Alyssa Raga, Staff Writer
While we are all in self-isolation, most of us are looking for shows to binge watch to help pass the time or for when we need to take a break from everything going on. My go-to show is Chicago P.D.
Chicago P.D. is one show in the “One Chicago” universe that also features Chicago Fire and Chicago Med. This show follows the Intelligence Unit of the Chicago Police Department as they try to keep the city safe. The show’s seventh season just finished last month, three episodes earlier than anticipated as production had to be shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, all three of the Chicago shows were renewed for at least three more seasons.
Chicago P.D. quickly became one of my all-time favorite shows. When I first discovered it, I watched the entire series in less than two weeks. Now, I watch it pretty much daily. Chicago P.D. is a show that has something for everyone and will suck you in immediately. The entire cast of this show are unbelievably talented and very underrated.
There are many reasons to watch the show, however, here are some of the highlights, with minimal spoilers, of course.
The Intelligence Unit is never one to shy away from action. This group will go directly into a shootout if it means taking down the bad guy and keeping the city safe. There are also multiple high speed chases each season, which could be in cars or on foot. The detectives and officers in the unit also go undercover when necessary, even if it’s dangerous. There have been many difficult situations that have come from going undercover.
Romance is a selling point in any show or movie. The on and off again relationship (hopefully one day on again for forever) relationship between Adam Ruzek (Patrick John Flueger) and Kim Burgess (Marina Squerciati) is something that keeps fans coming back. Their relationship, lovingly named “Burzek” by fans, is something that will always keep people coming back for more. Even the smallest scene of the two of them together gets the fans excited. Also, Jay Halstead (Jesse Lee Soffer) has had some relationship excitement of his own over the seven seasons of the show. There is no denying the chemistry that he and his partner Erin Lindsay (Sophia Bush) have when they are on screen together, but is it a good idea to date your partner? This is something that the two of them need to figure out, with some bumps along the way, of course. Then, Halstead has another member of Intelligence that he could possibly have something going on with, that person is Hailey Upton (Tracy Spiridakos). Only time will tell what will happen with those two.
Sometimes, the shows will do crossover episodes. This means that one continuous storyline will be played out during all three shows. This allows fans to see their favorite characters from each show interact, which is something that they do not usually get to see. This past season, there was a crossover episode called “Infection” that felt more like a movie than a television show. These crossovers will keep you on the edge of your seat with all of the twists and turns that can happen in three hours. Also, with all three of the shows taking place in the same “universe” some of the characters are connected. An example of this is Halstead’s brother, Will Halstead (Nick Gehlfuss), who is a doctor on Chicago Med. Fans love when they get to see the Halstead brothers on screen together. There have also been romantic relationships that have been intertwined between the three shows.
4) Family and Loyalty
The Intelligence Unit truly is a family. They will do anything for each other. Hank Voight (Jason Beghe), the leader of the unit, will go to the ends of the earth for his team. He will cross the line when necessary. Voight and Lindsay have a sad but inspiring past that will warm the hearts of the viewers. Voight also has a long history with Alvin Olinsky (Elias Koteas). They worked together years before Voight took over the Intelligence Unit. They have an unbreakable bond, even when they do not see eye to eye. Burgess and Kevin Atwater (LaRoyce Hawkins) have a bond that started when they were on patrol with each other before moving up to Intelligence. Every character has a different relationship with each other that is interesting to watch and see grow stronger throughout the seasons. The members of the unit will cover for each other, even if it could end up hurting themselves as well. The family aspect goes beyond just their relationships with each other. When disaster strikes in their actual families, which has happened to Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) on multiple occasions, the team will do anything to help, because as Voight says, “an attack on your family, is an attack on our family.”
5) Strong Women
The women on this show are so strong, independent, smart and can truly hold their own. All of the women who have been in the unit, Lindsay, Burgess, Upton and the newcomer this season Vanessa Rojas (Lisseth Chavez) are not to be messed with. They have no problem running after an offender and tackling them to the ground. They will speak their mind without hesitation, and they can keep up with the men in the unit, which is such an important thing to show, especially in today’s society. These women are role models for any girl who wants to be a police officer, or honestly, just any woman in general.
Chicago P.D. is classified as a drama show, and it lives up to its classification. Every week there will be a twist that you didn’t see coming. There have been many times where I have been shocked at what happened during an episode, but that’s what makes it so exciting. Also, those previous relationships mentioned also brings drama to the show. Members of the unit have been held hostage or have stared down the barrel of a loaded gun. More than anything, there is truly a chance that a main character could die at any time during the series. Unfortunately, no one is safe.
There will be cliffhangers during the season that will leave your heart racing and counting down the days until the next episode airs. There have truly been some shocking ones that no one saw coming. I’m still not over some of the cliffhangers that have happened and still cannot believe that they even did happen. Sometimes after an episode airs, especially a finale, you will have to sit and process what just happened. This is especially true for one that happened this season. I am still trying to recover.
While the overall nature of the show is intense with topics such as death, drugs, assault, robbery and more, there are moments of humor sprinkled throughout the episodes. The characters will joke around with each other and partake in witty banter. While they know they have a serious job to do, they know that they also have to try to keep things light. Also, they will sometimes make sarcastic comments to the suspects, which always gets a laugh from fans. One of the biggest sources of humor in the show is the character of Trudy Platt (Amy Morton). Platt is a sassy and sarcastic woman. She is a no-nonsense woman and will tell you how she feels, whether or not you asked for her opinion. Her little moments during the show are a much needed break from some of the heavy material being played out on the screen. Often times after a long day of work, the unit will go to a bar called “Molly’s” and spend time together. Characters from all three of the Chicago shows will actually go to this bar. The scenes at “Molly’s” are usually fun and heartwarming.
9) Real Life Situations
Sometimes the show will tackle real life situations. There was an episode done about athletes kneeling for the National Anthem. This was an interesting episode since Halstead is a veteran so viewers got to see multiple sides of a controversial issue. There was an episode about an incident with an innocent African American man with an officer in another unit, as well as episodes about domestic abuse. Since the show is actually filmed in Chicago, many issues that actually take place in the city are shown as well. Politics were a large part of season six, and there was plenty of drama that came from that. With that being said, these episodes can evoke emotions for the viewers, as well as the characters. Viewers often get to see the characters struggle with a case that hits close to home for them. There are even times that they have been taken off a case because they are too emotionally involved, which is something that would happen in real life. The writers are not afraid to make things realistic.
10) Jesse Lee Soffer
This is completely my opinion and just my chance to declare my love for Jesse Lee Soffer who, as previously mentioned, plays Jay Halstead, my favorite character. Soffer is probably one of the most underrated actors ever. When you see him on the screen, you almost forget that he is just acting. On Chicago P.D., viewers can truly feel Jay’s emotions. Even when nothing is said, the emotions can be seen just from Soffer’s eyes. I do not think anyone could play Halstead other than Soffer. He made the role come to life. Halstead cares deeply about his co-workers, cases and the victims, he is the type of person to put everyone before himself, which Soffer perfectly shows throughout the series, especially when it comes to Halstead’s issues with PTSD from his time in the army. I have never seen someone play a character as well as he plays Halstead. Soffer truly does not get the recognition he deserves. As great an actor as Soffer is, he is an even better person off screen, in my opinion. I am definitely proud to call myself a fan of his.
Overall, if you are looking for a show to watch during this crazy time, Chicago P.D. is a great option. There are so many aspects that will appeal to someone. As much as I did praise Jesse Lee Soffer in my last point, all of the actors and actresses on the show are so talented and deserve way more recognition than they get. This is a show that I feel very passionate about and I hope it will bring you as much joy as it brings me.
New episodes air on NBC, however, you can currently watch seasons 1-5 on Amazon Prime. Reruns of the show are also aired multiple times a week on USA Network, Oxygen and Ion Television. The show will also be available on NBC’s new streaming service when it is launched this summer.