NBC's 'Chicago Fire' Review - Edgy or Extreme?


, Blogger: Orry's Orations
To be frank, I am really tired of cliffhanger dramas that air at night and require you not to miss an episode. Many of these are essentially soap operas in prime time and while I have nothing against that genre and indeed have decades of history watching them, I now grow weary of that "can't miss" element. That said, there are two dramas this season that have continued to hook me and not surprisingly, based on their good ratings, Chicago Fire and Nashville. The two freshman series face off against each other on Wednesday nights at 10pm. This post will focus on the former program.

Chicago Fire takes me back to the lighter drama days of Emergency! that starred Robert Fuller because one of the engines is numbered 51, the same as was used on that popular series back in the seventies. While the drama has plenty of grit, so far it hasn't gone over the top. I don't like to see too much blood and gore; I get that on the evening news. Believe me, there is plenty of blood and realistic action, but it hasn't been presented as yet in a way that bothers me.

One of the elements that I am enjoying are shorter term arcs versus all the intricate plots going for an entire season. Certainly, subplots and certain pieces of the story are long term, but many angles are presented and done in a shorter span of time, such as the captain's relationship with a youngster who was setting fires or one firefighter's substance abuse problems after a hand injury.

View attachment 2205 On the most recent episode, the brilliant Kathleen Quinlan had a stunning scene with her onscreen son played by Jesse Spencer. It revolved around the reason why the just paroled Quinlan had shot and killed her husband, Spencer's father. It is scenes like this one that have kept Chicago Fire blazing brightly. It is a fire, though, that has to be tempered against some of the more soapy themes that turn me off.

The story includes an ongoing relationship between two women, one of whom is married and just had a baby.

The outside photography has been quite good. I enjoy the runs to rescues that the engine and paramedic squads go on in that sense.

Until Chicago Fire loses its edge and takes the continuation part of their storyteller to an extreme, I'll continue to watch, or rather, DVR it. While not every tale has me enthralled, enough of them do that I am enjoying it weekly, and as long as talents like Quinlan's are part of the show, it's worth watching.

What are your thoughts on Chicago Fire?