WASHINGTON, March 6, 2014–Tonight some of our favorite shows are on, but the anticipation surrounding tonight’s premiere of “Chicagoland” is almost unprecedented: a fact that means CNN, the network airing “Chicagoland” may surpass its current ratings milestones.
Because Robert Redford is the executive director of the eight episode series, we know it will likely be a well made presentation on a topic with the potential to affect each and every one of us; namely, what can we do to reverse the ongoing decline of our cities and inspire their revitalization?
“Chicagoland” features stories of activism and apathy. But the current mayor of Chicago and former senior aide to President Bill Clinton, Rahm Emanuel, is the most compelling person on the show by far. By giving us an inside look that only a mayor could provide, he reveals not only the challenges facing Chicago, but those facing the majority of every major urban center in America.
This insightful series was no casual project. It is the product of three separate crews that spent much of last year in Chicago filming thousands of hours of video. The result reveals a lot of the good and bad things about Chicago. But above all, it gives us a chance to learn and understand the numerous challenges facing so many of our troubled cities.
Discovering more about any problem is the first step in formulating a plan to overcome it, and “Chicagoland” does this and more. It also features stories about Chicagoans from all walks of life faced with the kinds of adversities most of us can readily identify with.
Watching real people dealing with real issues acknowledges that, regardless of where we live, we all face the same obstacles. Learning this valuable lesson could convince us that the current destructive partisanship in America should be replaced by an acceptable middle ground capable of reaching productive compromises.
Or we can choose to continue down a path that includes rating cockroaches higher than our current Congress. I don’t like cockroaches, but even these creepy crawlers accomplish more in a day than our Current congress has done during its entire session.
“Chicagoland” airs at 10 p.m. on CNN.