Will Chicago PD finally change in light of current events?

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Chicago PD

Chicago PD (Photo by: Matt Dinerstein/NBC)

Will Chicago PD season 8 evolve to reflect current events?

Chicago PD once promoted itself with the tagline “Break the rules, not the law.” But that attitude isn’t likely to fly anymore in the wake of nationwide protests regarding police brutality and racial injustice.

The public perception of police has changed drastically since PD went off the air in April, and that includes how cops are shown on TV. Docuseries Cops and Live PD have been canceled and their reruns pulled, while there’s been growing criticism of how police are depicted on scripted shows, too.

Chicago PD is rife for that kind of criticism. The entire premise of the show, as evidenced by the aforementioned promo, is that the Intelligence Unit uses whatever means necessary to defeat the bad guys. Every character has done something that’s morally questionable, if not outright illegal.

Then there’s Hank Voight (Jason Beghe). He’s made a career out of doing the wrong thing, from murder to repeated assaults to planting evidence. Voight would seem to be the example of what these current protests are about. So will Chicago PD have to change its stripes in order to move forward in season 8?

Chicago PD’s concerns already existed

One thing should be established first: Chicago PD has had issues well before current events. Viewers have already been voicing criticism, particularly about Voight, for a few seasons now. There were plenty of reasons why he should have been arrested back in season 5—three years ago.

The show is fantastic in many ways, but it does have certain flaws. Intelligence gets away with a lot of things, often in ways that don’t make sense, like saying Voight needed to face consequences for his behavior but killing off Alvin Olinsky. Or having Voight or Trudy Platt (Amy Morton) pull strings or lean on someone to make something go away.

And the series has become increasingly one-dimensional in its point of view over the last two seasons in particular. Conflicts between team members fizzle out pretty quickly, often within the same episode, and characters who provided different points of view like Olinsky and Antonio Dawson (Jon Seda) have been taken out of the show entirely.

So criticism about Chicago PD isn’t just about what’s happening in the world right now—but what’s happening does add to the reasons why the show would benefit from some changes ahead of the next season.

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