on the tube

February 3rd, 2011 |
By Dean Robbins


‘The Chicago Code’ hits the mean streets

True to its name, “The Chicago Code” serves up the Windy City on a platter. Everything feels authentic in this new cop series (Monday, 8 p.m., Fox), starting with settings that range from posh skyscraper offices to cruddy vacant lots.

Then there’s the pervasive corruption that everyone takes for granted — everyone except Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals). A whiz-kid promoted to the city’s top cop, Teresa is fearless in taking on both dirty police officers and dirty politicians, including a string-pulling alderman (Delroy Lindo). She finds a kindred spirit in her former partner, Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke), a White Sox-loving straight-shooter who’s given special authority to take on interesting cases. And for once, they really are interesting, involving connections among mobsters, street thugs, powerbrokers and businesses.

The series’ pace is exhilarating, and so is the acting. I don’t know where Beals — the former Flashdancer and still glamorous beauty — found the reserves of toughness to play her role, but I hope she keeps finding them. You don’t doubt for a second that she can stand up to a demoted cop who calls her a “smug little bitch,” nor do you doubt that there’s an actual human heart beating under that righteous persona.

“The Chicago Code” promises to take us to brutal corners of the city. “If there’s one thing Chicago knows,” says Wysocki, “it’s how to punch back.”

I can’t wait to be punched again next week.


Super Bowl

Sunday, 5:30 p.m., Fox

I don’t know enough about football to predict who will win the Super Bowl, the Packers or the Steelers. But I am laying 3-to-1 odds that Fergie will be sexy and sassy during the Black Eyed Peas’ halftime-show performance. CV