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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

PILOT REVIEW: Chicago PD

CHICAGO PD










Starring: Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Sophia Bush, Jesse Lee Soffer, Patrick John Flueger, Marina Squerciati, LaRoyce Hawkins, Archie Kao, and Elias Koteas

Created by Dick Wolf and Matt Olmstead
Written by Matt Olmstead, Directed by Michael Slovis

Chicago PD is a new spinoff of NBC's Chicago Fire featuring many characters we first met on the parent series. It is centered on an intelligence unit within the Chicago PD and headed up by Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) who had a run-in with a character on Fire. Also in the unit are two detectives with ties to Fire: Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) and Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer). They are joined by Detective Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush), Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas), and new recruit from the academy Adam Ruzak (Patrick John Flueger). Rounding out the main cast are police officers Kevin Atwater and Kim Burgess (LaRoyce Hawkins and Marina Squerciati) and liason/tech guy Sheldon Jin (Archie Kao).

THE GOOD: This is the way to make a spinoff. I watch Chicago Fire every week so I already felt connected to some of the characters in Chicago PD. It was a very unique feeling to watch a brand new show with multiple characters I already knew. Usually spinoffs have one familiar character but this already had three, not to mention the cameos from a couple cast members from Fire. This show felt a whole lot like Chicago Fire and that's a good thing because that show has really grown into a strong drama. This seems like it will also be a nice blend between character drama and procedural. Beghe is great as Voight as I never know quite what to think about him: whether to like him or hate him, and that makes for an interesting character to watch. The new characters that we haven't met in Fire are good too and there's good chemistry between Sophia Bush and Jesse Lee Soffer. A thrilling ending with several plot twists made up big time for what seemed like a ho-hum case of the week.

THE BAD: I don't have many bad things to say about this show as it lived up to my high hopes. I was going to say that the case of the week was pretty mundane but it picked up big time in the last ten minutes and showed that Chicago PD will be constructed much like Chicago Fire with on-going storylines amidst small cases. I didn't really feel much of a connection to the two police officers (Squerciati and Hawkins). In fact, there may be a few too many characters on this show and they seemed pretty expendable so far, but maybe that will change.

BOTTOM LINE: Chicago PD is a nice addition to the universe created in Chicago Fire. It is a little more violent and a little more gritty, but it seems like the things I love about Fire will be very prevalent on PD. This is a great new tough cop show and the once popular genre has had a tough time lately outside of the more gentle Blue Bloods. We have tons of crime dramas but very few cop dramas and this is a good one.

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