Spot Chicago actors on The Chicago Code
Mon Feb 7 2011
Photograph: Peter Sorel/FOX
Fox’s heavily promoted midseason cop show The Chicago Code, which shot all over the city last summer and fall, premieres tonight at 8pm. Of course you already know that if you watched the Super Bowl; there were almost as many promos for the show last night as there were Bud Light commercials. As the Reader points out, The Shield creator and Rockford native Shawn Ryan doesn’t quite get our city’s politics right; real Chicago corruption is more mundane and insidious than that of the series’s menacing crooked alderman Ronin Gibbons (played by Delroy Lindo).
Then again, mundane doesn’t make for good TV, and besides, Code gets Chicago way righter than other Chicago-set shows such as The Good Wife simply by actually shooting here. Watching the first few episodes, I took undeniable pleasure just in seeing our city, real Chicago, used as a main character. And it’s even more lovely, for me, to see Chicago actors. Last summer, after the pilot (then called Ride-Along) had been picked up and shooting had begun on subsequent episodes, I spoke to casting director Claire Simon about the producers’ desire to utilize Chicago actors, and they’ve kept to their word. I find myself shouting out names when I recognize our folks: “Guy Massey!” “Charin Alvarez!” “Greta Honold!” (You might not want to watch with me, this could get distracting.) Remy Ortiz and Patrick Andrews play prominent roles in tonight’s pilot; Howie Johnson, Lacy Katherine Campbell and Mary Hollis Inboden are among those you can see in future episodes. Inboden, who booked a recurring role as an assistant to Jennifer Beals’s police superintendent, shot six episodes; she really started rooting for the show “when I realized how little outsourcing from L.A. is happening,” she tells me. “This show has the potential to showcase not only the Chicago acting community, but the technicians, the production components and people and the city itself.”