NBC Show “Chicago Fire” Sizzles on Screen, yet Fizzles with Firefighters

I have waited to write more on Chicago Fire until it got into the season a little bit more. Here are my thoughts after watching several of the episodes.

I have been watching the banter from firefighters and EMT’s on Twitter and Facebook. I admit, I might have offered a few thoughts along the way as well. All in all, the sentiment among firefighters is that the show is unrealistic, far-fetched, and way over the top.

The truth is that we could can arm-chair quarterback a bridge game, sermon, or the neighbor cutting the grass. We are opinionated, unrelenting, and all around better than everyone else…or so we think. This same process occurred when “Rescue Me” came out. The line was drawn, some of us liked it, some of us hated it. Yet, we still maintain that “Emergency” was so good. Did you ever see a boring episode of “Emergency”? Ok, maybe there was a lot less drama, but compare any show from that era to this day in age.

The simple fact remains that our jobs are not as action packed or drama filled to make a true Hollywood script work.

You might be amazed to find out that the general population on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere really like the show. It is getting decent reviews outside of the firefighting realm.

Despite a so-so premiere and an upsetting second week swoon in the ratings, “Fire” rose up 20% in the demo to a 1.8 among 18-49 year olds and grew 8% in viewers with 6.3 million. read more

The show has ordered up another 5 scripts for filming.

Before I go on, I get that all firefighters might not be able to relate to everything that goes on during one episode of Chicago Fire. It is understandable that your department, crew, and experiences might be more or less exciting than what they show.

Check this link for what some of the big critics are saying about Chicago Fire.

This is why I think Chicago Fire is good for firefighters:

I think it is so cool that our jobs are something that Hollywood wants to create a show about it. You don’t see shows about every occupation. On top of that, while you can do a documentary on firefighting…you often end up with months of shooting just to get enough fires and other great calls to do a show on it.

It is about us…it is about what we do and people want to watch it. If we don’t embrace it, we could at least be not so critical.

If they were to make a drama about firefighting they simply wouldn’t have a decent storyline if they followed what actually happens in the typical firehouse in several shifts. People wouldn’t watch it.

We don’t have to endorse the show, we don’t even have to watch it. We do not have to tear it down every chance we get because they did something we would never do, or might not typically do. I do think there are a lot of small things in the show which every firefighter and/or EMT can learn from. I don’t mean during the emergencies, I mean some of the small stuff around the firehouse and in how they relate in their personal lives.

Taylor Kinney

I’ll take the good with the bad.

Side note: Taylor Kinney (seen to the right) is dating Lady Gaga. That makes sense, since Lady Gaga was tweeting about the show a bunch during the premiere. The TV show’s cast includes Jesse Spencer, Lauren German, Monica Raymund, Charlie Barnett, Teri Reeves, David Eigenberg and Eamonn Walker.

Rhett Fleitz
– The Fire Critic