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Is New Dick Wolf Show 'Chicago Justice' Worth Watching? Critics Weigh In

By DNAinfo Staff | March 1, 2017 10:53am | Updated on March 1, 2017 10:56am
 Carl Weathers stars in
Carl Weathers stars in "Chicago Justice."
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NORTH LAWNDALE — Characters in the latest of Dick Wolf's Chicago TV franchise are introduced Wednesday night in a crossover special blending his existing NBC shows.

Wolf's "Chicago Justice" features lawyers and cops, ala the veteran producer's prior effort in his New York-filmed "Law and Order." Carl Weathers plays the Cook County State's Attorney in "Chicago Justice."

Much of the filming of Wolf's "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Med" (and now "Chicago Justice") takes place at Cinespace Studios, 2621 W. 15th Pl., as well as in neighborhoods around the city.

More than 1,600 of last year's filming permits were connected to Wolf's productions, according to city data. Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office estimates that, on average, a single season of one network television series spends $30 million to $40 million locally and hires between 250 to 400 people.

Wolf has described his new show this way: "'Fire' is the crotch. 'P.D.' is the muscle. 'Med' is the heart, and this show is the brain."

The three-hour story blend begins at 7 p.m. on NBC5.

But is it any good?

Here are some reviews:

• "As irredeemably ordinary as TV gets," says USA Today's Robert Bianco. Though, he adds, "as with the old Model-T's, prestige-level is not the manufacturer's goal."

"Dick Wolf and his Chicago studio churn out time-filling, well-polished, mediocre (and interchangeable) parts that make no demands on your intellect or attention span," Bianco writes.

• The Tribune's Nina Metz calls the show a "sturdy, good looking, somewhat formulaic drama" but says it could use "more real-world locations shot outside in the city itself."

• The AV Club's Danette Chavez compares it to Wolf's Law and Order series but says it comes up short. Of the actors, Chavez says, "only Weathers' gravitas is memorable."

Uproxx's Alan Sepinwall says "Justice" will likely to be "satisfying" to fans of the other Chicago shows and describes it as "comfort food."

It's a good show to watch while "sock-sorting," he adds, because the story lines are so "smoothed out" viewers don't necessarily need to pay close attention.

Ellen Gray of the Philadelphia Inquirer says of the first storyline: "It's a complicated enough case to allow us insight into major cast members' different approaches to law and to hint that there are flaws in our system of justice, while not actually upsetting the status quo."

RELATED: Here's a Map of Filming in Chicago in 2016