Shawn Ryan's cop drama is network TV's best midseason show
Part of me wonders if The Powers That Be on FOX's "The Chicago Code" wouldn't just as soon get predominantly negative reviews for their midseason drama.
This isn't going to be one of those "Do critics really matter?" reviews, because the answer to that question is, "Of course critics matter, our voices are clearly the most importantest in all the world and we should remain gainfully employed whether we work on the Internet or on those paper things you can still get in some cities." Duh.
But as much as Shawn Ryan may have enjoyed reading kindly reviews for FX's "Terriers" -- It made my Top 5 for 2010 and dozens upon dozens of other Top 10 lists -- those reviews didn't exactly bring in the sort of audiences that would get the show a second season on Tulsa Public Access, much less on FX. We miss you, "Terriers."
And as much as FOX probably appreciated that the last time the network premiered a new drama on Mondays at 9 p.m. after "House," some critics -- myself included -- called it the best new network pilot of the fall, not only did it not turn "Lone Star" into a hit, it didn't get "Lone Star" past two episodes. In theory, we miss you, "Lone Star," though with only two episodes as a sample size, it's hard to miss you all that much.
So maybe FOX and Shawn Ryan would appreciate a little reverse psychology? Maybe this would be a perfect opportunity to cover up my true enthusiasms for "The Chicago Code" to write a harsh, negative review. It might make me feel guilty and disingenuous, but I also can't help but feel that all of the vitriol I spewed about "Harry's Law" was responsible for making it NBC's first semi-hit in months, either directly or karmically.
Let's give this a try:
"The Chicago Code" is pretty much like every cop show out there. The writing isn't at all distinctive and the use of Windy City locations doesn't help produce any sort of flavor for the series, which could pretty much be set anywhere. The performances are all forgettable, especially Delroy Lindo, who most certainly isn't one of the most charismatic small screen villains in some time. I'm definitely not clamoring to see additional episodes of "The Chicago Code," because it definitely isn't the best midseason show you'll see on network TV. Definitely.
Got that, casual TV viewers? This elitist critic says that "Chicago Code" really isn't the kind of show you'll like, or at least that's the view from my jade tower (ivory is so 1995). I'm ever-so-sorry if hearing that makes you suspect it might be exactly the sort of show that you'd love and I'm ever-so-sad that I'm just one man and there's nothing I can do to prevent you from individually tuning in and drawing your own conclusions. If you've gotta tune in and check it out yourself, you've gotta do it.
Now I'll kindly ask those anti-critic casual viewers not to click through for more extended thoughts on "Chicago Code."