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With ‘Chicago Justice,’ the Brand May Have Reached the Breaking Point
March 1, 2017  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

Chicago Justice may mark the point at which we’re getting just a little too much Chicago.

The fourth rollout in Dick Wolf’s Chicago municipal services franchise, Chicago Justice gets a sneak preview at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday before moving into its regular slot at 9 p.m. ET this Sunday.

Like Chicago PD, Chicago Fire and Chicago Med before it, Chicago Justice has some cross-pollination. Most prominently that includes Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda), a detective on Chicago PD and also a regular presence on Chicago Fire.

Take notes here. There will be a quiz.

On Chicago Justice, Dawson has become the chief investigator in the office of the State’s Attorney. He draws heavily on his detective roots, which in the first episode also create a seriously awkward situation when he has to investigate a former colleague.

The State’s Attorney’s office on Chicago Justice doesn’t pick up exactly where we left it at the end of CBS’s The Good Wife, but the same kind of intraoffice drama quickly begins swirling.

The office is headed by Mark Jefferies (Carl Weathers, top and left), who seems to allude to the fact that in real life these days, Chicago has a reputation as a dangerous place.

His dedicated assistant, Peter Stone (Philip Winchester, top and left), doesn’t always take the same by-the-book approach as Jefferies. He’s no rogue, though, and the first episode suggests Stone’s independent ideas on implementing justice could take him in several directions.

He may be willing to explore shortcuts. He also may have a noticeable measure of empathy for some of the people he’s pursuing.

Stone’s smart sidekick Anna Valdez (Monica Barbaro, above) holds the same title of assistant state’s attorney. As a younger member of the team, she seems to defer to Stone.

The other primary character, Laura Nagel (Joelle Carter), works with Dawson. She’s a tough-talking investigator with a good nose for what doesn’t smell right.

There’s nothing wrong with Chicago Justice. It fits smoothly in with NBC’s previous three Chicago dramas. The acting is fine.

There’s also nothing with the first episode story, which puts a slightly different twist on the death of a black man in police custody.

It also has that classic Dick Wolf look and tone. It doesn’t waste a lot of words and scenes. It doesn’t go off-message, setting a direct course from Point A to Point B.

It just doesn’t have sparkle or intensity. It feels like a drill we’ve been through before.

Maybe we’re just getting too many meals from the same pages of the same cookbook.

It’s also possible that familiarity will make it the kind of modest, but sturdy hit that Wolf’s previous three Chicago shows have become.

It just doesn’t feel like the kind of show where we’ll be waiting for the next adventure.

But it will have to do until the inevitable premiere of Chicago Sanitation.

Kidding. Maybe.

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Since there are no real spoilers here,I won't add any,but fans of the original L&O(Leaded,I like to think,as SVU is the Unleaded version and CI Premium-they were touted as "elite")might want to peek at Justice,and NYPD Blue fans will have interest in the PD's recurring cast member(hint: Blue's later episodes).
I have a stake in the "next Chicago franchise" with my "Chicago Pizza Delivery Guy:Deep Dish Driver-30 minutes or the perp goes free. Or maybe Dick Wolf's new true crime series on Oxygen will re-visit the infamous baseball story of Steve Bartman,who interfered with a foul ball(umpire ruled not) that doomed the Cubs from getting into the World Series in 2003. True crime,pre-replay era.
Do I see Sinatra on the courthouse steps? Sounds like his kind of town...
Mar 1, 2017   |  Reply
Oh,and how about a washed-up White Sox pitcher taking over the day-to-day job at Molly's. Add a couple of barflies,a sassy "elite" barmaid,her complete opposite with the great put downs, crossover Chicago Med shrink Oliver Platt having marital troubles while trying to solve them on a bar stool,a simple-minded assistant for the new boss and it becomes:Molly's:Cheers From The Windy City.
Mar 1, 2017
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