The Chicago Code

Is the risk worth taking?

The Chicago Code is a cop drama which made  thirteen episodes in 2010, now being shown on Pick TV, the Murdoch channel freely available in the UK. Misnamed Pick is filled with worthless, £1000 an hour “reality TV” but is worth checking occasionally, for things like “Spartacus” (Thud! Splat! Phwoar! Ew!) and the surpisingly watchable Stargate Universe, which made two full seasons in 2010.

The Chicago Code is Feelgood. The good guys win, always at the end of the episode, and repeatedly, but with the slight edge that the bad guys win sometimes too, for example the successful jury nobbling in episode 10. There is an ongoing story and some soapish elements around certain characters, but each episode has one or two stories which can be followed without previous knowledge of the show, and here the undercover cop is shown early, talking to bad guys and his handler, so that new viewers get the idea.

It goes dark. Darkest moment today, a man is shot in the head, and blood spatters undercover cop’s face.

Fortune moves like the wind, and we see the pretty cop chasing the bad guy. But he is staying ahead, and the shot changes: from a shot in sunlight to one in shade. Will he turn on her? Whoosh, in comes a car with more cops. Snap, snap, snap, new shot, new idea.

Is the risk worth taking? Handler’s brother was an undercover cop, shot by the bad guys. Now, undercover cop is close to the head of the mob. Should he be pulled out? Is the handler’s opinion affected by the death of his brother, years ago? Undercover cop is to be searched, in case he has a “wire”. He has. In this programme, he could not actually die but that is not always obvious.

They take the risk, and it pays off, very well. The story is not over: it is time to move in on the big fish. The episode is over, though. How do I feel now? I have had a strong vicarious emotional workout- elation, amusement, dread, shock flickering around my limbic system rapidly in succession. Back to real life. My retreat to my living room is stressful: my thigh muscle has started to twitch, near the knee. This is better than the facial tics I have had in the past. Ah. I am stressed. Notice that. And now, at the end of the episode, I feel- a downer. I want another.

I believe my retreat is useful, that I am gaining self-acceptance and self-awareness, and recovering from internalised self-hatred and past hurts. I pass the time, not just with Contemplation. I know my addiction to Solitaire is harmful: 1300 “games” since August, and I do not go to bed, just “playing” again, and I have twice got wired on it, hyper, reacting quickly and not necessarily well, and it makes me sleep poorly. So I have removed the shortcuts to it. I could find it again, but that would take digging, I am not quite sure how.

I am passing the time, as well as healing and contemplating. This telly is addictive, an escape from reality. I need to retreat: that job interview in Bedford last week really upset me, and I did not get the job. I can retreat, I have a little more money to disperse. I think the telly is probably OK: have an experience, react to it, see the reaction, learn- and also pass some time.

Rather than watching another recording, I kneel in my ritual space, and contemplate for a bit. Then I start thinking of blogging it.

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