accomplish the latter, she wrangles Det. Jared Wysocki (Jason Clarke), an eccentric but honest cop to help her in her crusade. He, in turn, enlists his new partner, Caleb Evers, the rare partner whom Jared has not sent packing after a day’s team-up.

Their plans to shake things up early go awry, however, when there’s an assassination attempt on Colvin in the first episode.

It will be interesting to see where Ryan takes the series. The Shield followed a morally gray cop who took the law in his own hands because it was the only way to try to keep the peace on the streets. In the course of bending the rules, that cop became corrupted himself, using blackmail, brutality, and even murder to accomplish whatever he wanted.

Will Code follow the same path? Hard to tell at this point. Code will certainly not have the sex, violence, and language that was graphically used on The Shield because it’s a network show, but that doesn’t mean it has to be less entertaining.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season unfolds.

4 Purple Pencils

Those in the Macon/Atlanta, GA, area, Phillip Ramati will be leading a “So you wanna be a screenwriter?” workshop at the Crossroads Writers Conference on Saturday, February 19.


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  1. Melody Lopez 11 years ago

    I have little kids and our bedtime routine forces me to not allow myself to become hooked to any series. But the way you describe Gibbons- Now I got to at least record it and remind myself to watch it another time. Awesome review. thanks for posting it!

  2. Author
    Phillip Ramati 11 years ago

    Thanks for the note. I hope you enjoy it!

  3. […] – Write On! Reviews: This feature rotates between TV with Phillip Ramati; Film – Maria Fotopoulos; and Writing Resources with Jeanne Veillette Bowerman. Watch for […]


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