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Jenna Kim Jones: NBC's 'Chicago Fire': Don't put the fire out yet

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 10 2012 1:09 p.m. MDT

Eamonn Walker as Battalion Chief Wallace Boden, Taylor Kinney as Kelly Severide, Charlie Barnett as Peter Mills, Monica Raymund as Gabriella Dawson, Lauren German as Leslie Shay and Jesse Spencer as Matthew Casey in "Chicago Fire."

NBC

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The firefighters in "Chicago Fire" are a tough group of men working day and night to stop Chicago, the most flammable city in the country, from burning to the ground.

I know one thing: If these guys had been around in 1871, they would have punched the flames from the Great Chicago Fire out with their giant biceps and blown the fire out with their bionic lungs.

Of course, I’m kidding. The show, "Chicago Fire," which premiers Wednesday, Oct. 10, on NBC, has a lot of heart. Created by legendary television icon Dick Wolf (yes, the famous creator of “Law & Order”), "Chicago Fire" is a feel-good show. The characters are sincere people just trying to survive, and anybody can relate to that.

The show starts out with a group of firefighters responding to a big house fire. Because of miscommunication, one of their own, Darden, dies in the fire. Fast forward a month later and his two best friends and fellow firefighters are suffering from major guilt, both believing that they caused the accident but obviously unwilling to admit that they did. So there’s a lot of tension in the firehouse as a result.

Meanwhile, all of the other firefighters have their own problems to deal with. The old married guy with a bunch of kids lost his house when the economy crashed and is forced to live with his in-laws. And of course, don’t forget about the hot female EMT and aspiring doctor who just wants to save lives but in her overzealousness accidentally sticks a needle in a girl's heart. Yikes!

The point is, while the show is a little over the top and the entire city of Chicago needs to be sprayed down with fire repellent (it is always on fire), the characters are doing their best. They’re genuinely good, which is refreshing.

The acting in "Chicago Fire" isn’t bad. My favorite character is Chief Boden, who does a nice job keeping his men in line and also boxes. I would not mess with the chief.

Viewers will recognize firefighter Matthew Casey, played by Jesse Spencer, who spent the last eight years as the hunky Australian doctor in the show “House.” In "Chicago Fire," he plays an American, although occasionally his accent sneaks through. I'm confident he’ll get better.

Teenage girls (and lonely housewives) will recognize "Chicago Fire’s" other lead, firefighter Kelly Severide, played by Taylor Kinney, from his role as a werewolf in “Vampire Diaries.” And for those who enjoy politics, Rahm Emanuel makes an appearance at the end of the pilot episode playing himself, the mayor of Chicago.

When they aren’t fighting fires, the episodes tend to move a little slowly, but like I said already, the show has heart and the characters are flawed but lovable. "Chicago Fire" may not have the longevity of “Law & Order,” but I wouldn’t put this fire out yet.

Jenna Kim Jones is a writer and comedian in the Los Angeles area. Contact her at jkj@jennakimjones.com and visit her website at www.jennakimjones.com

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