February 7, 2011

My Hesitations about The Chicago Code

Tonight is the premiere of FOX's much ballyhooed cop drama The Chicago Code (formally known as Ride-Along). While it's the newest critical darling of the year (although that didn't help another Shawn Ryan project), I'm not sure if I'm totally sold on the show.

First off, I like my cop procedurals light, so I tend to gravitate towards shows like Castle, Bones, White Collar, and to a lesser extent Psych. All of these shows have similar plot devices such as case of the week episodes, a mix of comedy and drama, a little romance, and a total lack of gritty realism. People point to these same elements as reasons why to skip procedurals, but they make for an entertaining and easily digestible viewing experience. Now, I don't have anything against darker cops shows, but watching an hour of gloomy storylines can wear on a person, and that's one of the reasons I stopped watching CSI and CSI: New York (and have zero interest in Law & Order: SVU or Criminal Minds). I don't know if The Chicago Code will resemble these latter shows but with a serialized story, but I'm fairly sure it will not look like Castle.

Another aspect of the show that has me hesitant is Shawn Ryan himself. There's no doubt he's a very creative show runner, but his brand of TV usually do not resonate with me as a viewer. I watched a few seasons of The Shield, but quickly lost interest. While I could appreciate why so many people loved Terriers, it just wasn't in my wheelhouse no matter how hard I tried to get in to it. Even his more mainstream projects like The Unit and Lie to Me weren't attractive to me. Again, Ryan is a talented guy, but I tend to pass on what he's selling.

I will be checking out tonight's premiere out of curiosity's sake, and I'm going to try to go in with an open-mind. Heck, I might even be won over. Regardless, I hope The Chicago Code is able to find its audience and FOX can find a new hit show. We don't need another Lone Star to lament.


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