The central cast in this new show from Shawn Ryan (The Shield
) comes with great TV credentials: Chicago’s first female police superintendent is Jennifer Beals of The L Word
; one of its best cops is Jason Clarke from the woefully underrated Brotherhood
and his young partner is Matt Lauria, late of Friday Night Lights
. There’s lots to like before the action even starts, but you best pay attention---when Superintendent Colvin (Beals) decides she wants to clean up historically corrupt Chicago, home of Al Capone, she enlists her old partner Wysocki (Clarke) to help. Their first target is Alderman Gibbons, played by Delroy Lindo with a suave, sinister swagger. Their first swing gets Colvin shot in the pilot, but it’s the kid she saved from gang life who dies. The production values are high and use the city well---the windy city has got a bit of a renaissance on the go, with this and Shameless
---it’s densely plotted, funny and the performances are strong (or will be, once Beals settles on an accent). Working within the parameters of network TV must be challenging for Ryan---“jaghole” is a favourite swear---and it’s that push that elevates The Chicago Code
over the other procedural franchises.