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25 Shows You Need to Watch If You Love the City of Chicago

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With a population of over 2.7 million, Chicago is a dynamic and diverse city, which makes it the perfect backdrop for many TV shows, especially cop and medical dramas! 

Some shows use the city as just a setting, while others dig right into the core of the city, hoping to capture its essence. 

No one series has a “correct” depiction — they are all stories seen through various characters, experiencing different situations in the many, versatile neighborhoods. 

But, one thing that they all have in common? An undying love for the city; their Chicago. If you’ve been to Chicago you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Chicago is the new Hollywood.”

Truthfully, Chicago will never churn out as many TV shows as Hollywood, and it doesn’t want to; the rise in shows signifies everyone can find something to relate to in the city of Chicago. 

So, if you have even a sliver of love for Chi-town, you have to check out these shows. Let us know if you have any other recommendations! 

1. Shameless

Shameless
The remake of the British series uses Chicago as a backdrop for the uber-dysfunctional Gallagher family. Frank Gallagher is a single father of six and a drunk who spends more time at bars than with his children. In their parents’ absence, the eldest kids are forced to take on the responsibilities and raise themselves. Particularly, Fiona who tries her best to hold the family together.
 

2. Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire
Chicago Fire is the firstborn from Mr. NBC himself, Dick Wolf. Wolf captivated audiences with the rescue squad and paramedics of Chicago Firehouse 51 — specifically dreamy Leuitenant Kelly Severide. Aside from the bravery of the diverse team — who cohesively charge headfirst into danger to save the people of Chicago — the show entices with authentic relationships. The city not only serves as a backdrop, it’s a leading character with writers showcasing the best and worst of the city and its inhabitants.
 

3. Chicago PD

Chicago PD
The success of Chicago Fire convinced Wolf that Chicago was the perfect city for a franchise. And so Chicago PD was born. Now, this isn’t your average cop show. Nu-uh, not in Chicago. There are a lot of great things about this city but it’s undeniably also one of the most politically corrupt. Or as President Donald Trump has said on several occasions, a crime “epidemic” and “total disaster.” This makes it the perfect setting for a show spearheaded by suspected dirty cop Hank Voight, who uses questionable methods to get justice yet garners much loyalty and respect from his team. Intelligence handles the toughest cases in the Chi, including those of gang violence, drugs and racial injustice — they’ve seen it all.

 

4. Chicago Med

Chicago Med
Where there’s fire and PD, there’s also med. Continuing down the list of Dick Wolf shows, we’ve got the third installment, a medical drama with a cast as diverse as the neighborhoods in Chicago. Despite the lack of funding, Sharon Goodwin and the team work together to provide quality healthcare to their patients. Staying in the theme of the city, there are plenty of gun-shot wound victims, and a handful of homeless and drug-addicted patients, which often calls for psych consults from the renowned Dr. Charles. With three successful shows dominating NBC, there are plenty of opportunities for some gripping crossovers.
 

5. Chicago Justice

Chicago Justice
Three time’s a charm but four is an overstay. Wolf tried for a fourth show in the “Chicago” franchise, but fans simply didn’t bite on Chicago Justice. Although it lasted a mere season, it definitely made an impact. If you’re a fan of any of the three shows, or Wolf’s other cult-hit Law & Order, it’s a must watch. PD’s Antonio even joins the no-fuss team led by Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Stone, who is described as relentless in his quest for justice. There’s also a L&O connection with Stone being the son of New York City District Attorney Ben Stone.

6. Empire

Empire
Scandalous, messy, gifted — that’s Empire. Former hip-hop artist and CEO of Lyon Enterprises Luscious Lyon finds out that he’s plagued by an incurable health ailment and is forced to choose a successor. The drawback? All three of his sons have their equal share of talents and shortcomings. His over-the-top and ferocious ex-wife Cookie Lyon is released from prison and poses a problem when she comes to get what’s hers after taking the fall for his drug dealings back in the day. Even though the series films in Chicago, they pretend it’s New York. Usually, I’d be ruffled by that, however, Empire’s production opened up the doors for Chicago to become a sort of second-hand Hollywood, which aspiring actors in Chicago have been thankful for. If you look closely at various scenes, you’ll see our beautiful skyline dubbing in for NY’s.
 

7. Mike & Molly

Mike & Molly
Helmed by local Chicagoan and funny-gal Melissa McCarthy, the series finds her character Molly falling for Mike, a Chicago police officer she meets at Overeaters Anonymous. There’s nothing better than bonding over a few slices of pie! Together, they become each other’s support system as they embark on their journey to lose weight. Did I mention they’re Cubs fans? Bonus!
 

8. Married… with Children

Married... with Children
Much like Mike & Molly, some shows don’t give Chicago the acknowledgment it deserves. The cast of Married… with Children live in Chicago but they rarely showcase the city. Still, we’ll take all the love we can get, even if it’s just a mention here and there. The Bundy’s were “not the Cosby’s.” In other words: a dysfunctional family living in a fake suburban town of Chicago in the 80s/90s. Al Bundy, once the hottest football player in school, is a miserable shoe salesman while his wife, Peggy Bundy, once the hottest girl in the school is an unmotivated TV junkie. The “children” are ditzy and promiscuous Kelly and dysfunctional, yet brainy, son Bud. Props for making Buckingham Fountain so synonymous with the theme song!
 

9. Prison Break

Prison Break
Lincoln Burrows is convicted for a crime he didn’t commit and put on Death Row. His brother Michael Scolfield makes it his mission to help him break out of prison. His desire sets into motion several nearly-impossible plans, including one that involves him deliberately getting locked up in the Chicago-based prison to help from the inside. If you’re into shows that get your blood pumping while also focusing on the unbreakable bond between brothers, this is for you!

10. The Crazy Ones

The Crazy Ones
The single-camera workplace comedy is bittersweet because it’s Robin Williams’ final role before his untimely death. In the single-season series, Williams’ outlandish and personality-driven character Simon Roberts shines a light on the advertising world in Chicago. Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Sarah Michelle Geller serves as his right-hand gal in the role of ambitious partner and Type-A daughter, Sydney Roberts.
 

11. Sirens

Sirens
Most medical shows focus solely on the professional lives of doctors, but this medical comedy follows three Chicago EMT’s and the hilarity that ensues both at work and in their personal lives. During its two-season run, the series remembered to tackle serious issues of sexuality, mental disorders, etc. while never forgetting to offer up a much-needed laugh.

12. Superior Donuts

Superior Donuts
A gentrifying Chicago neighborhood gets the spotlight on Superior Donuts. Nothing brings people together like donuts, also a popular staple in the Windy City. Donut shop owner Arthur is a Chicago-native who is “stuck in his ways” and doesn’t want to update the menu in fear of ruining a good thing. Things immediately change when Franco gets a job at the shop and convinces him that modernization isn’t always bad. What is bad? Fawz, a real-estate capitalist who desperately wants Arthur to sell the business.
 

13. Ozark

While the Byrde family swaps the hustle and bustle of Chicago for Lake of the Ozarks, the city is still featured heavily as the backdrop for many scenes. Marty spends time in Millennium Park, though, it’s unrealistic to see the streets without any traffic! 
 
 

See the full list at TV Fanatic.


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Lizzy Buczak is the founder of CraveYouTV. What started off as a silly blog in her sophomore year at Columbia College Chicago turned her passion for watching TV into an opportunity! She has been in charge of CraveYou since 2011, writing reviews and news content for a wide variety of shows. Lizzy is a Music Business and Journalism major who has written for RADIO.COM, TV Fanatic, Time Out Chicago, Innerview, Pop’stache and Family Time.

Grey's Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy Has Overstayed Its Welcome

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Grey's Anatomy cast photo

With every season renewal beyond Season 14 that Grey’s Anatomy seems to nab miraculously, the great grandmother of all medical dramas has seriously overstayed its welcome.

And I promise I say this purely out of love as a superfan myself, as someone who has seen every episode, some more than once.

I hate to compare it to this but remember Season 5, Episode 19, when the great aunt continues to be revived, and the niece and nephews seem like monsters each time they hold their breath, hoping she’s gone for good? Well, Grey’s Anatomy is the great aunt in this scenario, and the fans are the children. There, I said it.

Numerous TV shows have ended much too early, but it’s a rarity for a show to have lasted beyond its expiration date. And while there’s no one reason the show has gone downhill, these are some of the factors I think contribute to its decline.

Grey's Anatomy cast photo

Grey’s Anatomy cast photo

Shonda Rhimes Signs With Netflix

Many people don’t know this, but Shonda Rhimes, the original creator, and writer for the show exited and turned over her duties in 2017 when she decided to sign with Netflix.

She passed the showrunner title off to Krista Vernoff, who has been with Grey’s Anatomy since the beginning.

I’m not sure if I actually notice a difference in the writing, but it does seem like Rhimes’ exit in 2017 aligns similarly to when the show started to lose its steam.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but the show began recycling storylines, it lost important characters, and honestly, the drama between doctors began to go off the rails.

Original Characters are Replaced

The amount of times I’ve come across articles about Sandra Oh’s return is astounding. I’m not sure why everyone’s obsessed with theorizing her comeback. Oh has repeatedly said for years that she’s outgrown the show and will never return.

Cristina Yang on Grey's Anatomy

Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy. Credit: ABC

However, without Cristina, there was no hope for the show. Sure, Derek was Meredith’s true love, but Cristina was Meredith’s soul mate. So her exit was quite the blow, and I don’t think the show ever truly recovered.

Oh’s departure in Season 10 left only a sputter of decent seasons in its wake. Cristina was a bulk of the humor and comedic energy, and without her, it lost a huge piece of itself.

Every few seasons, the show introduces new interns. We’re used to that. But, once they were forced to replace attendings and original cast members like Cristina, Callie, Arizona, and Alex, it brought less desirable characters to the forefront.

Amelia, Teddy, Owen, and Maggie are currently the main four alongside Meredith. Originally they were side characters, only meant to add drama to the lives of the original cast. But as original members began to leave, their storylines began to evolve and steal the focus.

Amelia, the other Shepherd, replaced Derek, and Teddy replaced Cristina.

Excessive Drama

With an entirely new shift in perspective, the new doctor’s storylines overshadowed any exciting patient cases. While in the first few seasons, there was a striking balance between special medical cases and doctors’ personal lives.

Owen and Amelia on Grey’s Anatomy. (ABC/Byron Cohen)

There used to be a formula. Midway through each season, there would be a unique and interesting patient case (hysterical pregnancy, sex accidents, etc.), and then the season finale would end on a major event like a shooting or plane crash.

Now, it seems the only major news we’re left with is whether or not Amelia will finally find true love, commit, and tie the knot. Or, who’s going to have the next baby.

And don’t even get me started on how absent Meredith was for this latest season. Meredith has never been my favorite character, but that doesn’t change the fact that the show’s named after her, and she is the main focus of the show. So, when all we saw was her on the beach and in a hospital bed, it definitely felt like we were cheated.

The only good thing to come out of Meredith’s beach rendezvous were guest appearances from old cast members. Seeing Lexi, Mark, and Derek on the beach brought back deep nostalgia for how the show used to be.

As Season 18 is now in the works, I truly hope the show can end peacefully afterward. It’s been dragged on long enough, and it would be the first show I’d ever wave goodbye to willingly.

Please, end the show before it’s too late, so I no longer have to continue watching it out of loyalty.

Now, what do you think? Should the show end? Don’t forget to leave your thoughts down in the comments!

 


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Netflix

17 Forgotten LGBTQ+ TV Characters

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No matter who you are and who you love,  you certainly know the iconic LGBTQ+ TV characters like Grey’s Anatomy’s Callie and Arizona or Schitt’s Creek’s David and Patrick.

But since Pride month is finally here, we figured why not list off some of the lesser-known LGBTQ+ characters that are equally as powerful.

And maybe you’ll find some new queer TV shows to watch along the way. 

1. Fran- Shrill

Lolly Adefope as Fran on Shrill. (Credit: Shondaland)

Simply put, Fran’s a Sagittarius queen on Shrill. Although not always that way, Fran successfully depicts the internal challenges of coming out in an immigrant family. Raised in a traditional Nigerian family, she’s had to suppress herself during her early years, but once she felt ready to come out, her entire personality blossomed into the Fran we know and love.

2. Levi Schmitt- Grey’s Anatomy

Jake Borelli as Levi Schmitt on Grey’s Anatomy. (ABC/Richard Cartwright)

When Callie and Arizona left the show, there was a gay-ping hole that needed to be filled. Thus, Levi Schmitt was born. His storyline might not be as prominent as his predecessors, but his characterization has since grown, and he’s made his own place in the Grey’s Anatomy family.

3.  Edie Palmer- Almost Family

Megalyn Echikunwoke as Edie Palmer on Almost Family (Credit: Fox)

Sadly, Almost Family was cut short. But Edie Palmer’s character showed the struggles of coming out later in life in the midst of a marriage with a man. We’re sad we didn’t get to see the evolvement of her story, but if you haven’t seen the first season, make sure to add it to your list.

4. Gael Martinez- Good Trouble

Gael Martinez - Goop

Tommy Martinez as Gael Martinez on Good Trouble (Credit: Freeform)

It’s a rarity for a show to portray a bisexual man, but it’s so important. Gael on Good Trouble is suave, sexy, and totally comfortable in his sexuality. Coming from a traditional Latino family didn’t make his coming out particularly easy, but with the support of his sister and friends, he’s able to find his way.

5. Maggie Amato- Younger

Debi Mazar as Maggie Amato on younger (Credit: TV Land)

Maggie on Younger is the OWL (old wise lesbian) that every queer woman aspires to be. An artist and a true OG of Brooklyn before it was totally gentrified, she’s not tied down to anyone and prefers to play the dating field of NYC. Because who wouldn’t when they’re surrounded by the largest pool of datable women?

6. Titus Andromedon- The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Titus Burgess as Titus Andromedon on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. (Credit: Netflix)

The diva that steals the show, Titus on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is the stereotypical flamboyant gay man. Somehow managing to survive in NYC as an aspiring Broadway performer. He may not give off the “straight” vibe Broadway wants from him, but his wardrobe is certainly better.

7. Abbi Abrams- Broad City

Abbi Jacobson as Abbi Abrams on Broad City. (Credit: Comedy Central)

In Broad City, the show explores the fluidity of sexuality effortlessly without putting a huge emphasis on labels. Both leads date men and women, but Abbi’s understated coming-out moment mirrors the actress’s own personal experience.

8. Darryl Whitefeather- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Pete Gardner as Darryl Whitefeather on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. (Credit: The CW)

In this fun and musically driven show, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend does an outstanding job including multiple queer characters into its small cast. Darryl Whitefeather is an older man, who discovers he’s bisexual early on in the first season after he divorces his wife and finds he has feelings for White Josh.

9. Rhonda Johnson- Blackish

Raven Simoné (left) as Rhonda Johnson on Blackish. (Credit: ABC)

Rhonda’s not a series regular, but she does show up on the occasional episode of Blackish. She’s able to keep her sexuality a secret from her family for so long, that Dre, her brother, doesn’t totally believe she’s gay. Until he realizes that her–roommate– is actually her partner.

10. Victor Salazaar- Love, Victor

Michael Cimino as Victor Salazaar on Love, Victor. (Credit: Hulu)

Love, Victor is a coming-of-age show set in the same universe as the movie Love, Simon. This time centering around, Victor, a Latino boy whose traditional parents aren’t as accepting of homosexuality. With its Season 2 coming out in a few days, the emphasis will on the family dynamic after Victor comes out.

11. Dani Clayton- The Haunting of Bly Manor

Victoria Pedretti as Dani Clayton in the Haunting of Bly Manor (Credit: Netflix)

In a beautifully written show about love and loss, set against the backdrop of a mild thriller, The Haunting of Bly Manor stories Dani as she grapples with her sexuality after an incident that leaves her haunted by her past.

12. Lionel Higgins- Dear White People

Tyler James Williams as Lionel Higgins on Dear White People (Credit: Netflix)

Lionel from Dear White People is an important representation for Black gay men. Homophobia’s not something he often faces, instead his own flaws inhibit his dating life. However, he doesn’t need a relationship to distract from his three-dimensional characterization.

13. Frankie Coyne- Workin’ Moms

Juno Rinaldi as Frankie Coyne on Workin’ Moms (Credit: CBC)

Workin’ Moms is a comedy that depicts the realities of motherhood. One of the series regulars, Frankie, struggles with postpartum depression, ultimately leading to a split with her wife. She navigates singledom, dating women here and there, while also trying to build her real estate career.

14. Toni Shalifoe- The Wilds

Erana James as Toni Shalifoe on Amazon Prime’s The Wild (Credit/Amazon)

When The Wild’s dropped on Amazon Prime, the characters were easily lovable. Especially Toni, with her spitfire and confident personality she won over many gay hearts. She’s out and proud, and doesn’t let Shelby’s homophobic tendencies take her down.

15. Mae- Feel Good

Mae Martin as Mae on Feel Good. (Credit: Netflix)

In this comedic series that draws on the comedian Mae Martin’s real life, Mae is a drug addict who is having a hard time with sobriety as she’s too focused on her new relationship with her closeted girlfriend.

16. Elena- One Day at a Time

Isabella Gomez as Elena Alvarez on One Day at a Time. (Credit: Netflix)

Elena’s the social justice warrior of the family in One Day at a Time, and figures out she likes girls early on. She comes out to her family and the different generations seem to handle it differently, but it doesn’t stop her from being herself.

17. Eric Effiong- Sex Education

Ncuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong on Sex Education. (Credit: Netflix)

With his impeccable fashion that is sometimes gender-bending, Eric on Sex Education shows that you can be gay and actively religious. And despite the teasing he endures at school, he doesn’t stop being proud of his identity because he’s already been in the closet and it was dark and lonely.

Please comment below with any characters that you think should be on this list!


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Coffee Table News

Sara Ramirez Joins the ‘Sex and the City’ Reboot as Non-Binary Character

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Sara Ramirez Joins the 'Sex and the City' Reboot as Non-Binary Character

HBO Max’s Sex and the City reboot has officially snagged Grey’s Anatomy alumni Sara Ramirez as a new cast addition.

The star is replacing Kim Cattrall’s iconic character, Samantha.

Ramirez, who identifies as nonbinary and uses they/them pronouns, will portray Che Diaz, a queer, nonbinary standup comedian. Che is the host of a widely popular podcast that will regularly feature Carrie.

The 10-episode series titled And Just Like That… will follow the original cast, including Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and Charlotte (Kristin Davis), during a new chapter in their lives. It will examine how their friendship has shifted and evolved since their early 30s.

The decision to include a nonbinary character is a progressive move for the series and was inspired by Cattrall’s refusal to join the reboot. The actress called for the show to provide greater inclusivity and suggested that her character be replaced by “another actress–possibly a woman of color.” Executive director Michael Patrick King certainly delivered hoping to make some necessary amends to former episodes. 

In the original Sex and the City, Carrie made some questionable and problematic comments about the LGBTQ+ community. Notably, the line: “I’m not even sure bisexuality even exists. I think it’s just a layover on the way to Gaytown.”

Hopefully, Carrie takes this opportunity to learn from her past homophobic beliefs and we see a shift in her perspectives.

It’s exciting to see an aged classic rewrite its troubled past and take ownership of its outdated content. Now, we can properly look forward to a trendier and more millennial-esque show.

What do you think of the casting addition?


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