I’m Only Watching This Once: Chicago P.D.

I am a sucker for procedural shows, but I swore that I would never in my life watch the One Chicago shows. Why? Because one of my close friends talks about the Chicago Bears non stop and if I have to hear anything more about Chicago – I would finally understand why my parents would always tell me to shut up about boy bands back in the day.

And no offense to anyone – I will never give parents the satisfaction of that.

But quarantine changes everything. Suddenly it feels like I have completed Netflix and it’s way to early in the year to resort to watching Christmas movies.

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CHICAGO P.D. — “Mercy” Episode 710 — Pictured: (l-r) Patrick John Flueger as Officer Adam Ruzek, Lisseth Chavez as Officer Vanessa Rojas, LaRoyce Hawkins as Officer Kevin Atwater, Tracy Spiridakos as Det. Hailey Upton, Jason Beghe as Sgt. Hank Voight — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

So one day, when I could have sworn that I was going to die from pain, I took a Percocet and laid down on my couch – ready to find something to watch. And it truly was the apocolypse because there was no Law and Order marathon on anywhere.

But there was a Chicago P.D. marathon on and so I settled in for what I thought was going to be my secret.

One episode. What would it hurt?

I shoulda remembered what my Mom always told me – if you have to ask what would it hurt, it will hurt something?

The next thing I knew, I had settled in for 2 weeks of nothing by Chicago P.D. episodes and the pain in my back growing as I didn’t move. I was drawn in so deep that I knew that I was a goner. I knew that there was no getting out of the love that I was feeling for this show.

District 21 of the Chicago Police Department is composed of the uniformed cops, who deal with street crimes, and the Intelligence Unit, which deals with major crimes like drug trafficking and high-profile murders. Sgt Hank Voight – a tough boss who doesn’t mind bending the rules a little in the pursuit of justice – heads the unit’s elite team. The responsibilities of life on the force take a toll on the officers, as they struggle to balance their personal lives with the strain of the job. From Emmy-winning producer Dick Wolf.

And then I had to ask myself – where had I failed in my quest to only watch this once. What had happened?

And then I started to figure it out.

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SOPHIA BUSH

I am an OG Sophia Bush fan. And I will admit when I started the show over from its first episode, it was Sophia that drew me in. I loved her on One Tree Hill and swore that I would follow the cast of that show where ever they went.

Sophia’s character, Erin is a complex character with many flaws, but that is what made me love her. So many times we see characters on television that are perfect, an unattainable way to be. But Erin wasn’t perfect – she’d gone through it all and was rising from that. She didn’t let her past define her, but let the things that she could do with her future shape her.

I thought that when she left the show, I would want to stop watching. But I didn’t. Did I like her ending? No. I thought it was fast writing and lacked imagination. But, by the time that she left I was so drawn in, I didn’t care.

THE CAST

Jason Beghe, Jon Seda, Sophia Bush, Jesse Lee Soffer, Patrick John Flueger, Marina Squerciati, LaRoyce Hawkins, Archie Kao, Elias Koteas, Amy Morton, Brian Geraghty, Tracy Spiridakos and Lisseth Chavez are some of the great actors that have or are starring in the show.

I’ve read a lot about the shit that supposedly goes on behind the scenes, but it is none of my business and I know that we will never know the entire story.

But the cast is amazing and they become their characters. They draw you in and make you feel for the characters. Sure, sometimes you feel hate, sometimes love, and sometimes both – but the characters are what you love and they wouldn’t be the same without the amazing actors that bring them to life.

THE WRITING

Chicago P.D. does its best to be realistic but I will be the first to admit that it often falls into the cliches of most procedurals.

But it also pushes the envelope more than other procedurals do.

The writers want you to feel for the characters, but they also want you to see that they are human. And they do show you that they are flawed, growing, and making choices – which enables you to allow them into your heart.

The writers also manage to show you that there are consequences – ones that actually stick or that a name can’t get you out of. They want you to see that these could be real people and that there are good and bad cops in the world. Just as there are good and bad people.

The writers do their best to minimize – if not eradicate – all plot holes that can be found. They are meticulous in making sure that everything is explained, even if it takes you a bit to see it.

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CHICAGO P.D. — “Doubt” Episode 701 — Pictured: (l-r) Jason Beghe as Sgt. Hank Voight, Jesse Lee Soffer as Det. Jay Halstead — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

THE SHIPS

Show me a drama that people love without a ship and I will show you the ship that you are missing.

Because honestly, ships make the world go round.

But I found myself drawn into the ships on this show more than usual. It’s hard to choose between them all. It’s hard to find a way to not love everyone together.

But what I found interesting is that I will usually live and die by the ship that chooses me. And hey – I loved, loved Linstead. When Sophia Bush left the show, I was positive that I would hate it because my ship was gone.

But then I found myself naturally evolving into loving Upstead. And as naturally as Linstead had captured my heart, Upstead did also. I evolved with the show, and am so invested in Upstead that I would like to know when this is going to happen.

Because Lord, I need my ship to set sail.

THE CITY

Probably one of the biggest characters in the show – Chicago itself. The city is beautiful.

The city is captivating.

The show makes you fall in love with Chicago and makes you want to go there. Sure, you don’t want to the cops – I like to avoid them always – but you do want to see Chicago.

Because its residents feel like someone you’d want to know. You want to walk the streets. You want to eat at its restaurants. You want to breathe its air.

Do I wanna hear about Chicago? No. Do I wanna hear about the Bears? Fuck no. But will I continue watching Chicago P.D.? Yes.

CHICAGO P.D — “43rd and Normal” Episode 711 — Pictured: Tracy Spiridakos as Detective Hailey Upton — (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

I definitely failed with this show in my quest to only watch this once.

Chicago P.D. airs on NBC.

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