Sunday, 10 p.m., Showtime


The coming-of-age drama from Common, Elwood Reid, and Lena Waithe follows a group of residents in the South Side of Chicago including Brandon (Jason Mitchell), who dreams of opening up a restaurant with his girlfriend (Tiffany Boone) but is torn by his responsibilities toward his younger brother Coogie (Jahking Guillory) and their alcoholic mother (Sonja Sohn); 13-tear-old Kevin (Alex Hibbert) who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time; and Jada (Yolonda Ross) a single mother to her son Emmett (Jacob Latimore).

What The Critics Say (Metascore 75)

  • Whether young, old or in-between, all of these characters resonate in their own distinct ways as The Chi builds both momentum and suspense. This is no small achievement for Waithe, whose first TV series under her direct control is bursting with flavor and humanity in a South Chicago proving ground. The footing is always slippery, but the storytelling remains bracingly sure-footed. — Ed Bark, Uncle Barky
  • Absorbing and organic from practically the get-go, The Chi will inevitably draw comparisons to “The Wire,” the definitive drama about the perils of inner-city life. Yet this richly detailed look at intersecting paths, cutting across generations, quickly carves its own niche, one where tragedy begets tragedy, and vengeance comes with consequences. — Brian Lowry, CNN
  • It’s the writing that gets in the way of some of the believability issues in The Chi. Some of this might work out with more episodes as Waithe and her writing staff breathe more life into the characters. Several additional storylines aren’t fleshed out enough yet to know if they’ll become interesting. With barely half the stories and characters piquing interest early on, The Chi doesn’t come out of the gate strong and will have to overcome structural weaknesses and acting issues to have any chance to succeed, so patience will be needed. — Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter