Chicago TV Shows Rated By Chicagoness

OUR TOWN: Four network shows—The Good Wife, Mike & Molly, Happy Endings, and Whitney—are set in the Windy City, but how authentic are they?

A scene from 'Mike & Molly'

Mike & Molly

Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on CBS; returns September 24
A cop and a teacher fall in love at Overeaters Anonymous.

TRUEST MOMENT: Molly’s address is 9425 South Cicero Avenue, which would make her an Oak Lawn resident. The nearby restaurant Rosie’s Drive-In, at 103rd Street and Cicero, made its TV debut when Mike cheated on his diet at the fast-food joint.
BEST CAMEO: Rondi Reed, a 30-year veteran of Steppenwolf, plays Mike’s grumpy mom, a lunch lady at Molly’s school (the fictional Wrigley Elementary).
BIGGEST MISTAKE: Mike celebrates a Bulls victory because the team’s score topped 100, which means fans get free . . . chalupas? Taco Bell may be the triple-digit food of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Portland Trailblazers, but at the United Center we know that a 100-point win means a free Big Mac.

CHICAGONESS: * * * ½
 

RELATED: The Best Windy City Moments on Television »

 
A scene from 'Happy Endings'

Happy Endings

Tuesdays on ABC; season premiere date not yet released
Six 20-somethings re-create Friends magic.

MOST OBSCURE SOUVENIR: Tins of Garrett popcorn are all over Dave and Max’s place. When Max goes into “bear mode”—hibernating in the apartment during the Chicago winter, reduced to grunting and eating honey with his man-paws—Brad (Damon Wayans Jr., pictured above) uses a tin as a circus hat for a unicycle-riding Bear Max.
BEST CAMEO: Chicago Bear Lance Briggs plays himself—and Penny’s latest love interest—in an upcoming episode.
BIGGEST MISTAKE: All those parking meters lining the street.

CHICAGONESS: * * *
 

RELATED: The Best Windy City Moments on Television »

 
A scene from 'The Good Wife

The Good Wife

Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS; returns September 30
Julianna Margulies plays a housewife-cum-lawyer

WHY IT’S HERE: Not because—or not only because—Chicago is synonymous with political corruption. “The show started out with an infidelity scandal, and we wanted it to be in a city where it seemed like that still had the power to shock people,” says cocreator Michelle King.
BEST LOCAL SHOUT-OUT: Last season, investigators Kalinda and Sophia questioned a suspect in Boystown and referenced two popular gay bars, Scarlet and Sidetrack. The characterizations weren’t exactly on point—Sidetrack is known more for its show tunes than for its leather scene—but it’s a start.

CHICAGONESS: * * ½
 

RELATED: The Best Windy City Moments on Television »

 
A scene from 'Whitney

Whitney

Fridays at 7 p.m. on NBC; returns October 19
Whitney Cummings and her cohabiting boyfriend, Alex, navigate life together.

WHY IT’S HERE: “We picked Chicago because it’s a modern American city where you’re likely to find two people like Whitney and Alex,” explains Quan Phung, the executive producer. Our interpretation? It could be set just about anywhere.
MOST OBSCURE SOUVENIR: Blackhawks jerseys are about as obscure as it gets.
BIGGEST MISTAKE: In the first season’s finale, Whitney and Alex tried to get to married at City Hall. Note to the show runners: The city seal features an image of an infant in a shell, not what appears to be a flying squirrel.

CHICAGONESS: *
 

RELATED: The Best Windy City Moments on Television »

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