"Chicago Fire" Series Premiere Review
Emily Grossberg ’16 / Emertainment MonthlyStaff
There may be one thing hotter than fire on this show and that is the fireman that grace the screen. However, do not let those men distract you from the fact that Chicago Fire produces little to no heat. It’s more lukewarm than anything else.
I felt like I should have expected more from Dick Wolf, the man who created the extremely successful television series “Law and Order.”
Set in my hometown of Chicago, the only thing that really thrilled me about watching this show was being able to see my gorgeous city on television. The medical scares, raging fires and feeble attempts at humor lacked originality and gives the feeling of watching “Grey’s Anatomy”, “ER” and segments of the evening news all at once.
The show opens with the death of a squad member and the rest of the episode follows a month after the incident. Two former best friends, Matthew Casey and Kelly Severide (played by the bland Jesse Spencer and even blander Taylor Kinney), are part of the main conflict as the firehouse struggles to overcome the tragedy the month prior. To keep the show from being totally male-oriented, NBC throws in Lauren German and Gabriela Dawson to play paramedics that look like they should be on a billboard for Calvin Klein rather than in an ambulance.
Throughout the episode people tease, they fight and they attempt tear-jerker moments. The viewers get insight into the firemen’s personal struggles as well which, if you ask me, could not be more predictable if the writers tried. The only person I felt truly connected to during the show was fireman Christopher Herrmann (David Eigenberg, Steve from “Sex and the City”), and that was most likely because I did not want Miranda Hobb’s husband getting killed in some crazy fire.
However, the show was able to create some sense of mystery and suspense that strangely makes me want to tune in for the next episode. It may be because the men are ripped or because I’m homesick or because I genuinely enjoy not being surprised while watching television, but I believe this show will hold its own on the network because it’s able to create a clear story line that flows like a typical drama should. The stunts are good, the special effects are well-done, and the casual appearance by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was even better.
Chicago Fire is flashy television and it’s got potential, but hopefully they can keep the flame burning before someone puts it out. Chicago Fire airs at 10/9c on NBC.
This show is very generic: from the characters to the dialogue and I agree that we should come to expect more from Dick Wolfe. Then again, this is also his first attempt at stepping outside of the police procedural and into a very challenging show. Have you ever noticed that firefighter shows don’t stick around very often? The show has had surprisingly little fire for a show about firefighters and maybe that’s something else that gets me. I’m going to give the show a few more episodes to see if it will turn things around and I’ve got my Hopper timers set in the meantime so I can keep up. My DISH co-worker said that to her the characters are all the same. There isn’t really a way for us to develop a relationship with the characters other than if they’re male or female. I have to agree with her about the characters. The way the show was introduced it’s almost as if we are expected to have some sort of emotional attachment to people we don’t even know. When I read that someone died in the pilot I was shocked because that’s usually something you do after the show has been on for a while.