Maybe there is something in the water in Chicago besides the green dye that will soon turn the river green for St. Paddy’s Day.
Chicago is infamous for having the most powerful and unassailable Democrat political machine in the nation. When I heard that after the election of our most liberal President, a favorite son of the Chicago machine, two network television shows would be set in Chicago I thought “Here we go…”
I did not expect that both would portray the Chicago machine as corrupt, elitist and hopelessly liberal.
We have given The Good Wife plenty of press for its general fairness toward conservative characters and points of view; and while there was a bit of a brouhaha last week in which a Tea Party member was the hero of the show and that still wasn’t good enough for some conservatives, the new cop show The Chicago Code last week took down Billy Ayers.
Oops, I mean our hero, Detective Jake Wysocki, took down David Argyle, a 1970s radical whose associates did all the hard time, and who escaped prosecution for a series of bombings, is now a celebrated author, adored by the media, and an expert on “education reform.” How could I have gotten that mixed up with Bill Ayers?
Now think about how ex-campus radicals were glamorized on Law and Order…
It’s even better than you think. Without saying too much, just when you think Argyle’s associates who were imprisoned while he skated are going to be portrayed as victims… Okay, I am not going to spoil this. Go to Fox.com and watch the episode “Cabrini Green.” It’s one of the best moments of the TV season.
Of course, I shouldn’t be too suprised by either The Good Wife or The Chicago Code. TGW: is produced by movie directors Tony and Ridley Scott, each of whom (while not politically predictable) has at least one movie on most lists of best conservative movies. The Chicago Code is the brainchild of Shawn Ryan, who brought us The Unit and The Shield, neither of which was exactly known for political correctness.
Add to this that the main target of the cops on The Chicago Code is a wily and powerful black Chicago Alderman, Ronin Gibbons, played to perfection by the great Delroy Lindo, and you can pretty much throw PC out the window. By the way, the title of the episode “Cabrini Green,” referred to the public housing project that was a milestone of the Great Society that turned into a symbol of crime, poverty, and the failure of social engineering. Gibbons displays an intense hatred for the complex and what growing up there was like; and considers its demolition a highlight of his political career.
The show’s main plot is the effort by a new Police Superintendant (what the Commish is called in Chicago) played by Jennifer Beals. Superintendant Teresa Colvin is the first woman to hold the job, and determined to make her mark. She has tasked her former partner Detective Jake Wysocki (Jason Clarke of the late, lamented Brotherhood) to work with her on the down-low take down Gibbons as their first step to ending political corruption in Chicago. Their secret task force of 2, is soon joined by Wysocki’s new young partner, Caleb Evers (Matt Lauria of Friday Night Lights) and Liam Hennessy (Billy Lush) a cop deep undercover in the Irish Mob.
Despite it’s theme of corruption in a big Democrat-run city, The Chicago Code is by no means The Wire. It’s very fast paced (maybe too fast for its own good), has a little too much emphasis on action and its crime of the week, and is just starting to hit its rhythm and develop the backstory. But in just 4 episodes, it has already shown it has guts; now we will see if it can achieve glory.