THIS POST HAS SPOILERS! IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED THE EPISODE DO NOT CONTINUE!
Lena Waithe is the greatest writer in the last 4 generations. Name any nigga you think better so I can laugh at yo lying ass. I dare you to name one of those old ass writers from year 1672 with those weak ass handle bar mustaches using those feather pens and their faces looked like a old wrinkled New Balance shoe. I’m not trying to hear that shit. I’m not trying to hear the word “Hark” in a sentence my nigga. Lena is the greatest writer ever.
So being the true stan I am by following her on twitter for years now. I saw that Lena has her own show called “The Chi.” I’m glad God has blessed this writing queen with a show of her own where she can really show the world that her writing is mightier than your Granny’s 108 year old black pot with the white specks on it that holds the turkey and the dressing every holiday. That mothafucking pot not going nowhere and neither is Lena. Ever since that Thanksgiving episode she wrote on Master Of None I just wanted more of her writing. She understands us and that's very important to me.
Before I even watched the first episode I knew that this was gonna be some real shit. No sugarcoated shit. No dumb shit. I knew it was gonna be something I could relate to and feels real.
And guess what? ……. I was right.
So the episode kicks off wit this lil nigga Coogie who I thought was a girl riding his bike around the hood making his rounds and he stops at a store in the hood to pick up some beef jerky and we see him ride over to someones pitbull and feeds the pit the jerky he bought. He sees something going on and rides out and sees a truck leave and when he makes it out of the alley he sees a young man on the street shot to death and he finesses the dead man for his chain and shoes and leaves to hide his bike and book bag. He tries to blend in with the people in the street and the police tackle him and arrest him and that’s how we’re introduced to “The Chi.” High quality wallaby television right there. The opening sequence had me hooked.
We meet Brandon a chef at one of those fancy Instagram model white squared plates restaurants that serve only 3 bites of food for $110 a plate. He has a goal of owning his own restaurant in the future with his girlfriend Jerikka. Brandon lives in the good part of Chicago. Seems to have a pretty stable life until you meet his crazy ass momma. Complete opposite of Brandon. Seems really self destructive, bitter, and hateful. She really dislikes Jerikka and I think it’s because Jerikka didn’t grow up like Brandon or his family did. I’m just guessing, I could be wrong but there is some serious anger towards Jerikka from Brandon’s mother and I can’t wait to see why that is. Brandon’s mother literally spews venom in his direction for living a better and more stable life. We also find out Brandon is the older brother of Coogie which is very important for future events. This show revolves all around Coogie and his decision to fuck around with that dead young man that fateful night. Coogie is the foundation of the story.
I just fucked with how real this fucking show was. It really felt Chicago. The slang was there. The soundtrack was Chicago. It just felt like The Chi. So off top it met a key expectation. There wasn’t any filler or fake black folks shit. It didn’t feel forced. I actually could see myself in these characters because they were unapologetically black. The characters felt realistic and not like actors. The show was also beautifully shot. The cinematography was legendary like Kanye West discography.
I liked the character Kevin a lot because I used to act like him when I was his age. Signing up for shit just to talk to a girl. I joined band when I was 10 so I could talk to a girl. Yup picked up playing the Alto Saxophone so I could talk to Brittany. Kevin signed up to audition for a play just to be near a girl he liked named Andrea. Another aspect I liked about this is that it showed how different things are not cool to kids Kevin age. He’s at that age where you wish you can do adult shit. Very naive so things like plays, or playing in band aren’t considered cool things and you get made fun of by your friends for it like Kevin did for signing up for the play. When Kevin actually did audition you can just feel the embarrassment he felt and that feeling of “This singing shit not cool” but the lil dude actually had a good voice and low-key made for that shit. Some gifts never get found because as kids we all just wanna look cool and be popular that’s why the kids that never gave a fuck bout that do cool ass things as adults. Again Lena’s writing hits the bullseye on showing us the kids perspective. Still Cant believe Jake pulled a robbery on Kevin and set up a date with Andrea. Jake broke guy code at such a young age. SMFH!
Emmett I assume just a young guy whole sell his lil weed to buy a bunch of clothes and sneakers and he’s the boyfriend of Kevin’s older sister Keisha. He just a young dude clueless about life and think shit a game. His mother I thought was funny because she was so blunt and real and she don’t take no shit. I thought it was really cool to see the scene where Emmett made Keisha hide under his bed naked because his mom came home during Mr.Nasty Time and when his momma figured out Keisha was under the bed she offered to cook her breakfast. She didn’t yell at her or call her a bitch or a hoe like a lot of mothers would’ve done in that situation and I thought that was a very underrated image for our people to see. She embraced her instead of cussing her out and throwing her out of her home. We soon discover that Emmett is a father and everything instantly changes for him. His story is gonna be dope because there’s so many ways it can go writing wise and has major opportunity for character development.
Ronnie is a interesting guy. Seems like a drunk. Typical Ol head in the hood. Has stories for days. A very crazy past. He’s stuck on a woman named Tracy and it’s revealed he was a stepfather to her child named Jason. We find out Jason was the young man shot that Coogie stole from. Tracy basically implies that she wants Ronnie to handle it which leads me to believe Ronnie was a crazy mothafucka back in the day because why would she ask this nigga to handle it? Ronnie finds out from a lookout on a infamous dealers block that Coogie was near Jason’s body the night he died. Ronnie finds Coogie at the same store Coogie frequents and approaches him about Jason and he sees the chain Coogie took from Jason’s body and he basically snaps and kills Coogie. Meanwhile Kevin sees the altercation and hears the gunshot Ronnie and Kevin see each other as Ronnie is fleeing from the scene. Brandon later meets Emmett by chance at the same store Coogie was last seen alive and Emmett tells Brandon that his girlfriend little brother saw the murder which leads Brandon to Kevin and the connection is complete. Ronnie, Emmett, Brandon, and Kevin lives are all connected through Coogie’s death. Masterful writing from Lena. Beautiful.
The acting on this show exceeded my expectations. It didn’t even feel like a show that’s how real it was. The casting was spot on. They were authentic. I BELIEVED them. That is so fucking key to me. It didn’t feel like the show had a checklist and just checked off subjects that needed to be addressed in the black community. Everything just flowed instead and felt organic. The Chi does the little things so well and I think that’s what going to separate it from other shows.
That funeral scene where Brandon gives a speech about his brother I felt in my soul because I lost my brother to gun violence and that scene was so powerful and heartfelt. Jason Mitchell KILLED that scene and solidified Brandon as my favorite character. It felt like Coogie was my little brother too and I almost teared up watching that scene. Coogie won my heart over and then BOOM he's gone just like that and that's how the streets are in reality. It really hit home for me and I just thought “Man this show is too much.” Brandon is faced with such a tough decision for his future. Does he continue his life as a chef moving up in the world and go to the police about his brother or does he take matters in his own hands by potentially throwing his life away and continue the cycle of violence that’s already taken two young black men lives? Side note I also wanna see if Brandon give his bosses wife the dick. She looking like she ready to throw the pussy at Brandon like a Hail Mary with no time left on the clock. I don’t know the answers but I can’t wait to find out. I SWEAR I can’t wait to find out.
Lena has a gem yall. There’s only 2 shows I ever felt in my life. Those 2 shows are "Master Of None" and "The Wire." Add "The Chi" to that list.