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

Chicago PD/ NBC

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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.

The Resident

How Will ‘The Resident’ Write Off Nic?

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The Resident Hero Moment Review Season 4 Episode 7

The halls of Chastain will see quite a shift when The Resident returns for its fifth season.

Emily Van Camp, who plays the beloved nurse practitioner Nic Nevins, is scrubbing out after four seasons on the FOX medical drama.

While it isn’t unheard of for an actress to leave a show, the timing is unfortunate from a storytelling perspective considering Nic and Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry) recently got married and welcomed a baby girl. 

In real life, Van Camp also welcomed a baby girl with husband Josh Bowman, so she obviously has to do what’s best for her and her family. We also have to assume that the struggles of working during a pandemic impacted her decision, as did her potentially expanded role in the Marvel universe.

The Resident Review Past, Present, Future Season 4 Episode 14

Credit: FOX/ The Resident

But there’s absolutely no denying that it’s a huge bummer for fans of the series, many of whom only tune in because of their attachment to the couple affectionately dubbed #CoNic.

We’ve seen the couple go through their fair share of ups and downs, but the fact that the writers chose to introduce a baby means they likely thought she was coming back for the upcoming season and had more a happier storyline in the works. 

While I have ultimate faith in the writers, it’s understandable that fans are worried about how her departure will be addressed. 

Nic is a crucial part of the show; some might argue that she’s the glue that holds everything together. 

Her exit must be handled with the utmost care and respect in order to preserve the integrity of the character. 

Since her character is a dedicated wife and mother, it’s unproductive to mess with the relationship by introducing a cheating storyline or a new job since it isn’t believable. 

We know Nic would never prioritize anything over her new family, not even a new gig. Even suggesting that as an alternative dishonors the kindhearted character Van Camp has built.

The Resident Review Season 4 Episode 1 A Wedding, A Funeral

The Resident/ FOX

So, this is where it gets concerning. 

All signs and breadcrumbs point to Nic not surviving the premiere.

There are a few indications that the writers are going to kill her off and pursue the “Conrad is a heartbroken and widowed single father to baby Gigi” storyline. 

The official season 5 poster pointed to tragedy as Conrad was seen alone in a defeated stance. His back was turned to the camera and the words “healing stars within” were written on top. 

A follow-up trailer titled “Everything Will Change” opens with an ominous montage of CoNic’s happiest moments. It then shows Conrad standing alone in his daughter’s nursery before cops come to his door to deliver some news. Since it’s never a good sign when cops show up at your house in the middle of the night, many fans to theorized that Nic was involved in a tragic accident. 

The gossip Instagram account, Deuxmoi, seemingly confirmed that theory via an anonymous tip.

“I can 10,000 percent confirm she’s leaving The Resident early in the upcoming season, but her character will die in a car accident,” a source told the account, though, these can be hit or miss so take it with a grain of salt! 

Credit: Deumoix

It’s a frustrating approach considering Nic just survived a stabbing along with pregnancy complications last season, but it’s really the only way to handle it while keeping the character intact. 

It also presents plenty growth opportunities for Conrad’s character.

Much like the fans (and probably, the writers), he never anticipated that he’d be a single father, but life threw him a curveball and now he has to step up to raise his daughter, likely with the help of his friends at Chastain. 

And while we typically see the plight of working mothers, this would offer the series a chance to dig into the hardships of balancing a thriving career in the medical field while also being a present father. 

The only other option on the table is that the accident causes Nic to go into a lengthy coma, which would also leave the door open for any potential guest appearances from Van Camp should she so choose to be involved. 

The latter would allow for the character to come back, while also allowing the writers to explain her off-screen existence with a storyline about how she gave up her career to stay at home with Gigi in the aftermath of the accident. 

However, Elkoff seemingly confirmed that Conrad will be a single father to TV Line, noting:  “He’s really good at it. He’s just going to be the best dad you can imagine.” 

He also explained that the season will pick up with a nine-month time jump, which explains why Gigi is so big in the promos already.

FOX entertainment president Michael Thorn told Deadline that it will be an emotional departure. 

The Resident Reverse Cinderella Recap

THE RESIDENT: L-R: Matt Czuchry and Emily VanCamp in the “Reverse Cinderella” episode of THE RESIDENT airing Tuesday, March 3 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2020 Fox Media LLC Cr: Guy D’Alema/FOX

“The audience is going to be surprised and emotionally engaged with how we handle Emily’s departure and the way that it affects all of the other characters,” he said. “And yes, we will be introducing some new characters as we go along, but I think it’s going to be another excellent season. Amy Holden Jones does an incredible job,” he added. 

While everyone involved with the series is staying mum on how Van Camp will be written off, they are convinced that fans won’t be disappointed by what they are calling a “potentially game-changing, development.”

“When our audience — our loyal and beloved audience — tunes in for the first episode of Season 5, by the time it’s over, they will be shocked at certain changes that are taking place at the hospital,” co-showrunner Peter Elkoff told TV Line.

In the wake of her exit (along with the exit of Shaunette Renee as Mina last season and Morris Chestnut as Barrett Cain), the series is also adding new cast members to fill the void and ensure the upcoming season has a robust ensemble. 

Miles Fowler will join the medical drama as Billie Sutton’s (Jessica Lucas) estranged son, Trevor. If you’ll recall, Billie opened up to bestie Nic about being raped at 13-years-old and giving up the baby for adoption. While she didn’t want to meet her son, he’s been reaching out hoping to get to know his birth mom. 

Regardless of how the series tackles this unexpected cast shake-up, be prepared for an emotional journey ahead.

The fifth season returns on Tuesday, September 21st at 8 pm ET/PT on Fox.

You can catch up on all of our The Resident reviews HERE

QUIZ: Which ‘The Resident’ Doctor Is Your Soulmate?


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Editorials

‘The Chair’ Review: A Humorous Commentary on the World of Academia

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The Chair Review

An entire show focused on a dilapidating university English department had the very real potential of being extremely boring and niche with its heavy ode to literature. However, Netflix’s original series The Chair, starring the fabulous Sandra Oh, is a humorous commentary on the world of academia, cancel culture, ageism, sexism, and transracial adoption.

The bulk of the humor rests on the shoulders of Ji-Yoon (Oh) and Joan (Holland Taylor) the only women in the department alongside Yaz (Nana Mensah). Ji-Yoon is the first woman department head to take the position just as enrollment is crumbling by 30%.

What’s meant to be a momentous moment in her career turns into a shit show when she’s tasked with putting out daily dumpster fires.

In the short six episodes, we’re quickly introduced to the complicated lives of Ji-Yoon and her colleague/lover Bill Dobson, one of the younger professors who’s under intense scrutiny for making an insensitive and ignorant reference to nazis.

The Chair Humorously Comments

Sandra Oh on The Chair. Photo Credit: Netflix

There’s a strong balance between personal and professional lives as the underlying tension displayed immediately between Bill and Ji-Yoon ignites a budding romance, amid the dean’s increasing pressure for Ji-Yoon to let Bill go.

Ji-Yoon’s a powerful woman who isn’t afraid to stand up against university systems that oppress women and women of color. And despite her ability to properly handle her work life, her home life seems to be teetering.

Her daughter Juju is a spitfire who is ready to speak her mind at any moment. Whether to diss her halbi, cross personal boundaries scaring off babysitters, and telling Ji-Yoon how she feels about her transracial adoption.

The real dynamic duo is Juju and Bill. As Bill’s healing from the loss of his wife and empty-nesting after sending his daughter off to college, he finds comfort in taking care of Juju while he’s on suspension.

The Chair Review

Ji-Yoon and Dobson on The Chair. Photo Credit: Netflix

Juju’s lack of connection with Ji-Yoon is saddening, as it stems from Ji-Yoon’s absence due to her tireless job. However, by the end of the season, the growth between mom and daughter is emotionally beautiful.

Yes, I shed a few tears.

The decision to use an English department as a commentary vessel is ingenious. Historically, academia is full of jaded tenured professors who are generationally out of touch. But, an English department is stereotypically overrun with crotchety old pretentious men.

Some of whom are definitely ready for retirement.

Yaz is a Black professor whose class has quickly become the most popular in the English department. With her classes yielding the most students, this causes jealousy among the other educators, putting her tenure track in harm’s way.

The Chair Review

Ji-Yoon and her daughter on The Chair. Photo Credit: Netflix

When she’s denied the distinguished lectureship and begins to feel helpless as a woman of color at Pembroke, she considers taking an offer from Yale. However, Ji-Yoon’s desperation to rebuild the department full of diverse women convinces Yaz to stay.

Yaz’s character doesn’t receive as much screentime as she deserves. Most of the attention is placed on Dobs and the rest of the professors fighting desperately to hold onto their power.

Furthering the theme of sexism, Joan’s office is displaced in the basement underneath the gym. As a professor who’s been with the university just as long as her male counterparts, she finds her situation outrageous and greatly sexist.

Yet, by the season finale, after Ji-Yoon’s been ousted as the head of the department, she strategically chooses Joan to replace her. This feels like a win for the women and especially Ji-Yoon, as her vision of change continues.

While there hasn’t been any official word about a second season, Season 1 paved the path for deeper topics to be pursued. Especially the romance between Ji-Yoon and Bill. So I can’t imagine the show won’t receive another green light.

If you’re someone who shutters at the idea of being immersed in the academic sphere even fictionally, don’t worry. The Chair is a show you can enjoy on the pure basis of humor and emotional family drama. And of course Sandra Oh!

21 Underrated TV Shows You Need to Watch


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5 Movies & Documentaries to Watch on the 20th Anniversary of September 11

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5 Movies & Documentaries to Watch on the 20th Anniversary of September 11

When someone asks you where you were on September 11, 2001, you can remember the day vividly. 

It doesn’t matter how old you were, your life was changed by the seismic event. 

And it’s hard to believe that 20 years have already passed. 

On Saturday, the world will experience a day of mourning on the 20th anniversary of the tragic events that took down the World Trade Centers, prematurely stole so many lives, and changed the world as we know it. 

Here are some of the most gripping movies and documentaries about 9/11 and a look at the world after:

 

Worth

Michael Keaton stars in the drama as a lawyer who aims to help the victims of the attacks and is forced to put a dollar value on the lives that were lost. 

Watch it on Netflix

 

Zero Dark Thirty

Osama bin Laden became a household name who took credit for the 9/11 attacks. The drama tells the story of a CIA agent (played by Jessica Chastain) who helps the Navy SEAL Team track him down and kill him in a nighttime raid.

Watch it on Amazon PrimeGoogle Play, or YouTube.

 

United 93

United 93 was the fourth plane hijacked by al-Qaeda in the attacks. It crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after heroic passengers took control. The drama is an account of what happened on the flight taken from the flight path, communication with air traffic control, phone calls, and interviews from loved ones of the victims. 

Watch it on Amazon PrimeHulu, or Peacock.

 

Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror

The timely five-part Netflix series uses the September 11 attacks as a starting point for a larger conversation about the 20-year war in Afghanistan, which we’re seeing play out in real-time with America’s evacuation.

Watch it on Netflix

 

NYC Epicenters 9/11-> 2021½

The four-part documentary hails from director Spike Lee, who conducted over 200 interviews for the series. It features stories and first-hand accounts from eyewitnesses to the tragedy that struck the heart of NYC. 

Watch it on HBO Max.


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