AS SCENE ON SCREEN

Christine Klee

The Irish mob, murders, angry cops and corruption are all part of the explosive mix of “The Chicago Code.” This new drama starring Jennifer Beals, Jason Clark and Matt Lauria enthralled viewers after only three episodes and is rightfully claiming the title of best new midseason drama.

As the title suggests, the show is set and shot in Chicago and deals with a topic that this city has become infamous for: corruption.

Teresa Colvin (Beals), the new superintendent and therefore head of the entire police force, has made fighting dirty cops and politicians her number one goal. She recruits homicide detective and former partner Jarek Wysocki (Clark) as her eyes and ears out on the street.

Wysocki receives the privilege to take any case he wants, and he makes use of this privilege right away, to the dismay of this colleagues. Their main animosity lies in his perceived involvement in Colvin’s clean-up of the force, which involves her ‘promoting’ a veteran detective to “Commander of mops and brooms.”

Matt Lauria plays Caleb Evers, the latest in a long list of Wysocki’s partners. Newcomer Devin Kelley shines as the detective’s rookie-cop niece, Vonda Wysocki, while veteran actor Delroy Lindo portrays Alderman Ronin Gibbins, a possibly corrupt city official.

The scenes shot on location give the show an authentic feel, as do the actors’ great accents. Part of the authenticity comes from series creator and Illinois-native Shawn Ryan, best known for his work on “The Shield.” Scenes shot on and around the famous L, the elevated public transportation system, deliver an especially distinct look.

Beals shines in her role as the assertive but emotionally involved superintendent. Perhaps one of TV’s most underrated actresses, she delivered breath-taking but ignored performances on “The L Word,” and here, she might finally receive the appreciation she deserves.

Clark gives his character the depth to be more than just the stereotypical loner detective who hates everyone, and the cast as a whole seems to thrive on great writing and thrilling storylines, which will certainly turn this show into a favorite with critics and viewers alike.

“The Chicago Code” is certainly more than just your typical crime-solving cop show. Viewers never quite know who to trust and are kept on the edge of their seats, not only by the action scenes but also by the tense emotions involved.

“The Chicago Code” airs on FOX on Mondays at 9 p.m.