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Chicago Fire

Welcome to the House of Hose (Chicago Fire)

This show, you guys! This show drives me crazy. At the start of last week’s episode, a poor guy has his arm stuck in some heavy machinery, he’s screaming in pain, it’s quite awful, and as the paramedics and fire fighters are scrambling to get him extracted, my husband (Mr. JK) turns to me and asks, “why are you watching this show? what are you getting out of this?” I didn’t immediately have an answer for that… but I think now maybe I do. Many of the characters are really likeable. Much of the cast is as well. The action sequences are intense and diverse. Yeah, it’s a Dick Wolf (L&O) show so it’s well written and highly unlikely any of these people are going to live Happily Ever After but at least we’re going in eyes wide open, yes? Or in the case of Mr. JK, eyes not at all, because ChiFire can be just one tragic, depressing thing after another, really (and he watches Hawaii Five-0 with me every week) but this show, he will walk out on.

OK so the main character is this dude, Kelly Severide. He is played by Taylor Kinney whose acting coach has instructed him in the “just stand there, everything will be fine” method of modern thespianism. Because you can not believe his face, absolutely you can not.


Seriously he stands there with his big square head & puffy lips & I’m all “what are you doing on my tv screen, you are obviously too pretty to know how to SPEAK,” but then he does talk and his voice is all gravelly & I’m like, “ok you can talk, because it’s not like you can read, right? For serious, this guy can’t even read, how did he get this job on tv??”

Oh yeah that’s how.
This pic is dedicated to Kimmer and all those cats she’ll someday own.

And this link is for Momo (and also for all of you): proof of pantslessness. Chicago Fire, five eps in: Pantslessness Achieved. Hawaii Five-0, fifty episodes in and counting… If you care about that sort of thing. Which certainly I do not!

So Severide is in charge of the “Squad” portion of the fire house, these are the guys that don’t actually put out fires (primarily), they also rescue people in dangerous situations (like collapsed structures), they operate the jaws of life on cars, etc. Kelly also has a broken neck (which he’s hiding, somehow, along with his morphine addiction). All he want to do is be a big tough firefighter and he’s not interested in the 6-12 months it would take to recover from the neck surgery. Hand in hand with his macho man ego, he is also a huge dog who will sleep with anything that shakes its tail at him. HOWEVER, his most interesting character note is that he has the biggest, softest heart of any tough guy character that ever was. I mean, twice in four episodes this guy sits down with two different little old ladies, and is emotionally supportive of their very sad situations. I mean. You just don’t see that. Like ever. But here you do. Twice. In Four Episodes. It’s actually quite charming.

Kelly’s roomie & BFF is a familiar face for H50 fans, LaGerman herself, playing paramedic & lesbian Leslie Shay. Leslie, not coincidentally, has been the one (grudgingly) giving Kelly the morphine. These two have a real special friendship which is shown in… I don’t know. Scenes like this one.

Exciting times in the Severide – Shay Household.

Leslie has a sly sense of humor and is handy around the firehouse (she keeps busy) and I like her. I mean, really, look at that crazy bed-head, how can you not like that. Although, note what she’s wearing in this pic, as well as the one above, girlfriend has some serious wardrobe malfunctions that make up the “at home” portion of her style.


Lauren German is great as Leslie Shay. Part of Shay’s job (paramedic) requires her to maintain composure in the face of some shocking and distressing scenarios (like dead kids or unexpectedly bumping into her heavily pregnant and married-to-a-man ex-girlfriend). LaGerman excels at that, “panicked eyes, set jaw” sort of look. She is also very pretty when she smiles with her mouth open, which, for me to admit, that is a big thing because normally I hate that.

However, some of my favorite scenes are with Shay and her paramedic partner/good friend Gabriela Dawson. They stick together personally and professionally and are the best example of true teamwork on the show. Also they keep the place from being a total sausage fest and neither feels like a “token” woman. Here they are getting a warning from their boss.

Hee hee, their little faces!

Gabriela (played by Monica Raymund) is cute as a button, and I think the female character that female viewers are meant to relate with. She’s competent but still makes mistakes, which she has to work her butt off to fix. She wants more out of her career (she’s thought about medical school) but real life concerns make it tough to follow through. And of course, she’s invisible to the man of her dreams… firefighter Matt Casey.

What do you mean, you’re not posting a pic of me shirtless?

So Matt’s life kind of sucks. He’s the leader of “Truck,” the actual fire-fighters, so his job is a little stressful. Matt’s BFF is killed in a house fire in the show’s opening scene. Matt has a fiancรฉ with whom things are a little shaky right now, a doctor named Hallie Thomas (making there two reasons for poor, pining Dawson to be jealous of her). Not a ton of background has been given out on their relationship but it appears they were drifting apart due to his want to start a family, her focus on her medical career and not wanting kids right now, and just busy schedules making everything “routine.” Matt’s also run afoul of a dirty cop who has been harassing him, but Matt and his loads of personal integrity aren’t backing down from doing what’s right. Finally, his voice sounds like Jesse Spencer would rather be speaking Australian, as he sometimes veers from a clichรฉ Chicagoan accent back down to a flat, California accent, and all the time it sounds like he has a chest cold. #FreeTheAccent

While Severide is the morally ambiguous noble heart, Casey is the conscience, and often the righteously indignant one.

Matt Casey’s Srs Bzns Face means Srs Bznsssss

Matt’s team of firefighters are three of the most easily loveable supporting characters on my tv right now. The main focus is on rookie & fire fighter candidate Peter Mills. Earnest and serious minded Peter Mills works alongside Otis, the previous candidate, who is a total wise-ass, and Herrmann, a family man whose recent on-the-job injury has led to him moving his wife and children in with his in-laws.

Stressed out Herrmann, Smart alec Otis, Young Peter Mills

Peter has a bit of a tragic past, his father was a fire fighter killed in the line of duty when he was very young. He has a mother & a younger sister who run a local diner, where Peter also works when he’s not at the fire station. Herrmann also has to address the insecurities of his young sons, who are afraid of their father incurring further injury. And Otis is still just the class clown, obsessed with the fire truck’s unusual emblem, a seal with a rampant goat. So a little bit of everything!

And not to drop another character on you but the station’s Fire Chief is awesome. Seriously. He’s amazing.

A boss who has your back 10000% and nobody wants to mess with? Yes please!

So that is ChiFire! On tonight (Wednesdays) at 10pm on NBC. Watch it if you want. Then you can talk to me & Kimmer about it tomorrow on twitter. But seriously, if you’ve never watched the show, I’m interested in your thoughts anyway. Like, who read this far down? Let me know if you did!

Note: House of Hose is actually the name of many pipe/tubing supply companies, including one in my town, so I can’t take credit for that… Still makes me laugh, though.

About SJ2

I am good with: Details, Bad Ideas, Hilarity, Sarcasm and Overthinking! I kid because I care!


79 thoughts on “Welcome to the House of Hose (Chicago Fire)

  1. Great write up on this new show. I really like the supporting three you mentioned and I will always have a massive crush on Jesse Spencer. I wholeheartedly support the #freetheaccent movement. Thanks!!

    Posted by Nance | November 14, 2012, 4:30 pm
    • Nance, thank you for the comment! I also decided to watch this show primarily for Jesse Spencer as I loved him on House, MD – And I did not realize how different it would be without the accent. Glad I’m not alone in feeling that way! ๐Ÿ™‚ And the supporting cast on the show is really really good… they bring a lot of heart.

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | November 14, 2012, 4:42 pm
  2. Steph! So many feelings!!! About Kelly/Taylor whatever the hell his name is. You are so right- show has given us no pants in only 4 episodes?!? Someone’s done their homework on twitter. He’s a bit of a pig, but then the old ladies….. & my panties are flinging themselves at the TV. Well done, Show.

    Posted by janamakena | November 14, 2012, 5:02 pm
  3. … & ill totes admit that I Wikipedia’d that guy after the 4th episode.

    Posted by janamakena | November 14, 2012, 5:08 pm
  4. So I haven’t watched this show… but I READ THIS WHOLE POST!!
    And I TOTALLY appreciate my pantsless link! Perhaps I’ll watch tonight… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted by heymomo | November 14, 2012, 5:30 pm
    • Momo thank you! very nice of you to read, that means a lot.
      Seriously the no-pants scene… I just had to laugh, thinking of how many of my friends would have fainted dead away had this same scene been on H50 instead of this one. Seriously!
      Plus it’s a pretty serious show, not normally the kind of thing I watch, but it’s for real turned on the charm, at least in the first few episodes, making me really like these characters!

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | November 14, 2012, 6:52 pm
  5. STEPH!!!! YOU MUST MARRY ME!!!!!! I haven’t even read a full paragraph yet but I was hoping you would do this!! So much to debate…. YAY!

    Posted by Kimphin1 | November 14, 2012, 6:42 pm
  6. This sucks because I LOVE L&O and Dick Wolfe. But you know how when you dislike something and you draw a line in the sand and say, don’t go past HERE and they totally push you past it? Thank you, H50! Yeah…I need more time and you know why and I say try me again in ohhhhhh…maybe a decade.

    Posted by ESS @H50BAMF | November 14, 2012, 6:49 pm
  7. Great job, Steph. I’ve been a Jesse Spencer fan since House, but I have to admit, until the last episode I thought Taylor Kinney was actually David Paetkau from Flashpoint.
    I’m enjoying the series, even L to the G. Think she’s doing a credible job.

    Posted by karin@notmcnerd | November 14, 2012, 6:51 pm
    • She’s *much* more suited for her role here, and I also think she’s doing well. Shay is already 50 zillion times more believable & real to me than Lori ever really was. Makes me sad to think about how all that went down, now.

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | November 14, 2012, 6:58 pm
      • And she’s already in a better place in that her characters background isn’t baby sit/spy on the team. She’s already part of the team. Much better introduction.

        Posted by Infant_Sardonic | January 13, 2013, 3:46 am
        • I will never understand what they were thinking presenting us with a character we were supposed to distrust based on episode 2.2 and then expected us to love her from episode 2.3 onwards with no transition at all between the two states of being. Mind boggling.

          Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 14, 2013, 2:45 pm
          • I think they also underestimated the feelings and emotions part of the audience would feel. Bringing in new characters in a show is always difficult. Making people love them, even harder. They did Lori a disservice introducing her how they did.

            Sent from my iPad

            Posted by Infant_Sardonic | January 17, 2013, 11:41 pm
    • She is in a better fitting role now. I still couldn’t say that she is wow-ing me, but we haven’t seen her in a major storyline yet. The preggers ex episode – she held her own there.

      Shea and Dawson are 2 BAMFing paramedics. Lots of nasty situations to get into in Chicago.

      Posted by Kimphin1 | November 14, 2012, 7:20 pm
      • Yeah and they have done a good job showing the variety — that drunk English dude in the Irish bar being belligerent, those high kids with the skateboards, down to the car accident victims and smoke inhalation stuff, plus the shock value accidents, the impalings and such. Crazy job & real respect to those who do it for real!! But yeah Shay & Dawson are great!! I am really enjoying their scenes.

        Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | November 14, 2012, 7:37 pm
        • Steph, I think I mentioned in an earlier discussion of this show that my dad was a firefighter. For a time he served on what was then called the Rescue Squad, a precurser to paramedics and EMTs. Your comments about the “crazy job” brought back memories of our family sitting around the breakfast table and listening to him relate humorous and sometimes gruesome stories of things that happened during his 24 hour shift. An early education in the fact that SH!T HAPPENS!

          Posted by karin@notmcnerd | November 14, 2012, 10:32 pm
  8. Me and the cats will die with big happy grins.

    Posted by Kimphin1 | November 14, 2012, 6:56 pm
  9. Such.damn.likeable.characters.

    Kelly Severide needs to stop it with his bad boy with a heart of gold act!!! Being all concerned about Casey…. just stop it!!!!

    If anyone gets within 50yards of Taylor Kinney with hair coloring in their hands they should be tazered immediately.

    Posted by Kimphin1 | November 14, 2012, 10:01 pm
    • Well this isn’t going to be much of a debate if we agree on everything kimmer! His hair! it’s great. at first I didn’t get it, if that makes any sense — I was wondering if it was like… the worst frosted tips of all time but once the light was right, I was all, SWEETNESS, it’s it’s natural hair color!!

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | November 15, 2012, 9:18 am
  10. I read this and have no idea if this show is even on here ๐Ÿ™‚ But that Kelly guy pic up first captured my interest. You speak of pantslessness, why no pic as proof? ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
    Thereยดs a little of Alex in his looks and in the shirtless pic the arms look so muck like Stanยดs with covered up tatts.
    Anyway the first time you mentioned Lauren, I went yikes, just because if the show is about firefighters and even with her being a paramedic I immediately thought her fragile frame canยดt fit in this show. But I believe your praises and good for her, if this role fits her better.
    Sounds like a good show. I loved another firefighter show with lots of crazy characters…Rescue me ๐Ÿ˜€

    Posted by paula | November 15, 2012, 12:35 am
  11. I’ve watch this from the beginning because it’s, well, firemen. Firemen are hot. Nuff said. But I found myself really liking Lauren in this role and I’m happy for her – I didn’t like her in H50 but I felt bad for all the online vitriol.

    Anybody else find it ironic that nobody could stand her when she was a potential love interest for McG, but now that she’s playing a lesbian we love her? Her bony weird elbows don’t even bother me anymore. Though she could stand to put on a couple of pounds.

    Posted by annieoakley | November 15, 2012, 9:06 am
  12. Here in Blighty, we are only 3 episodes in, actually it might be 4 (I think that there’s an episode from this week in/on the TiVo thingy). I am really enjoying the show, & having read all of your post am clearly excited as per uge. for pantlessness! *sigh* The last episode I watched was the police dude trying to get his son off a drink driving charge & Severide bonking the bejesus out of the Captains secretary or what ever it is she does, whilst she insisted that ‘he keeps his helmet on’ Oh show is so much fun.
    Thanks Steph for doing this xxx

    Posted by Crumpet_B | November 15, 2012, 10:26 am
  13. I have no idea if this airs here, but I still read right through it. It made me miss Third Watch. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Posted by Infant_Sardonic | November 17, 2012, 3:39 am
  14. Steph- we need a weekly place to recap this show. This week – all the feeelings!!! When McHoty saved Casey on that ladder- with his injury! Every week, no break for this guy. Le sigh.

    And Casey standing up to scary cop man! On a side note, was I the only one disturbed by the stray cats on that scene when they set up scary cop? You know those cats weren’t acting, which means they’re just Walkong around Chicago homeless. Hmm, I do live just outside Chicago, perhaps I should drive into the city’s sketchy neighborhoods & search for the kitty’s? No, this is sounding like a poor plan even to me.

    Also, iknowimabadpersonbut, I was kinda hopping Casey’s finance was gonna get offed so Casey could emo & then paramedic girl could jump him & they could have sexuals like rabbits.

    Posted by janamakena | November 18, 2012, 2:17 pm
  15. “Taylor Kinney whose acting coach has instructed him in the โ€œjust stand there, everything will be fineโ€ method of modern thespianism. Because you can not believe his face, absolutely you can not.”

    This reminds me of Chad Michael Murray in One Tree Hill. I was watching with a group of friends (years ago now) and one of them said ‘he only has one look. He’s one look Chad.’ To this day, as I rewatch all 9 seasons I hear that in my head.

    Posted by Infant_Sardonic | January 12, 2013, 6:49 pm
    • Yes!!! Very much like CMM and his unmoving face. One look Chad, that’s perfect. ๐Ÿ˜† He was such a baby face & so not my cup of tea. Probably one of a few reasons I never got into OTH that much.
      To be fair, TK gets to show a few more facial movements/inflections in the latest few episodes, but for the most part, it’s not his strength. He does have some acting talents though because he totally has me hook line & sinker believing in Kelly Severide.

      Posted by SJ2 (Junk Kicker) | January 14, 2013, 11:07 am
  16. Steph, I read this when you first posted it (cos I always read your blog, you know?) but it didn’t mean much of course because we didn’t have CF on our screens at that stage. Down Under, we’re only two episodes in but it’s growing on me. I can’t say I was bowled over by the first ep but your recommendations kept me in it. I am not sure it will ever have a special place in my heart (sigh…) like H50 does but I’m starting to care about the characters and that’s usually why I stick with something. Oh, and then there’s Severide. #nuffsaid

    Re: LG, I must admit to doing a double take when she first appeared on screen but I am strangely OK with her so far. The role suits her better and she was in Show from the get-go so I didn’t feel put upon by her sudden appearance.

    Posted by Andrea_Briz | January 22, 2013, 4:49 pm
    • What on Earth was I thinking, saying this show would never have a special place in my heart like H50? *face palm* I’ve watched the whole season and I am totally taken in by it. I really care about these people and while I may not love every story arc, it is written well enough to have me hook, line and sinker. I love Shay and Dawson with a passion and am so pleased to see Lauren German in a role that suits her. The Chief is awesome and Casey’s moral compass never waivers off course. (Aside: totes agree about the accent though. I want it freed as much as the gecko. Why can’t he be Australian?) And then there’s is Severide – best bad boy with a heart of gold on tv right now. Truth. Oh, and the man is a wonder of nature.

      Can’t wait for season 2! (which we are going to recap on The Champ Box #shamelessplug)

      Posted by Andrea_Briz | September 13, 2013, 2:48 pm
  17. I started watching this in June and I’ve got through the last ten episodes in ten days good God so I’m a bit CHIEF!! DAWSON!! GUNS!! at the moment but I LOVE this show.

    I don’t even notice Casey’s accent! Possibly because I am neither American nor Australian but also possibly because I’m not usually paying much attention to what he’s saying. Because his mouth is moving and it’s um… distracting… ahem.

    ‘Matt Caseyโ€™s Srs Bzns Face means Srs Bznsssss’, though, is making me CRY laughing. He does give good Srs Bzns face!

    I have SUCH a girlcrush on Dawson that it’s not even funny and I love Shay as well (that cap of her eating cereal! Perfect cap is perfect). And I adore the Chief (and not just because he is British! yay!) but he does need to E-N-U-N-C-I-A-T-E because quite often all I can hear is something like “wshwrumph unmp isheriwsher’ and I have no idea what that means.

    I can’t talk about Severide yet because when I think about him my brain melts and starts trying to leak out of my ears, he is just.that.hot. Particularly when I think of that green tee from the ep with Mick the PI who is actually his dad with the ‘So! Lesbian, huh?’ and ‘Dad, what the hell?’ which was hilarious, but that tee made his eyes so blue and, huh, yeah. Asdkaldjksaldjk. You know?

    Posted by Alicia | September 15, 2013, 7:14 am
  18. Chicago Fire is my favorite show I thought my most favorite character is on Kelly Severide

    Posted by Chase | November 4, 2016, 9:27 pm


  1. Pingback: Chicago Fire – Welcome to House 51 – Part 1 | the champ box - September 15, 2013

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