Monday, October 15, 2012

Pilot Review: Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire (NBC)
Premiered October 10 at 10pm

The most common types of procedurals, broadly speaking, are law shows and cop shows. The spin on the latter is the less common firefighter show, which last graced the broadcast airwaves on this same network with “Third Watch.” Now, NBC is at it again with this extremely familiar and generally uncreative series set in Chicago. It’s clearly being supported and touted by the city if Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s silent cameo as himself at the end of the episode is any indication. There are a handful of recognizable faces in the cast, the most notable of whom is Eamonn Walker, who owned a multi-episode guest stint on FX’s short-lived “Lights Out” and now stars as the chief, who isn’t above fighting physically for his honor. David Eigenberg, most well known as Steve from “Sex and the City,” is a firefighter whose house was repossessed, and Jesse Spencer from “House” is on tap to play one of two firefighters traumatized by the death of a close friend while fighting a fire. Lauren German, who proved herself to be incorrigibly terrible on “Happy Town,” one of the worst shows ever to air on television, is a paramedic with far less personality than, say, two stars of “Once Upon a Time” on other short-lived NBC series, Anastasia Griffith on “Trauma” and Lana Parilla on “Boomtown.” No actor stands out, and it’s hard to get attached to any of them since they possess few distinguishing qualities. Namely, after watching “Rescue Me” for so many years, it’s hard to find this tame show anywhere close to compelling.

How will it work as a series? Fires will be started, both literally in terms of flames and within the house as tensions, especially those between the two mourning friends, mount and boil over. Procedurals have a wealth of material from which to draw, and filling the plotlines shouldn’t be much of a problem, though it likely won’t be too engaging.
How long will it last? Going up against the debut of “Nashville” was far from ideal, and the ratings suffered as a result. NBC could use a dramatic hit right now, and it doesn’t look like this show will have what it takes to continue going. It will likely last a few weeks, but being continually trounced by ABC’s new hit will condemn it to quick cancellation.

Pilot grade: C

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