On the other end of the phone, Jennifer Beals is reading a Carl Sandburg poem titled "Chicago." Scratch that — she's performing it.
The poem celebrates Chicago's blue-collar work ethic as what trumps portrayals of the city as a corrupt, dangerous place to live. It's the best way for Beals, a Windy City native and star of Fox's The Chicago Code, to explain how she — and her character, Police Superintendent Teresa Colvin — feel about the place they call home.
Cheers to The Chicago Code for unleashing the bear inside Jason Clarke.
Want more Cheers & Jeers? Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!
The Australian actor is probably best known to American audiences as Tommy Caffee, the velvet-glove politician to Jason Isaacs' iron-fisted sibling Michael on Showtime's late, great Brotherhood. But as detective Jarek Wysocki in Fox's Windy City cop drama, he blows through crime scenes like a man on a tornado-like mission to uproot corruption. He's an instantly fascinating character, and Clarke charges him with kinetic energy.
Miss The Shield? On Monday, Fox will debut Shield creator and boss Shawn Ryan's new cop drama The Chicago Code.
The series revolves around the Chicago Police Department, whose superintendent Teresa Colvin (Jennifer Beals) is in the middle of creating a task force to help to take down a corrupt city alderman Ronin Gibbons (Delroy Lindo) with possible ties to the Irish mob. Teresa tasks Det. Jarek Wysocki (Jason Clarke) and his new partner Caleb Evers (Matt Lauria) to investigate.
Check out the rest of today's news
Check out an exclusive scene from the series premiere of Chicago Code, airing Monday at 9/8c on Fox:
What a week for fans of crime dramas that try to raise the bar. Two winners premiering this week are set in USA's midsection — one rural, one urban (which I'm thinking you might have heard about on Super Bowl Sunday) — and they're so good it makes you wonder why Law & Order never took its act to the heartland.
Want more Matt Roush? Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!
We'll be discussing the second season of FX's spectacularly entertaining Justified (returns Wednesday, 10/9c) later this week. Inspired by an Elmore Leonard character, this Kentucky-fried caper sneaks up on you, its laid-back attitude punctuated by shocks of grisly mayhem.
By contrast, Fox's muscular new The Chicago Code — from The Shield's Shawn Ryan — grabs you by the collar as it plunges headlong into a treacherous labyrinth of big-city corruption...
The Chicago Code (Monday, 9/8c, Fox)
Perking up what has been a pretty dismal midseason so far, this tough, brisk police drama from The Shield's Shawn Ryan is set and filmed in Chicago, where the city's brash first female police superintendent (Jennifer Beals, cast against type) clashes with a corrupt alderman (Delroy Lindo, savoring his smooth villainy) who holds her department's purse strings. Colvin's eyes and ears on the mean streets is reckless local-legend detective Jarek Wysocki (Brotherhood's Jason Clarke), who's just been saddled with a young, earnest partner (Friday Night Lights' Matt Lauria) who's not as green as he looks. The show weaves each of their points-of-view into a compelling, muscular narrative. Please watch...