Greet a stranger but ignore your neighbour as we cover Showtime’s The Chi this week.


Creator: Lena Waithe
Released: March 2018
Network: Showtime
Cast: Jason Mitchell, Jacob Latimore, Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine

Breakdown and Analysis

  • We binged the first two seasons within a weekend. Immediate emotional attachment and characters you can cling to. Even characters we didn’t like all added to the tapestry of The Chi.
  • The Chi felt uniquely Chicago. Just like The Wire feels like Baltimore. Power and 30 Rock feels like New York. Insecure, Snowfall and The Shield feels like California.
  • A lot of things happened behind the scenes that negatively impacted the show, particularly season 3.
  • The Chi had something very special. It had its own heartbeat and a lot of, albeit important, key messaging flooded that heartbeat. The rug to simply be pulled, to not realise why they are doing that, it becomes unnecessarily confusing.
  • The show isn’t just one person, it is a whole operation with a showrunner, writers’ room so it is befuddling how the quality dropped dramatically.
  • Oti likens the show’s direction to Michael Schofield being killed off and Abrusi becomes the heart of Prison Break.
  • We fell in love with the show and characters and it hurt to see the show take a dive.
  • Brandon was the foundation on which The Chi was paved.
  • Detective Cruz offered a different perspective and another example on how a young life lost affects the community.
  • Lena Waithe had examples of rounded cops in Queen & Slim which conflicts with completely removing police from The Chi. It becomes fantasy to have no police at all.
  • There is a lot that this show tries to achieve and KT feels Laverne’s eulogy was an absolute triumph.
  • We loved to continue to see Hannibal and him being relevant later in the series beyond Brandon.
  • Brandon wanted a better life for Coogie and even himself. He always tried to find a way to get out from where he was from.
  • Jerrika has very successful parents and symbolises upper class society. A key scene is at their garden party where Brandon loves helping his friend that is catering. We don’t ask for a lot but happiness is hard to achieve.
  • It comes to a point where you can no longer hide behind the ignorance of your parents and they become your own. And this succinctly applies to Jerrika. You either relinquish the ignorances your parents instilled in you or you own it.
  • KT did not care for Detective Toussaint needing to have puffed up vibrato. Especially as she talked down to Detective Cruz. She was a problem but didn’t have the Prezbylewski point of no return.
  • Ronnie is a problem. There are some things that people do where there is no point of return. Especially in the context of a story. Ronnie, a grown man shot a child. There are some things that cannot be forgiven, killing a kid is at the top of that list. If the show wanted us to cheer for someone, do it with someone that has a clean slate. Be it, an existing character or creating a new one. Do not give a character like Ronnie a redemption arc.
  • Oti’s sadness is reserved for characters that deserve it.
  • As much as KT loves to dissect and analyse, her brain is too small to decide to care about and forget the deplorable thing Ronnie did. Don’t make us have a quandary where we have to do calculations on how his deplorable and admirable acts cancel each other out.
  • We do not want to sit with our abacus and equate to the nth degree on his absolution.
  • A lot of the emotional investment for Brandon felt like it was being forced onto Ronnie.
  • We get introduced to Emmett and what we are going to get out of him, not that this is what he will be restricted as.
  • Kevin is a very solid character. He went through too much trauma for anyone let alone a kid. He becomes the emotional dump truck throughout the show.
  • People are becoming more conscious and not shying away from hard conversations. There is definitely a way to do it.
  • At what point do we stop giving graces to behind the scenes and start to enjoy what is presented to us.
  • KT is sick of shaming women into keeping the baby no matter what. We are past the point of these storylines and need to care about the people. We have our own strength and we can embrace it.

Unrelated but vital points

  • Kudos to Tyler Perry for creating his own lane but also, no one is immune to our gander.
  • KT calls cooking, Culinary Arts. Please mail all awards to the For Your Reference household.
  • KT has a face that launched a thousand back pedals.
  • Oti is not a big sneakerhead. NRFB (Never Remove From Box)
  • Post mates sounds like a deliver man is gonna come home and fuck you with an eagle soaring. Please hire us for Marketing and PR. Also HR because we are going to cause some problems.

For Your Reference


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