REVIEWS

 
 

PASTE MAGAZINE

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"Series Fest Season 3 (4:41 p.m. July 6, 2017): Another entry in the “ready for prime time” category is Patrick Wimp, Angie Gaffney and Ted Reilly’s Public Housing Unit, a 1980’s set drama about a trio of Chicago cops tasked with policing the Windy City’s infamous public housing projects. Based on the true stories of real life Chicago officers Eric Davis, Jimmy Martin and Charlie Toussas, Public Housing Unit is a gritty and occasionally humorous police drama more in the vein of Hill St. Blues than Law & Order. Well acted by Chris Boykin, Kamal Angelo Bolden and Ira Amyx as Davis, Martin and Toussas, the pilot packs a lot into 48 minutes, setting the scene and giving us back stories on all three leads with impeccable pacing and dialog. It’s no surprise that it nabbed the jury award for Best Writer in a Drama for co-creator Wimp. It also nabbed the Best Actress Award for Destini Huston."

Chicago Tribune

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"Public Housing Unit (6 p.m. March 21): A lot of TV shows are filmed here, among them that Dick Wolf quartet of "Chicago Fire," Chicago Med," "Chicago P.D." and, most recently, "Chicago Justice." Not as slick, not as star-studded, this show is the equal of any of them.

Set in the 1980s, before most of Chicago's public housing fell to the wrecking balls and when such complexes represented a lawless and all-but-hopeless landscape, it focuses on three members of a Chicago Police Department team dealing with the violence, drugs and the desperation that shadows the lives those they are attempting to serve and protect. Starring Chris Boykin, Ira Amyx and Kamal Bolden as the cops, the show is unflinching. The dialogue — by screenwriter Patrick Wimp — is tough and true and the rest of the cast brings a palpable authenticity to their roles, as when one explains his life of crime by saying with pragmatic matter-of-factness, "If I don't hustle, I don't eat."

Each of the cops, who occasionally speak inner thoughts directly to the camera, are involved with life complications that extend beyond their shifts; some romantic, some familial and others political. Directed by Chicago native Dan Willis, this is a show that demands and satisfies our attention and deserves a TV future. You'll hear from members of the cast and creative team at the screening.""


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