‘The Chi’ — where Chi is short for Chicago — is a show that revolves around the lives of four individuals named Emmett, Brandon, Ronnie, and Kevin. They all reside in the South Side of Chicago where a recent murder changes the lives of everyone in the community but at the same time, it all also brings them together in ways they had never known before. The Chi reflects upon the everyday lives of all the people who reside in that part of the country. Violence, shootings, beefs, feuds and gang wars, all of which have been shown in the show are square on the actual story of this part of Chicago. But the show does not confine itself to these shootings and gangs; it also subtly manages to shift its focus on the better aspects of the city. These aspects may be unknown even to those who actually live there. Authentic TV shows like this one are hard to find and that’s why this one is truly a gem.
Some shows don’t really have to pull off punches to be great; their diversity makes them great. ‘The Chi’ is one such show, but it’s not the only one. There are other shows similar to ‘The Chi‘ that give you a dose of reality along with some finely-drawn drama. Here’s the list of such shows that we have created for you. You can watch several of these shows like The Chi on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime.
11. Soul Food (2000)
‘Soul Food’ is one of those few shows that revolve around the lives of African-Americans but do not feature any kind of violence or drug dealing. The show is about a Black family that lives in Chicago, Illinois and deals with everyday problems that they face as a family and as individuals. The show is not just confined to the everyday problems that African-Americans have to deal with but other general problems as well including sexism, homosexuality, marriages, affairs and even deaths of close ones. This one here is a prime example of how simplicity too can win hearts and is highly recommended.
10. Chicago Fire (2012)
‘Chicago Fire’, a NBC original, revolves around the lives of firefighters and paramedics of Chicago who put their lives on the line every single day to protect the people of their city. From time to time they do face some serious personal problems as well but they have to set these aside so that they can focus on their profession and only focus on those personal problems when the time is right. Some shows start off with a bang but slowly fade away as they further move ahead but ‘Chicago Fire’ is just the opposite. It starts off with a very weak pilot but slowly starts catching up with a good pace by the time you reach the third episode. Do not judge this one by its first episode and stick around a little longer because you will not be disappointed.
9. The Red Line (2019)
An unarmed African-American doctor gets shot by a white cop for no reason. This event creates a huge impact on the families and their lives who had known him. These events make them realize how racial biases are having a big impact on their life and they together try to go on a journey towards hope and acceptance. This show discusses how tragedy sometimes can bring us together to eventually find what we have been looking for a long time. ‘The Red Line’ is again a very simple show that portrays real-life emotions of those who have experienced loss and touches your heart in the most beautiful ways.
8. Barbershop (2005)
‘Barbershop’ picks up where the film left off and tells the story of a Barber named Calvin, his weird employees, and his customers from South Side Chicago. Calvin has to somehow keep himself sane as he struggles to balance his family life along with the demands of his crew of employees and his everyday customers. After a long ass day at work, this is the kind of show you would want to sit and watch while you relax at the end of the day. Goofiness, intelligence, and sexiness this show has everything to lighten up your mood a little and make you feel good.
7. The Wire (2002)
‘The Wire’ is one of the best TV shows ever made in this genre. It revolves around the lives of all the who are even distantly involved in the inner drug scene of the city of Baltimore which includes the cops who are trying to control the drug problem of the city, the everyday citizens of the city who are affected by the growth of drug-related crimes, the gang members and drug addicts who determined to keep this mayhem going ,and the media and politicians who talk away and replay the same things every single day without contributing much to the problem. This show will blow your mind with its intelligent plot and magnificent characters when you’ll start watching it for the first time.
6. Treme (2010)
Hurricane Katrina shatters the lives and homes of the residents of New Orleans but the core of human spirit is tested when these residents do not give up hope and try to rebuild their lives back together. They find hope in their unique culture that acts as a foundation for their future aspirations and helps them revive their home in the aftermath of a horrible disaster. This powerful and moving show takes you on a journey through a very realistic portrayal of the town of New Orleans. It shows how even a disaster was not able to crush the spirits of the people who live in the town and how the warmth and friendliness of the people ha kept them going even through the harshest times.
5. The Corner (2000)
‘The Corner’ is a touching TV show that moves around the life of a family living in extreme poverty and just barely struggling to survive in West Baltimore amid the drug wars on the streets. The life of every member of the family slowly starts drifting into a corner as they one by one get caught up in the world of drugs either as addicts or as dealers. DeAndre is the only one who shows some potential at school and may have a chance of escaping this hell hole of only he manages to stay out of trouble and somehow resist the urge of becoming a drug dealer. It is interesting to see how even the smallest of the decisions made by the characters initially during the show have an impact on the rest of their lives throughout the series.
4. Show Me a Hero (2015)
A city if fueled by a gruesome battle after a newly appointed mayor named Mick Wasicsko takes over the office in the year 1987 during a phase of the worst crisis experienced by Yonkers. The city gets divided when he is ordered by the federal courts to build public homes for the white in the middle-class part of the town. Infuriated by this decision, half of the population of the town feels neglected and drowns it deeper into the darkness of crimes, murders, racism, fear and a whole lot of politics. This show is about how real politics works in the real world and how even small corruptions in the system can lead to the downfall of an entire town.
3. The Deuce (2017)
Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco, The Deuce is set up in the 1970s New York where prostitution is a rampant business and all of it is being publicly executed without anyone raising questions about it. But when the police start cracking down all these parts of the city, the characters running this business have to hide in the dark corners of the city and still keep it going while resorting to creative ways that make this safer more discreet. This show will take you through the past of the world’s most famous city and its prostitution rackets that will make you realize how much things have changed since then.
2. Snowfall (2017)
‘Snowfall’ covers the early stages of the crack epidemic in the streets of Los Angeles through the eyes of a drug selling family and a cop who tries to control the situation somehow. Many other shows revolve around the same theme but this one manages to stand out from those not because its better than them in any way but because of its authentic feel that you can almost smell in the streets of LA that have been portrayed in the show. It’s great show that did not gain much recognition because it came around the same time as legendary shows like Game of Thrones and Ballers.
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1. Atlanta (2016)
Starring Donald Glover who plays the role of a broke college drop out named Earn Marks lives with this on and off girlfriend who is also the mother of his child. When his cousin Alfred Marks suddenly reaches the verge of becoming a rapping star, Earn decides to join him as his manager. Darius who is Alfred’s visionary and right-hand man joins the two men and the three try their best to make it big in the Atlanta Rap Scene. Donald Glover proves that his creative and awkwardly funny show is going to go a long way. A must watch for all those who are looking for quality comedy-drama.
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