Roush Review: ‘The Chi’ Bucks TV Trends

The Chi - Yolonda Ross and Jacob Latimore
Matt Dinerstein/SHOWTIME
A scene from The Chi

Infusing the mean streets of Chicago’s South Side with warm compassion and flashes of humor amid the tragedy and danger, The Chi bucks TV trends as it walks an unsteady tightrope of melodrama and urban realism. It’s less a crime story than a tangled tale about how senseless crime affects a community of neighbors, old and young.

As The Chi slowly spins its compelling web, Emmy-winning creator Lena Waithe (Master of None) finds few standard villains or victims among her sprawling multigenerational cast of resilient if flawed souls. Even when the plot goes down familiar dark roads, these characters are determined not to end up as clichés—or statistics.

The Chi, Series Premiere Sunday, Jan. 7, 10/9c, Showtime