×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV Review: ‘Chicago PD’

Dick Wolf's latest NBC franchise sets Miranda rights back about 50 years

With:

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

Dick Wolf is no stranger to taking a success — even a moderate one — and spinning it off into franchises. So “Chicago Fire,” his NBC drama, begets “Chicago PD,” a series distinguished primarily by its solid casting and Jason Beghe’s performance as a cop who loves his city almost as much as he relishes beating information out of suspects. If some of NBC’s procedural development has felt like CBS Lite, file this one under CBS Dark — which could end up doing for the Windy City, for good or ill, what “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” did for New York.

Snarling like Batman minus the cowl at bad guys (“Stay out of my city,” he tells one whimpering low-life), Beghe’s Det. Hank Voight made his debut in “Fire” as a ruthless cop, and eventually won redemption — or at least a second chance — as the head of an intelligence unit within the Chicago Police Dept.

Even with supposed carte blanche to run his unit, Voight still operates under the watchful eye of his captain (“The Wire’s” Robert Wisdom), and wrestles with the usual politics of such situations. That can make his take-no-prisoners attitude a problem, and he tries to run interference for his subordinates, who wind up in a whole lot of harrowing situations, including an opening two-parter that puts a family member in jeopardy.

That “Chicago PD” braves a slightly serialized element shouldn’t obscure its fairly simple roots, which is to say that the criminals are so bad they require a response that doesn’t just bend the rules of policing, but rather obliterates them.

At the same time, writer Matt Olmstead seeks to humanize Voight through the fact that he truly cares about his team (“OK, everybody, vest up”) and goes the extra mile to help a young kid caught up in a nefarious crowd (a subplot also spread over multiple hours). It’s only when those kids grow up, apparently, that he likes beating information out of them, or feels justified throwing one of his gang a knife as he questions a suspect, barking to his colleague, “Do what you gotta do!”

The well-traveled Beghe nevertheless convincingly sells the gravelly voiced tough-guy routine, and “Chicago PD” plays to the cathartic aspects of crime-fighting, provided one tries not to think too much about terms like “enhanced interrogation techniques.” And the show is aided by having the likes of Jon Seda, Elias Koteas and Sophia Bush on the case, even if most of the plotting has a musty and manipulative aroma.

As for NBC, the series is assigned a mission almost as simple as Voight’s “Clean up the city” mandate: Improve the 10 p.m. timeslot where “Ironside” ran into a ditch, or die trying.

Like Voight’s task force, it’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

TV Review: 'Chicago PD'

(Series; NBC, Wed. Jan. 8, 10 p.m.)

Production:

Filmed in Chicago by Wolf Films and Universal Television.

Crew:

Executive producers, Dick Wolf, Matt Olmstead, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Danielle Gelber, Peter Jankowski, Mark Tinker; co-executive producers, Arthur Forney, David Hoselton; supervising producer, Jason Wilborn; producers, Maisha Closson, Michele Greco; director, Mike Slovis; writer, Olmstead; camera, Rohn Schmidt; production designer, Gregory Van Horn; casting, Jonathan Strauss, Claire Simon. 60 MIN.

Cast:

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

More TV

  • 'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of

    'Death Stranding' is a 'Playground of Possibilities,' Will Make You Cry

    The Thursday evening conversation between game-making auteur Hideo Kojima and “Walking Dead” actor Norman Reedus about highly-anticipated PlayStation 4 game “Death Stranding” was filled with interesting anecdotes, but little in the way of hard fact. Instead, Kojima made a promise of sorts to the audience and seemingly fans everywhere waiting for more news on the [...]

  • Ariana Grande Olivia Munn Michael Che

    Celebrities vs. Critics: Why This Battle Has No Winners (Column)

    When actor Olivia Munn tweeted a “short essay on…ugly behaviors” late Wednesday night, she insisted that a blog had been unfairly maligning her for years. She wrote that she wanted to confront the idea that baseless critiques, particularly those aimed at women, are never okay no matter how famous the target may be. On the [...]

  • ‘Peaky Blinders’ Virtual Reality Game in

    ‘Peaky Blinders’ Virtual Reality Game Will Pitch Players Into the Action

    “Peaky Blinders” fans will be able to join the gang – virtually – in a new VR game that will allow players to interact with characters from the hit series. Start-up immersive studio Maze Theory teamed with the show’s producers and is making the game, which will launch in 2020. Artificial intelligence technology means characters [...]

  • TV News Roundup: HBO's 'Deadwood: The

    TV News Roundup: HBO Releases 'Deadwood: The Movie' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, HBO released the trailer for the “Deadwood” film, and CNN announced a premiere date for “Apollo 11.”  DATES The documentary “Apollo 11” from director/producer Todd Douglas Miller will premiere on CNN Sunday, June 23 at 9 p.m. Using only archival sources, the film captures NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission. FIRST [...]

  • shannon ryan

    Shannon Ryan Joins Disney TV, ABC as Marketing Chief

    Former Fox Television chief marketing officer Shannon Ryan has been tapped as the new president of marketing for ABC Entertainment and Disney Television Studios. The announcement was made by Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, and Craig Hunegs, president of Disney Television Studios, to whom she will report. Rumours had been circling for a while [...]

  • Dan Lin's Rideback, MRC Announce Writers

    Dan Lin's Rideback, MRC Announce First Class of Writers and Mentors for TV Incubator

    Rideback, Dan Lin’s production company, and MRC have announced the inaugural class of writers and mentors for their TV incubator.  The new TV writers residency program, which was launched in February, offers a paid, eight-month residency program to a group of writers who have each previously been staffed on series and want to create their [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content