Third-episode verdict: The Chicago Code

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of

In the US: Mondays, 9/8c, Fox
In the UK: Acquired by Sky 1/Sky 1 HD. Coming soon

The problem The Chicago Code faces is that it’s a very good show, trapped inside a network TV format. At its heart, there are nuggets of brilliance, involving police and city corruption, the politics of policing, life in Chicago, inter-cop politics and what it means to be a police officer. It has a really good cast and when Shawn Ryan isn’t writing it (cf the first episode), the dialogue is good and it all feels very real.

Where it falls apart is when it bows to mainstream pressures and tries to give us the standard cop show of the week treatment. Here we have absurdities piled on the ridiculous, ridiculous gun fights and car chases, and implausibilities that detract in quite substantial ways from the much subtler, cleverer intrigues of the ongoing corruption investigation. 

Hopefully, over time, these will go away as the writers assume they’ve got a hooked audience and can downplay the theatrics because if they can, The Chicago Code will be quite a show. At the moment, though, a decent show is being undermined and although it scores well on The Carusometer, I’m not convinced I’ll stay with it in the long-term.

Carusometer rating: 3
The Carusometer’s prediction: Will last a season, hopefully, but probably not much longer