Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Chicago P.D.

Welcome back to Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday!

Today, I’m jumping in with a show that could either a) fall in line with all the other police procedurals on TV, or  b) stand out as the next Dick Wolf success—Chicago P.D..

NBC Summary: Sergeant Hank Voight leads the officers of District 21, where the past history and rivalries between the officers create problems at the district.

Created by Dick Wolf (Law & Order) and a spinoff series of Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. will serve as yet another typical police procedural on television.  Or will it?

My main question is this—will Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) be a good guy or a bad guy?  While I did not watch the entire first season of Chicago Fire, I did watch enough to know that he was not a “good” cop.  The character did not hesitate to cross legal or ethical lines.  And if he’s anything like that on the new show, what in the world is his staff going to be like?

And speaking of Jason Beghe, I’ve had a crush on him since I was a little girl when he starred as the quarterback, Tom Yinessa, on HBO’s 1st & Ten.  Yes; my parents let me watch with them—it was about football, after all!  And most recently, I’ve enjoyed his recurring character, Richard Bates, on Showtime’s Californication where he plays an alcoholic/sometimes gay/sometimes straight man.  His performances are fantastic.  Needless to say, I gave Chicago P.D. a try just for him.

The new drama also stars: Jon Seda (Band of Brothers) as Detective Antonio Dawson; Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill) as Detective Erin Lindsay; the great Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinsky; and many others.

But let’s talk about Voight right now… like I mentioned earlier, Voight was not a “good” cop on Chicago Fire.  Actually, he went to jail.  However, in this new series, his character has negotiated some deal to get out of prison and land himself the supervisory position for the Intelligence Unit of the Chicago Police Department.  We later learn this deal is for him to secretly report back to Internal Affairs… but will he?  Will he be 100% honest with them?  Probably not…

So is he good or bad?

Well, Voight instructs his staff to keep everything in-house… they tell him the truth, so he can lie for them.  This isn’t so strange.  Anyone who has played sports has heard the saying “what happens in the locker room, stays in the locker room.”  Same concept.

The Intelligence Unit is family, and to Voight, nothing is more important than family.  Yet, sadly, his sordid past actually gets one of his officers killed in the first episode (in a round-about-way).  Sorry for the spoiler.

Ultimately, Voight just operates under the mantra—and expects his team to as well—whatever it takes.

Does this make him bad?  Naaa.  I kinda like him and will continue to watch because of him.  I want to see how many professional and ethical lines he and his team will cross, while maintaining characters that I like and am actually rooting for.  There seems to be the “right way” and the “Voight way” of doing things.  Sometimes “Voight’s way” is the only way to get things done.  I get that real cops shouldn’t act this way, but this is TV and I like it.

But enough about just Voight…

Chicago P.D. bounces back and forth between his unit and the officers who patrol the streets of Chicago.  As a Law & Order fan, I can definitely tell this series is a Dick Wolf creation from the cinematography and style.   And being a Chicago Fire spinoff, many of the characters have done and will do a crossover stint at one time or another (for those who love and need more of Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer).   If I understand correctly, the series will actually do a full-blown crossover episode event with Chicago Fire and Law & Order: SVU.  Guess I’ll need to watch Chicago Fire that week.

While I will and already have watched more of Chicago P.D. than I have Chicago Fire, I can’t award the series with anything beyond a JFTV rating.  I like it; I do.  But I don’t mind letting the episodes pile up on the DVR to watch when I have time.  It’s just like when I keep a bag of those greasy potato chips in the pantry, but only reach for them when I need a fix.  After all, it is just another police procedural on TV today… just with a different kind of twist.

What do you think?  Do you watch Chicago P.D.?  I’d love to hear from you!

A Recap of The WatchWed Review System:

GTV (Gourmet TV): Everything we want and more
MacTV (MacNCheese TV): Guilty pleasure. Not perfect, but is satisfies
GMacTV (Gourmet MacNCheese TV): A combination of fine wine and comfort food
JFTV (Junk food TV):It’s not great for us, but we’ll go back for seconds
TBPTV (Twice Baked Potato TV): Part gourmet and delicious, while absolutely horrible for our cholesterol
SSTV (Still Simmering TV): It has potential, but the jury is still out
NIV (NyQuil Induced Viewing): Perfect for that late night television sleep timer
LOTV (Liver&Onions TV): Do we really have to explain? Blech
Inedible TV: Exactly how it sounds…

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

New to TV – Winter 2014 (Part One)

It’s that time of year again… the winter television schedule is here!  And as always, the networks have a lineup of many new programs to accompany our returning favorites.

Some of the series have promise, while others may flop—but, regardless, we’ll tune in to check them out!

Today, we’re taking on a few of the new dramas…

*****

The Assets

ABC Summary: CIA officer Sandy Grimes investigates an incident with a lost and very valuable asset to the CIA, but is soon swept into a much larger problem that involves a decade-long hunt for a mole that may include an agent she trusted.

Based on the book Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed by former CIA agents Sandy Grimes and Jeanne Vertefeuille, the new eight episode miniseries will follow agent Sandy Grimes (played by Jodie Whittaker) as she investigates a situation surrounding her asset, Aldrich Ames (Paul Rhys).

Even though this story is based on actual events (Ames sold secrets to Russia in the ‘80s; was arrested in the ‘90s; and is currently serving a life sentence in prison), a part of me can’t help but think this miniseries/ABC is hoping to cash in on the success of Showtime’s Homeland and FX’s The Americans.  I’ll watch it, but I’m hesitant for some reason…

We’re a week late with this one… The Assets premiered January 2nd (to horrible ratings) and continues this Thursday, January 9th on ABC.

*****

Intelligence

CBS Summary: A high-tech intelligence operative with a super-computer microchip inside his brain becomes the first human to have complete access to the global information grid to fight crime and search for his missing wife who disappeared years ago.

An elite government division, led by Lillian Strand (Marg Helgenberger from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation), uses Gabriel Vaughn (Josh Holloway from Lost) to access key intelligence by hacking all sorts of data centers in order to protect the United States.  To help keep him “reeled in,” Strand orders agent Riley Neal (Meghan Ory from Once Upon a Time) to watch after him… because as we’ve seen with overly intelligent people on TV, they can be a bit unconventional and unruly (I’m thinking of Patrick Jane here from The Mentalist).

The new series also stars: Lance Reddick (Fringe), Michael Rady (The Mentalist, Emily Owens, M.D.), John Billingsley (Star Trek: Enterprise), P.J. Byrne (Dinner for Schmucks, Final Destination 5), and the great Peter Coyote.

Intelligence premieres tonight, Tuesday, January 7th on CBS (in NCIS: Los Angeles’ spot—BOO).

*****

Killer Women

ABC Summary: From executive produce Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”) and created by Hannah Shakespeare, step inside the dangerous world of the Texas Rangers from the female perspective and experience the arresting “Killer Women.”

Based on the Argentine crime drama, Mujeres Asesinas, this eight episode series will follow Molly Parker (Tricia Helfer, Battlestar Galactica), a recently divorced Texas Ranger enjoying her newly single life and being really good at her job.  Each week, this former beauty queen tracks and arrests a different female criminal.

The series also stars: Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Necessary Roughness) as Dan, Molly’s “fling”; Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica, Fairly Legal) as Billy, Molly’s brother, Alex Fernandez (Dallas) as Lt. Zea; and many guest stars, like Beth Riesgraf (Leverage).

Killer Women premieres tonight, Tuesday, January 7th on ABC.

*****

Chicago P.D.

NBC Summary: Sergeant Hank Voight leads the officers of District 21, where the past history and rivalries between the officers create problems at the district.

Created by Dick Wolf (Law & Order) and a spinoff series of Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D. will serve as yet another typical police procedural on television.  My main question is this—will Sergeant Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) be a good guy or a bad guy?  While I did not watch the entire first season of Chicago Fire, I did watch enough to know that he was not a “good” cop.  The character did not hesitate to cross legal or ethical lines.  And if he’s anything like that on the new show, what in the world is his staff going to be like?

And speaking of Jason Beghe, I’ve had a crush on him since I was a little girl when he starred as the quarterback, Tom Yinessa, on HBO’s 1st & Ten.  Yes; my parents let me watch with them—it was about football, after all!  And most recently, I’ve enjoyed his recurring character, Richard Bates, on Showtime’s Californication where he plays an alcoholic/sometimes gay/sometimes straight man.  His performances are fantastic.  Needless to say, I will give Chicago P.D. a try just for him…

The new drama also stars: Jon Seda (Band of Brothers) as Detective Antonio Dawson; Sophia Bush (One Tree Hill) as Detective Erin Lindsay; the great Elias Koteas as Alvin Olinsky; and many others.

Chicago P.D. premieres tomorrow, Wednesday, January 8th on NBC.

*****

If I had to rank these in order of which one I’m most looking forward to, I’d put Killer Women at number one.  Intelligence probably comes in second with Chicago P.D. following closely behind at number three.  Last place has to go to The Assets.  I already have the first episode on my DVR, but after seeing the horrible premiere numbers, I’m not dying to press play. 

What do you think?  Will you tune in to watch any of these new shows?  Which one most interests you?  I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.