Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Chicago Fire" - First Season (2011)

I was a little hesitant to watch this series at first, fearing it would be a pale imitation of “Rescue Me”, the groundbreaking series with Denis Leary. Glad I didn't listen to myself on that score, as “Chicago Fire” has Rescue Me” beat by a mile on several fronts. Some of the story lines may be almost identical, but the emphasis in this series is more on the disaster relief and firefighting than on extramarital affairs and drinking.

To be sure, the men and women in this series all have their own set of flaws, but they are represented in a more realistic matter. Another aspect of this show which I enjoy is that the women are not all pieces of meat as they were in other series. The women firefighters and rescue personnel are all portrayed as competent and yet still are allowed to maintain their femininity and dignity. That’s not to say that there isn't a bit of fooling around going on here. If you’re worried about that, don’t be.

The subject of Gay and Lesbian firefighters is not ignored either, with one of the main characters on the rescue squad openly gay and close friends with her partner, who is straight. The show is actually pretty realistic in its portrayal of people who have different lifestyles working together.

The story lines are provocative and realistic as well. From the relationships with the community, to the animosity between the Fire Department and the Police, the shows ring true. I was surprised to discover that this show is not on cable, but on a major network, and available even to those who only have “rabbit ear” antennas.

It’s hard to find new series which I really enjoy watching on a steady basis, so this one was a pleasant surprise. As usual I found it in the library before I even knew it was a television show. I stopped channel surfing about 5 years ago, and haven’t looked at a TV page in the same amount of time.

Tight direction and cinematography, along with believable character development; and coupled with good writing; all combine to make this show worth watching.

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