The Chi – AR Review
The South Side of Chicago carries daily danger, and the smallest and simplest of decisions can have life or death consequences for the residents. Life continues as the kids prep for school and their parents shuffle off to work. The young adults of the area are trying to scrape a living for themselves, while the elders sit on their front porches and observe the goings on.
The South Side has the potential to crush dreams, and this coming-of-age series focuses on Kevin, a preteen who embraces the normal rites of childhood, Brandon, who makes a leap of faith to succeed in love and life with Jerrika, Emmett, who seeks guidance from his mother, and Ronnie, who is a drifter struggling to be loved. All of them are linked together by sheer coincidence as they seek redemption.
The Chi focuses primarily on the people who are accused of waging a “war on police.” They’re not, and while the show isn’t necessarily arguing it’s the other way around, it doesn’t exonerate the police either.
It puts very human faces and personalities on the endless flow of generic headlines, and in the process their lives become harder to dismiss with a turn of the page or a click. “The Chi” makes the political personal.
The Chi is about good kids and troublemakers and hard workers and fuckups. After only one episode, I love them all. I think you will too.
There is room for improvement. Television is waiting for a show that turns the South Side’s unique struggle into groundbreaking pop culture poetry, but The Chi will have to raise its game a bit more to pull that off.