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Mid-Season TV Crush: Matt Lauria, The Chicago Code 

Photo Credit: Justin Stephens/FOX

There are a million reasons to tune in to the series premiere of FOX’s new cop drama, The Chicago Code: 1) It’s a Shawn Ryan creation. I loved The Shield, so I’m hoping The Chicago Code will be just as exciting, intense and well-acted; 2) Jennifer Beals. Over the years, I’ve really grown to love her. She exudes a strength I think is really captivating, so I’m hoping she’s going to rock the role she’s playing. Her character, Teresa Colvin, is the first female superintendent in Chicago, which means she’s the woman in charge of a 10,000-member police force. I’m looking forward to seeing how Teresa deals with being in this powerful position; 3) The show is set and shot on location in Chicago. I love the Windy City and I think it has the exact grittiness that makes it the perfect location for this Shawn Ryan series; 4) Delroy Lindo as one of the show’s villains — Alderman Ronin Gibbons — well, that’s just too amazing to miss. Can’t wait to see him cause trouble for the cops and for Teresa; 5) Word on the Tweet is this show is pretty amazing. The TV critics and bloggers who have all screened the pilot are raving. So, the buzz is good. Plus, The Chicago Code has the post-House slot, so it has the best lead-in FOX has to offer that’s not American Idol; and 6) This one’s a purely shallow reason. The crazy cute Matt Lauria from Friday Night Lights is on board as Caleb Evers, a young detective trying to prove himself.

Photo Credit: Peter Sorel/FOX

I started watching Friday Night Lights late in the game. I think my favorite season so far (I haven’t watched Season 5 yet) is the fourth. I love how it was a complete game-changing year for the critically acclaimed series. Coach Taylor was no longer the man behind the Dillon Panthers; he was now in charge of building up the football program at East Dillon. It was a fascinating development that resulted in the introduction of Luke Cafferty, a farm boy who was supposed to work his magic for the Panthers. But because of politics and a line that divided the town, Luke was forced to transfer to East Dillon based on where he lived. The West Dillon residents tried to play God by stacking the deck in the Panthers favor, but Principal Tami Taylor and Buddy Garrity had something to say about that. So, Luke ended up a Lion and had to adjust to life on the “loser” team. You could see his dreams start to go up in smoke, but he and the Lions persevered.

Lauria was definitely one of the highlights of Season 4; his Luke Cafferty was at times confused, scared, earnest, determined and stupid. But I enjoyed watching his journey as he and his new teammates clashed, then came together in the end to beat West Dillon. Matt is an extremely likable and capable actor. He’s also, like I said earlier, crazy cute. Now that he’s on The Chicago Code, this is a more adult role for him. I’m looking forward to seeing him in cop mode. I’m sorry. TV cops are super sexy in my book. They just are. They’re usually screwed up individuals, but they’re also strong and get to carry a gun (legally). I’m thankful that just as Friday Night Lights is ending, Matt’s continuing to grace the small screen. Hopefully, it’ll be for a long time to come.

FOX’s The Chicago Code airs Mondays at 9/8C starting tonight.

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