The Chi: Season 1 Reviews

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January 8, 2018
... looks at modern-day South Side Chicago through the eyes of a handful of its everyday citizens - children, teens and adults.
January 8, 2018
There's little doubt that The Chi is the most realistic depiction of Chicago that television has to offer right now. Although, it's not like there's a lot of options when it comes to Chicago and prestige dramas.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
January 8, 2018
The Chi does not seem as philosophically devoted to tragedy as did The Wire. It seems possible that some of these characters are fated to survive, even thrive.
January 8, 2018
But were you to remove the bodies and the bad guys from the story, there is enough individual life in these characters to make them worth knowing.
January 8, 2018
The joke, yet again, seems to rest on Maisha's presumed undesirability or unattractiveness. I hope that The Chi won't lean on this kind of punch line again next season.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
January 8, 2018
Its characters are rich, the on-location production delivers authenticity and electricity, and the each element of the ensemble provides a gripping gateway into the world of the show.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.8/10
January 8, 2018
Showtime's The Chi floats like a worthy successor to The Wire and then descends into the sort of bathos of a Tyler Perry production.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
January 6, 2018
The Chi ultimately appears unable to imagine Chicago's South Side as anything but toxic.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
January 6, 2018
Despite its dark turns, the series also trades in hope, and it's instantly engaging on an emotional level. We're not invited as tourists to the South Side, but to notice the connections, and to see what's real.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
January 5, 2018
Overall, The Chi is a beautiful series that packs a series emotional punch.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
January 5, 2018
If The Wire surveilled its characters, The Chi sticks you in the story with them. This show is a jewel. Watch it.
January 5, 2018
Even when the plot goes down familiar dark roads, these characters are determined not to end up as clichs-or statistics.
January 5, 2018
There's a wealth of acting talent being showcased on Showtime, and a number of performances that, as has been said about Chicago itself, won't let you down.
January 5, 2018
The Chi's pilot is a strong opening salvo, and it accounts for most of my optimism that the show will eventually sort out what works from what doesn't.
January 5, 2018
It serves as eloquent proof that the people who inhabit [Chicago] are much more than statistics. That there is a complex vitality to the city and the people who live there.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
January 5, 2018
A sometimes frustrating experience in that there's a lot to like regarding ambition and ensemble, but the writing often strains to connect its multiple threads in a way that feels organic.
January 4, 2018
The most memorable characters in The Chi are not defined by the worst things that happen in their neighborhoods; these people, and these communities, contain multitudes.
January 4, 2018
If a drama series isn't showing much forward momentum by the third episode these days, it's tough to ask the audience to stick around.
Top Critic
January 4, 2018
The Chi is all about despair wrapped in calamity. This may be an accurate read of these streets, but even tragedies need hope, however quixotic. There's none here.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
January 4, 2018
Waithe has created a series that doesn't provide a clear blueprint for its direction, which is part of what makes the show so bracing. The writing almost instantly gets past clichs to bring real depth to -- and investment in -- the characters.
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