Chicagoland is an eight segment non-scripted original series which airs at 10pm ET and PT Thursday's on CNN.
The first three episodes covered some of the City of Chicago's 2013 news headlines starting in the spring and going through the 4th of July weekend. As a Chicago "area" resident, the stories seem to be those that were making headlines in the Chicago Tribune and local media, with in-depth filming of some of the news makers and events adding the background drama for the series. The major story arcs are the controversial closing of 50 public schools and the gang related violence on the South and near West sides of the city. Much time is given to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Fenger High School Principal, Elizabeth Dozer. We also meet Gary McCarthy, Police Superintendent brought in to work on reducing the violence (which he correctly claims is the result of gangs and guns); Dr. Dennis, the head of the trauma unit at Stroger Hospital; and Erica Demarest, a reporter with DNAinfo who documents the lives of those lost - all trying to make a difference in their own way. Episode two did cover the Blackhawks Stanley Cup Championship and gave a brief mention to Chicago's Gay Pride Parade and some of the various ethnic neighborhoods, but much of the "good" gets overshadowed by the focus on the violence plaguing the South and near West sides.
While the personalities portrayed have compelling stories to tell, I would warn viewers that Chicagoland focuses mainly on the violence in certain areas of the city and is not a representation of the city as a whole. This series is a snapshot of certain events taking place in a city over a period of a few months. It is this reviewer's opinion that while entertaining and informative as to some of the stories making Chicago news headlines in 2013 it is not representative of the City as a whole and the first three episodes have not dealt with the background cause driving the violence in the South and near West sides of the city so that viewers understand there is no easy fix and while certain people are stepping up to effect change it's going to take more people and much time to change the culture driving the violence. Future episodes appear to offer stories of more people stepping forward to attempt to effect that change. ~ Wonz.
Here's a preview of episode 4, which airs tonight ~