Chicago Fire Review: A Slow Burn

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On my drive to class this morning, NBC asked “What kind of hero are you?” during one of the (many) promos for Chicago Fire - and it’s a great question... except there’s one problem: to be a hero you need character.

Chicago Fire’s pilot just didn’t answer that question as well as it should have.

Chicago Fire Premiere Pic

Which is rather surprising considering it’s a show from Dick Wolf. While the multiple iterations of Law and Order never had the most amazing characters, they were still fully developed and interesting enough to hold our attention season after season, and if Chicago Fire is going to carry SVU’s heavy torch it needs to give us that same reason to tune in.

However, there is something here, as Taylor Kinney’s Severide and Jesse Spencer’s Casey both make something out of the very limited material given to them. The firefighting setting lends itself very well to character dynamics and their interaction, as the two aren’t always fighting fires; their struggles and their personal lives interact and it can get messy in the downtime. The death of Darden has deeply impacted both of them, and they’re struggling to get over the rift that Darden left in his wake.

My brother has been a paramedic and firefighter for years now and he always told me that no matter what happens inside the firehouse it’s all left behind on a call. Everyone sets aside their issues and looks out for one another. This is where Chicago Fire’s greatest strength lies: during every call the team set its personal problems aside and worked together to stay safe and do their jobs.

The fire fighting and the rescues are the greatest strength of the show. The scenes are full of adrenaline and heart-pounding action, and this is part of the something that Chicago Fire does possess. No matter how lacking some of the characters are at this junction, that basic instinct of survival we all have comes to our forefront as we watch them fight these flames.

No matter what I thought Severide and Casey were lacking as they fell to the floor in the building fire, my only thought became “please live, please live.” When they put their differences aside to help each other my eyes may or may not have welled up in tears.

Other thoughts:

  • For the new guy, Mills certainly didn’t get very many “initiation” jokes and pranks.
  • Dawson and Shay are the only other periphery characters that are holding my attention aside from Chief Boden. Herman and Hallie are rather boring, and feel unnecessary at this point for the show.

What did everyone else think? Will this set your DVR ablaze?


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (108 Votes)

Websites had those for $200 early. I'd say THAT is worth it. Plus I never really know how the lines are going to turn out on reelases like this. Could go both ways. And did you say comfor-bility? I that a word? Lol just joking. Great vid. Pick up another V2! ZKVI! Another tattoo! Lol. Throwing stuff out there.


What a HORRIABLE portrayel of firemen and paramedics. the writers probably should of sat down with the people who do this for a living before making this show. drug addicts, rouge paramedics, and full facial hair...not to mention the techniques used...what a pittiful excuse for a should be ashamed NBC


Chicago Fire, not a bad start but will have a long way to go to capture the feel of Rescue Me. Gallows humour is very much a part of the ff culture as is the ordinary people who do extrodinary things in a days work.


I'm so amazed how critical everyone can be without giving a show several weeks to develop. These are amazing actors, certainly a recognized writer and a subject full of great stories. I liked this show. i do hope they don't put Jessie through too much heartache after all the romance torture the writers put him through on House. In my mind I know the difference but can still see his pain.


This can never live up to Third Watch. Was not impressed. Third Watch's pilot episode was far more energetic and captivating. Love Taylor Kinney though, he was great on Vampire Diaries.


I liked it way better than Vegas. It was a little hard for me to figure out the many characters. Maybe too much too soon. Hope people will give it a chance to grow on you. Looks like it could last a long time.

Sarah silva

Severide rescued Casey and the other guy (Steve from Sex and the City). So therefore Severide did not fall.

Sarah silva

For me this show was 5 stars! I love shows about firefighters. Backdraft is one of my all time favorite movies and Third Watch was one of my favorite shows. So maybe that is why I liked it so much. I watched Nashville live as it was supposed to be the best new show and recorded this and for me this was way better. So next week I am watching this live. The only thing that was off....Lauren's hair was super blonde at times and others dark blonde with highlights, they obviously did reshoots and did not have her wear a wig. Other than that...loved it.


i LOVED IT....i saw some of THIRD WATCH....but, didn't see TRUAMA....i kept thinking of EMERGENCY with Roy & Johnny.....people NEED to give NEW SHOWS a chance....the NETWORKS need to give NEW SHOWS more of a chance....and i'm looking forward to NEXT WEEK. alisa


Not at all impressed by this same old run of the mill gonna know what happens drag. Won't watch again. None of the characters drew me in at all. Sad remake of many previous old shows which were way better.

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