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Fall TV Preview: Chicago Fire Needs to Crank Up the Heat

CHICAGO FIRE Sandro/NBC

Chicago Fire, Taylor Kinney was not nearly shirtless enough in the pilot and for that we give you a grade of "How dare you?" Oh, we need to judge your show based on plot, characters and writing, too? Fair enough. In that case...

It's a show about studly firefighters (and some badass female ambulance drivers) set in Chicago, and it has everything you need for a gripping drama: rivalries, romance and action sequences. But for a show like this to really be successful, all those pieces have to fit together. And Chicago Fire is almost there, but not quite. Still, we're intrigued enough to stick around to see if it happens.

Chicago Fire, (NBC)
Premieres Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 10 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition:
Nashville (ABC), CSI (CBS)
Cast:
Jesse Spencer, Taylor Kinney, Charlie Barnett, Monica Raymund, Lauren German, Eamon Walker, David Eigenberg, Merle Dandridge
Status:
  We've seen the pilot episode.

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We're just going to get this phrase out of the way and move on with the rest of the review, because you know this was coming: Taylor Kinney and Jesse Spencer smolder as hot firefighters who are constantly fanning the flames of rivalry.

In even more simpler terms: House vet + Vampire Diaries scene-stealer x shirtlessness / wounded bromance = Win in our books.

We feel better now. Onward!

But it's true. Those two are great. And so is the rest of the cast, all tailor-made for their roles. The gruff police chief, the gung-ho rookie, the tough-but-still-beautiful ambulance driver...the casting directors certainly did their job and did it well. Plus, Sex and the City's Steve is back on our small screen as a seasoned firefighter, and that alone makes this cast solid. C'mon, it's Steve!

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The pilot is slow in the beginning, but there's a lot of characters to meet and a lot of dynamics to take note of before the show can, um, start. Unfortunately, the way we meet them all proves that there is just too much going on.

Kinney's character is hiding some kind of secret related to his health. One of the ambulance drivers likes both Kinney and Spencer. SATC's Steve lost his house. There's a rookie replacing a beloved fallen firefighter, whose death caused a huge rift in Kinney and Spencer's bromance. And so on and so on.

While we were entertained by Chicago Fire and see a lot of potential in the series, we are kind of hoping they streamline the storylines as the pilot can feel a little clunky and forced at times; perhaps they can put some stuff on the back burner is all we're suggesting.

Our Review in .GIF Form: 

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Verdict: DVR. With not a whole lot of competition, aside from Nashville, one of our favorite fall offerings, we'll definitely keep checking the temperature on Chicago Fire. (Lame firefighter reference, we know.)

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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