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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.

Chicago Med

Did Dr. Zola Ahmad Leave ‘Chicago Med’ Already?

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Did Dr. Zola Ahmad Leave 'Chicago Med' Already?

Chicago Med introduced a new third-year resident to the fold in season 9—Zola Ahmad played by The Wilds’ Sophia Ali.

Ahmad’s character was initially described as “impulsive” and a troublemaker who tends to cause “headaches” for her Gaffney Medical fellows, which we saw play out in real-time when her unconventional approaches rubbed Crockett Marcel (Dominic Rains) the wrong way.

Marcel tried to give Ahmad the benefit of the doubt on numerous occasions, and Sharon Goodwin (S. Epatha Merkerson) even acknowledged that she was taking a big chance by hiring her on a prohibitionary basis given her track record with previous hospitals—but ultimately, Ahmad’s behavior and decisions to overstep and not follow protocol got the best of her.

When Ahmad decided to declare a patient—letting the fact that he wasn’t a good man dictate her reasoning—dead prematurely (and then attempted to justify it), nearly killing him, Dr. Archer (Steven Weber) chose to suspend her. It was very obviously a fireable offense, so it’s a good thing that the series writers held her accountable. Plus, it seemed like the perfect chance for a teachable moment and a redemption arc, not to mention, there was definitely some chemistry with Ahmad and Crockett that could’ve been explored down the line. She had potential as a character at Med, if she just reeled it in a little bit—and that would’ve been interesting to explore on a more granular level.

However, by Chicago PD Season 9 Episode 9, it was over for Ahmad. 

Did Dr. Zola Ahmad Leave 'Chicago Med' Already?

CHICAGO MED — “A Penny for your Thoughts, Dollar for your Dreams” Episode 9008 — Pictured: (l-r) Sophia Ali as Dr. Zola Ahmad, Dominic Rains as Dr. Crockett Marcel — (Photo by: George Burns Jr/NBC)

The series seemingly listened to the Chi-Hards fanbase as Ahmad paid the ultimate price for her reckless decision; Goodwin very briefly (and in passing) informed Crockett that Ahmad was let go, something he called a “shame.”

And that was that. There was no further mention of it, nor is there any indication that she’ll return anytime in the future. Her final episode of the season was listed as Chicago Med Season 9 Episode 8—and it seems like she’ll just be a blip on the radar of the show’s long-running tenure. 

It’s a drastic decision for the series, especially after hyping up Ali’s character at the beginning of the season. Why wouldn’t they give her arc a proper conclusion? Many of the complaints from the fan base were that her character was written inconsistently—her intentions were good most of the time, it was the execution that suffered—and crammed into an already shortened season due to COVID, so they weren’t able to build her character up in a way that would’ve given her the necessary nuance; her portrayal was overly negative and it was hard to defend her actions or keep her around when each week, she was pushing buttons and creating unnecessary issues without having the tenure to excuse them or back her up, like her predecessors Will Will (Nick Gehlfuss) and Natalie (Torrey Devitto). When those two acted irrationally back in the day, they had a history with Med and Goodwin that allowed them to stir the pot. 

It seems that the writing was on the wall for Ahmad from the get-go—the lack of good character development in the writing sealed her fate prematurely and gave fans whiplash with her quick arrival and departure. 

Would you like to see her return to the series?

Vanessa Morgan Is Finally Getting the Recognition She Deserves With ‘Wild Cards’

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Editorials

Walker Season 4 Premiere Review – The Quiet

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Walker Season 4 Premiere Review - The Quiet

Walker returned to The CW for its 4th, and, likely final, season. 

Despite a 5-month time jump, the focus remained on serial killer Jackal, whom Walker and Trey were pursuing at the end of season 3, and the suspect that previously drove Cap. Larry James into a tailspin, effectively ending his marriage to Kelly before fate gave them another shot. 

Only this time around, Larry’s wife, Kelly, asks Cordell not to drag her husband down this road again—a promise he intends to upkeep, though, knowing Larry, he’ll figure out that his rangers are up to something and have no other choice but to get involved, especially since Trey’s tip for a detective reveals that Jackal, whose trail previously went cold for several months, is gearing up for “something big.”

This will be the overarching mystery of the season, while other weekly cases will also see our rangers getting into plenty of shenanigans, as they did with their pursuit of the Delmonico brothers. Also, props to all of them for taking part in a steak-eating competition and then jumping into a raid. It was bold of them, but it’s how Cordell wanted to spend his birthday, so I’m glad that despite the best-laid plans being uprooted, he was still able to feel the love from those around him.

A lot seems to have changed in the past five months, as evidenced by Walker and Geri’s steamy hook-up. Even when everything is going wrong, we can have faith in their love being a constant, which is what fans have been hoping for since season 1. 

There’s also Cassie, who blows back into town after taking a lengthy leave to go work for the FBI. She’s back with a newfound confidence about her abilities on the job, but she’s also struggling with a personal decision as she’s been offered a spot at Quantico, which means further uprooting her life and leaving behind her loved ones, er, Trey. 

Yeah, Trey and Cassie kind of addressed the elephant in the room—their feelings for each other—but neither of them was honest about it, so we’ll likely get something more truthful and heartfelt in the near future. 

Another lingering storyline is the break-in at Geri’s place that rattled Stella to her core. She hasn’t been the same since shooting and killing Witt, and it’s likely because she also lied to the police about having met him before. The officer who called her and Liam in over a “breakthrough in the case” said that the case was closed due to lack of resources, but the way he watched Stella sign the paperwork (and questioned if that’s “all she knew”) makes me uneasy—there’s definitely more to this storyline. What does he know that he’s not letting on?

As for change, I think that in the midst of all the “I’m Walker, Texas Ranger, you’re under arrest” in case you needed the reminder, we’re also continuing to see Cordell as a flawed human and a father coming to terms with the fact that he’s about to be an empty nester. It’s the next phase of his life—and one that brings about plenty of concern over the “quiet” that will allow his dark thoughts to flourish. Hopefully, Geri will be the light to cut through all of that. 

What did you think of the episode?

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Wild Cards

Vanessa Morgan Is Finally Getting the Recognition She Deserves With ‘Wild Cards’

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Vanessa Morgan Is Finally Getting the Recognition She Deserves With ‘Wild Cards’

I meant to write this post when Wild Cards first premiered on The CW, but time got away from me, and before I knew it, the season finale of the series was upon us! 

I’m not a huge fan of The CW’s decision to axe some of our favorite shows in its rebrand, but what does ease the pain of losing the likes of Nancy Drew is the addition of promising shows like Wild Cards

To be quite frank, Riverdale never did Vanessa Morgan much justice. She amassed a huge number of fans, who were mostly hoping to see her character Toni reunite with on-screen love interest Cheryl (played by Madeleine Petsch) in the later seasons, and while she was seemingly considered one of the “core” characters, she rarely got the storylines she deserved.

We knew she could act—but Wild Cards shows us the depth of Morgan’s talents. It lets her shine, dominate, lead,  and even carry the series, opposite her on-screen partner and potential future love interest, Giacomo Gianniotti’s Ellis. 

Morgan delivers with the role of Max, a whip-smart and very charismatic con artist who utilizes her special skillset to help a “down in the dumps” maritime officer get his mojo back—and, spoiler alert if you’ve watched the season finale, his badge and desk back. 

Despite his initial hesitation with the idea of her joining the force as a consultant, even Ellis comes around, amazed by her abilities and the way she’s able to navigate every crime scene and follow the leads to produce results.&nbsp

The two grow very close over the course of the season’s 10 episodes, largely due to Morgan’s delightful on-screen persona and presence. Even when it’s not clear whose side she’s really on (is she fully on board with helping the cops or does she have a larger-than-life plan up her sleeve to pull off her greatest con yet and help her dad George—90210‘s Jason Priestley—snag a “get out of jail free” card), you find yourself drawn to her and rooting for her because of her likable personality. 

Vanessa Morgan Is Finally Getting the Recognition She Deserves With ‘Wild Cards’

Credit: The CW

The series not only gets us invested in Max’s character—learning about her past—and what it entails for her future, but we also find ourselves rooting for Max and Ellis to finally get together… or even test the boundaries of that electric chemistry that they share (a moment that is, sadly, ruined when her husband Olivier (Dewshane Williams) blows into town). 

And it’s the mystery of Max that has all of us begging The CW to renew the series for a second season. We need more Max. We need more Ellis. We need more Morgan and Gianniotti. And we need answers. The good news is that Morgan told TVLine that season 2 of the quirky crime procedural is “very likely,” and trust that we put all our faith in her. 

As for the answers I mentioned we need, well, we need to know who killed Ellis’ brother, a murder that was the catalyst for him to get knocked down from his detective responsibilities in the first place. When he met Max, he was in a hard place, still trying to pick up the pieces of his brother’s death. And though he’s come a long way, surely, the fact that he can crack this specific mystery is one that he won’t be able to pass up. 

At the end of the finale—spoiler alert, again—Max convinced the authorities to help her pull off a heist that was two years in the works, hoping to frame her estranged husband Olivier after he steals a $33 million egg (he’s the one who betrayed her dad and landed him in prison), lessen her father’s sentence, and restore Ellis’ badge. However, there was a piece of the plan she didn’t share with Ellis—she swapped the real egg for a fake egg, and hatched a plan to disappear forever alongside Ricky and her millions. 

She didn’t expect Ellis to figure it out, though, this was one of the weaker points in the episode because she should’ve known him better than that by now, but she figured she’d be halfway across the country and it wouldn’t matter. What she didn’t anticipate in her plan is that Ricky, who was transcribing incriminating recordings from the mob as part of their safety-net policy, would find something on the drive about Ellis’ brother, namely, who murdered him. 

It’s at this moment that we see the biggest change in Max. She’s not the same person she was when the series first started. Her skills have become more valuable to helping than stealing, and she’s grown to care about someone other than herself and her father. She can’t, in good faith, leave with this knowledge and leave Ellis hanging. 

And that’s where we leave off—a promising cliffhanger on a promising series with two very promising leads. 

Your move, The CW.

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