Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) is a top cop, known for being tough and fair. He once worked the streets with Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals), but she's been kicked upstairs, and is now the city's first female police superintendent. In that hot-button, ultra-political position, she's continuing a battle that began when she was on the streets, trying to take down corrupt alderman Ronin Gibbons (Delroy Lindo). Gibbons is the king of patronage, using city contracts to reward friends, punish enemies and keep the city's fiscal structure under his thumb.
Wysocki and his new partner (Matt Lauria) are urged by Colvin to find anything they can on Gibbons, who in turn is determined to solidify his power base and destroy his enemies in blue. Unlike most police procedurals where good and bad characters are clearly identified, The Chicago Code constantly blurs lines. Gibbons didn't become a kingpin without doing good things for his constituents, and he's a master at playing the game inside and outside the margins.
Likewise, the cops are also battling organized crime and frequently utilizing dubious tactics via scams, schemes and actions that put them on the other side of the law they're supposed to enforce. Ryan's production will feature different characters offering their viewpoints on evolving situations and multiple plots unfolding within each show.
While The Chicago Code has promise, The Good Wife (Tuesdays, 9 p.m. WTVF-5) emerged last season as CBS's finest character-driven production. This season's exciting state's attorney scenario gets extra punch this week with the arrival of a special guest. Peter Florrick (Chris Noth) wants to connect with younger voters, particularly those in the black neighborhoods on the South Side. So he enlists a partner. While in prison, he met and befriended Rapper Young Boxer (guest star Method Man). Now, despite the reluctance of some on his campaign staff, Florrick decides to consult Boxer on ways of attracting the youth and black vote. It's a logical move, but a tactic that may backfire when word gets out what Florrick's doing.
The Good Wife has helped CBS lock up Tuesday night, proving a great anchor behind powerhouse blockbusters NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles. It has also evolved into a sensational show. The storylines neatly blend courtroom and corporate intrigue with political machinations and family tensions. Well written and directed scripts incorporate these elements into a fast-paced hour that's presented in serialized fashion. Yet each episode covers enough territory to satisfy everyone. Its success, and the arrival of The Chicago Code, ensures that affairs and activities in the Second City will be the focus of terrific TV for a long time to come.
It took a long time and several failed shows, but last year a cable network finally transferred an Elmore Leonard property to television. Justified on FX featured one of the great characters on the small screen in Deputy Marshal Raylan Givens (brilliantly played by Timothy Olyphant). Givens could be a hothead and was unopposed to blowing his quarry away, but was also cagey and resourceful. Unfortunately his penchant for violence caused him to be exiled from Miami back to his native Kentucky town and right into the middle of a simmering feud with childhood friend Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins).
Justified's second season begins Tuesday night at 9 p.m, and Givens finds himself on the trail of another outlandish, dangerous figure. This time he's battling Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale) the head of a family crime cartel who may or may not be involved with the fugitive he's tracking, a sex offender named Jimmy Earl Dean who's on Bennett's payroll. Givens never does things the easy way, and always finds trouble no matter how hard he tries to avoid it. Leonard is on record saying this is the first show that's ever gotten his characters and sensibility right, and that's high praise for any TV program.
For those so inclined, the annual Grammy Awards air Sunday (Feb. 13) at 7 p.m. on WTVF-5. Eminem topped all performers with 10 nominations, and he's among the list of scheduled performers/presenters. Others include Arcade Fire, jazz/pop bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spaulding and Lady Antebellum.