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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Television Thu Apr 14 2011

Chicago Could Be TV's Hottest Star

If you've been watching TV lately, you may have noticed a trend:


Currently, there are no less than five shows on the air that are set in Chicago. Five! Now, only two of those shows are actually shot in our fair city, but it's still an impressive number. Fox has both the politically polarizing Chicago Code and the funny (but clearly shot in Hollywood) Traffic Light; CBS airs the provocative drama The Good Wife and the traditional sitcom chuckler Mike & Molly; Showtime recently finished off season one of the spectacular Shameless. While Chicago has been the back drop to a huge number of television programs over the ages, viewers across the country have never before had so many opportunities to see the exploits of fictional Chicagoans all in the same week, just by changing the channel.

If you're hoping to catch an authentic glimpse of the Windy City, some of these shows require you to look closer than others. Shameless typically revels in Chicago down to the details - in one episode, you can see a character's shopping bag from Akira, even though neither the store nor the bag is ever mentioned explicitly; Traffic Light has a frustrating habit of setting scenes at outdoor pools or barbecues, doing so even as the real Chicago was suffering through the frozen doldrums of February.

Over the next few weeks, I'll take a look at these shows, from both a critical perspective and one of relative Chicago-iness...Chicagocity? Chicagotude? No matter how you say it, we'll investigate how the shows depict Chicago and how faithfully.

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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