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TV review: NBC's 'Chicago PD' is tough to take
TV reviews

TV review: NBC's 'Chicago PD' is tough to take

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"Chicago PD," 9 p.m. Wednesdays on NBC

Two stars (out of four)

Not every TV drama needs to be groundbreaking. Not every new cop show needs to be "The Shield," or even "Hill Street Blues" or "Homicide: Life on the Street." There's still a place for a solid procedural about heroes in blue tracking bad guys.

Unfortunately, "Chicago PD," Dick Wolf's spin-off of his "Chicago Fire," isn't that show. It might be, but as executed, it almost seems like a parody of the genre.

Jason Beghe stars as Sgt. Hank Voight, whom viewers first met on "Chicago Fire" when he was trying to save his son from a drunk-driving rap, even if that meant killing Case (Jesse Spencer).

Now cleared (don't ask) and back on the job, he's even been promoted to head a new unit that goes after the worst of the bad guys. (Think a Colombian drug lord who kidnaps kids.) With his vigilante style and unshakable belief that he's right, Voight is the ideal man for this mission, because he doesn't think much of rules and is ready to do whatever it takes — lie? intimidate? crack a few skulls?—  to get those he assumes are guilty.

Beghe's growly, macho performance is hard to stomach, getting in the way of even noticing the attractive supporting cast, which includes Jon Seda, Elias Koteas, Jesse Lee Soffer and Sophia Bush. Seda and Soffer previously turned up on "Chicago Fire," Seda as Dawson's brother and Soffer as her beau.

"Chicago PD" may be targeting those who think the world would be a better place if the police weren't so hampered ("Do what you got to do," Beghe tells a team member questioning a suspect), or who just want to kick back and enjoy some retro action.

Others might remember their viewer rights, including: "You have the right to turn this show off."

Gail Pennington is the television critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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