The Chi

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The Chi
The Chi logo.svg
GenreDrama
Created byLena Waithe
Starring
ComposerPatrick Warren
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes40 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time46–58 minutes
Production companies
Release
Original networkShowtime
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original releaseDecember 5, 2017 (2017-12-05) –
present (present)
External links
Website

The Chi (pronounced THE-SHY) is an American drama television series created by Lena Waithe about life in a neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago.[4] The pilot was directed by Rick Famuyiwa.[4] It premiered on Showtime on January 7, 2018. In August 2021, after the conclusion of the fourth season, it was announced that the series was renewed for a fifth season.[5][6]

Premise[edit]

The Chi is described as following "a fateful turn of events that sends shockwaves through a community on the Southside of Chicago and connects the lives of Emmett, Brandon, Ronnie and Kevin in unexpected ways."[7]

Cast[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Jason Mitchell as Brandon Johnson[4] (seasons 1–2)
  • Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine as Ronnie Davis (seasons 1–3)
  • Jacob Latimore as Emmett Washington[8]
  • Alex Hibbert as Kevin Williams
  • Tiffany Boone as Jerrika Little (seasons 1–2), Brandon's girlfriend.
  • Yolonda Ross as Jada Washington,[8] Emmett's mother.
  • Armando Riesco as Detective Cruz (seasons 1–2)
  • Rolando Boyce as Darnell (seasons 2-4), Emmett's father.[9]
  • Barton Fitzpatrick as Reg Taylor (season 2; recurring seasons 1), Jake's older brother and gang leader.
  • Shamon Brown Jr. as Stanley "Papa" Jackson (season 2 - present; recurring season 1), Kevin and Jake's best friend.
  • Michael V. Epps as Jake Taylor (season 2 - present; recurring season 1), Kevin and Papa's best friend and Reg and Trig's younger brother.
  • Birgundi Baker as Kiesha Williams (season 3 - present; recurring seasons 1–2), Kevin's sister.[10]
  • Luke James as Victor "Trig" Taylor (season 4; recurring season 3), Reg and Jake's estranged older brother.[11]
  • Curtiss Cook as Otis "Douda" Perry (season 4; recurring 2–3)[12]

Recurring[edit]

  • Lucien Cambric as Jason Roxboro (season 1)
  • Jahking Guillory as Charles Frederick “Coogie” Johnson (season 1)[13]
  • Brian King as Detective Wallace (season 1)
  • Steven Williams as Quentin "Q" Dickinson (season 1), a kingpin elder.
  • Tosin Morohunfola as Trice (season 1)
  • Byron Bowers as Meldrick[14] (season 1)
  • Sonja Sohn as Laverne Johnson (seasons 1 and 3),[13] Brandon's mother.
  • Cedric Young as Sonny (seasons 1–3), Q's brother and Emmett's boss.
  • LaDonna Tittle as Ethel Davis (seasons 1–3), Ronnie's grandmother.
  • Tyla Abercrumbie as Nina Williams, Kevin and Keisha's mother.
  • Hannaha Hall as Tiffany, the mother of Emmett's child.[15]
  • José Antonio García as Mr. Gasca (seasons 1–2), Kevin's teacher.
  • Genesis Denise Hale as Maisha
  • Mariah Gordon as Andrea (season 1)
  • Chris Lee as Hannibal (seasons 1–3), Brandon's cousin.
  • Tai Davis as Tracy Roxboro, Jason's mother.
  • Common as Rafiq (seasons 1–2)
  • Crystal Dickinson as Detective Alice Toussaint (season 2)
  • Miriam A. Hyman as Dre (since season 3), Nina's partner who is a high school counselor.[16]
  • Jasmine Davis as Imani (since season 3), Trig's girlfriend.
  • La La Anthony as Dominque "Dom" Morris (since season 3)[10]
  • Judae'a Brown as Jemma (since season 3)
  • Kandi Burruss as Roselyn Perry (since season 3), Douda's estranged wife.[17]
  • Lena Waithe as Camille Hallaway (season 3), a mayoral candidate.
  • Lil Rel Howery as Zeke Remnick (season 3),[10] Sonny's landlord.
  • Tabitha Brown as Octavia (season 4)[12]
  • Jason Weaver as Rashaad "Shaad" Marshall (season 4)[12]
  • Vic Mensa as Jamal (season 4)[18]
  • Da Brat as LaPortia (season 4)[18]

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
110December 15, 2017 (2017-12-15) (online)
January 7, 2018 (2018-01-07) (Showtime)
March 18, 2018 (2018-03-18)
210April 4, 2019 (2019-04-04) (online)
April 7, 2019 (2019-04-07) (Showtime)
June 16, 2019 (2019-06-16)
310June 21, 2020 (2020-06-21)August 23, 2020 (2020-08-23)
410May 23, 2021 (2021-05-23)August 1, 2021 (2021-08-01)

Season 1 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
11"Pilot"Rick FamuyiwaLena WaitheDecember 15, 2017 (2017-12-15) (online)
January 7, 2018 (2018-01-07) (Showtime)
1BEO780.533[19]
22"Alee"David RodriguezElwood Reid & Lena WaitheJanuary 7, 2018 (2018-01-07) (online)
January 14, 2018 (2018-01-14) (Showtime)
1BEO020.570[20]
33"Ghosts"David RodriguezAdam Glass & Ayanna Floyd DavisJanuary 21, 2018 (2018-01-21)1BEO030.707[21]
44"Quaking Grass"Tanya HamiltonStory by : Elwood Reid & Mike Flynn
Teleplay by : Elwood Reid & Justin Hillian
January 28, 2018 (2018-01-28)1BEO040.751[22]
55"Today Was a Good Day"Darren GrantMarcus GardleyFebruary 11, 2018 (2018-02-11)1BEO050.679[23]
66"Penetrate a Fraud"Roxann DawsonCasallina KisakyeFebruary 18, 2018 (2018-02-18)1BEO060.673[24]
77"The Whistle"David RodriguezLena Waithe & Dime DavisFebruary 25, 2018 (2018-02-25)1BEO070.791[25]
88"Wallets"Tanya HamiltonAdam Glass & Marcus GardleyMarch 4, 2018 (2018-03-04)1BEO080.675[26]
99"Namaste Muthafucka"Zetna FuentesAdam Glass & Sylvia L. JonesMarch 11, 2018 (2018-03-11)1BEO090.797[27]
1010"Ease on Down the Road"Justin TippingElwood ReidMarch 18, 2018 (2018-03-18)1BEO100.872[28]

Season 2 (2019)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
111"Eruptions"Jet WilkinsonAyanna Floyd Davis & Lena WaitheApril 4, 2019 (2019-04-04) (online)
April 7, 2019 (2019-04-07) (Showtime)
2BEO010.454[29]
122"Every Day I'm Hustlin'"Darren GrantJoe WilsonApril 14, 2019 (2019-04-14)2BEO020.375[30]
133"Past Due"Justin TippingJ. David ShanksApril 21, 2019 (2019-04-21)2BEO030.339[31]
144"Showdown"Carl SeatonCasallina KisakyeApril 28, 2019 (2019-04-28)2BEO040.392[32]
155"Feeling the Heat"Jet WilkinsonAyanna Floyd Davis & Joe WilsonMay 5, 2019 (2019-05-05)2BEO050.439[33]
166"A Leg Up"Cheryl DunyeJustin Hillian & Dime DavisMay 12, 2019 (2019-05-12)2BEO060.397[34]
177"A Blind Eye"Rebecca RodriguezCinque Henderson & J. David ShanksMay 26, 2019 (2019-05-26)2BEO070.350[35]
188"Lean Into It"Salli Richardson-WhitfieldTerri KoppJune 2, 2019 (2019-06-02)2BEO080.328[36]
199"Guilt, Viral Videos, and Ass Whuppings"Tanya HamiltonJoe WilsonJune 9, 2019 (2019-06-09)2BEO090.427[37]
2010"The Scorpion and the Frog"Jet WilkinsonAyanna Floyd DavisJune 16, 2019 (2019-06-16)2BEO100.474[38]

Season 3 (2020)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
211"Foe 'Nem"Jet WilkinsonLena Waithe & Justin HillianJune 21, 2020 (2020-06-21)3BEO010.348[39]
222"Brewfurd"Rashaad Ernesto GreenMarcus GardleyJune 28, 2020 (2020-06-28)3BEO020.347[40]
233"Buss Down"Gandja MonteiroLolis Eric ElieJuly 5, 2020 (2020-07-05)3BEO030.351[41]
244"Gangway"Jet WilkinsonT.J. Brady & Rasheed NewsonJuly 12, 2020 (2020-07-12)3BEO040.367[42]
255"Terror Town"Jet WilkinsonRicardo Gamboa & Nambi E. KelleyJuly 19, 2020 (2020-07-19)3BEO050.438[43]
266"Woo Woo Woo"Darren GrantJewel McPhersonJuly 26, 2020 (2020-07-26)3BEO060.525[44]
277"A Stain"Sam BaileyMarcus Gardley & Jade BranionAugust 2, 2020 (2020-08-02)3BEO070.415[45]
288"Frunchroom"Jet WilkinsonJustin HillianAugust 9, 2020 (2020-08-09)3BEO080.430[46]
299"Lackin'"Alonso Alvarez BarredaT.J. Brady & Rasheed NewsonAugust 16, 2020 (2020-08-16)3BEO090.384[47]
3010"A Couple, Two, Three"Rebecca RodriguezJustin Hillian & Jewel McPhersonAugust 23, 2020 (2020-08-23)3BEO100.382[48]

Season 4 (2021)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [49]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [49]Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
311"Soul Food"Gandja MonteiroLena Waithe & Justin HillianMay 21, 2021 (2021-05-21) (online)[50]
May 23, 2021 (2021-05-23)(Showtime)
4BEO010.335[51]
322"Cooley High"Gandja MonteiroJewel CoronelMay 30, 2021 (2021-05-30)4BEO020.404[52]
333"Native Son"Samir RehemPatrik-Ian PolkJune 6, 2021 (2021-06-06)4BEO030.310[53]
344"The Girl From Chicago"Samir RehemResheida BradyJune 13, 2021 (2021-06-13)4BEO040.284[54]
355"The Spook Who Sat By The Door"Gandja MonteiroRicardo GamboaJune 20, 2021 (2021-06-20)4BEO050.235[55]
366"Candyman"Nancy C. MejíaJames Rogers IIIJune 27, 2021 (2021-06-27)4BEO060.284[56]
377"...Black Messiah"Kimi Howl LeeJewel Coronel & Kristiana Rae ColónJuly 11, 2021 (2021-07-11)4BEO070.253[57]
388"Love Jones"Katrelle N. KindredJustin Hillian & Resheida BradyJuly 18, 2021 (2021-07-18)4BEO080.324[58]
399"Southside With You"Nancy C. MejíaJewel Coronel & Deonte' StaatsJuly 25, 2021 (2021-07-25)4BEO090.258[59]
4010"A Raisin in the Sun"Gandja MonteiroJustin HillianAugust 1, 2021 (2021-08-01)4BEO100.289[60]

Production[edit]

Official poster

On January 30, 2018, Showtime renewed the series for a second season which premiered on April 7, 2019.[61][62] On April 30, 2019, Showtime renewed the series for a third season which premiered on June 21, 2020.[63][64] On May 20, 2019, it was announced that Jason Mitchell would not be returning to the show for season 3 because of "misconduct allegations".[65] On September 8, 2020, Showtime renewed the series for a fourth season which premiered on May 23, 2021.[66][67] In March 2021, production on the series was paused due to a positive COVID-19 test.[68] On August 2, 2021, after the conclusion of the fourth season, it was announced that the series was renewed for a fifth season.[5]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds a "certified fresh" approval rating of 87% based on 47 reviews, and an average rating of 7.47/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Like an optimistic companion to The Wire, The Chi explores the complexities of life in the South Side of Chicago, with a tender touch and a clear affection for its captivating characters."[69] On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 73 out of 100, based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[70]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2018 Black Reel Awards Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series Rick Famuyiwa Won [71]
Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series Lena Waithe Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Jacob Latimore Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Common Nominated
Outstanding Drama Series Barry M. Berg, Common, Derek Dudley, Rick Famuyiwa, Aaron Kaplan, Erin Mitchell, Elwood Reid, Shelby Stone and Lena Waithe Nominated
2021 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special, Television Movie or Limited Series) Alex R. Hibbert Nominated [72]

References[edit]

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  72. ^ Davis, Clayton (February 2, 2021). "Viola Davis, Tyler Perry and Regina King Up for Entertainer of the Year at 2021 NAACP Image Awards". Variety. Retrieved March 1, 2021.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Known as Fox 21 Television Studios until 2020

External links[edit]