The Chi: Season 1 Reviews

Page 1 of 2
March 5, 2018
Ms. Waithe has succeeded in putting a wide web of interesting and sympathetic characters on screen and telling their stories with a minimum of sentimentality and a consistent, welcome dose of low-key humor.
January 22, 2018
All this plot leaves characters with so little downtime that they can only appear skeletally sketched.
Top Critic
January 12, 2018
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.
January 8, 2018
It's more about the rhythms of life and has a deeply humane perspective.
January 8, 2018
There is a lot of power and emotional depth here, all of which Waithe and her cast achieve without falling back on a doctrinaire moral code.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
January 8, 2018
The Chi, Lena Waithe's Showtime series ... captures [its] truth more than any other Chicago-based series on television even as it grapples with the broad scope of its tangle of narratives.
January 8, 2018
This is a TV series that loves its characters and appreciates the environment they move through. It keeps surprising you with the connections between people, as well as the choices that individuals make in the moment.
January 8, 2018
Greatness beckons after the first four episodes. And so far there's no reason to think that The Chi will fall short of achieving it.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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 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
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.
January 4, 2018
What emerges as The Chi gets room to breathe is that, while it unfolds from a crime, it's not really a crime story. It's about a widening pool of people who would rather be doing anything besides dealing with the repercussions of a murder.
January 4, 2018
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.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Page 1 of 2