Lena Waithe’s coming-of-age drama series The Chi, winner of an Emmy, follows the tale of a close-knit community in Chicago. The Chi’s portrayal of real issues and relatable characters in the series resonated with viewers and made the show such a massive hit. If you’re looking for more shows that use fiction to narrate real human issues, here are ten shows like The Chi that are perfect for watching after you’ve taken a dab.

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Power

On the surface, James “Ghost”  St. Patrick has it all. A stunning wife, a breathtaking penthouse in Manhattan, and the coolest nightclub in the city. Truth is not just for anyone: you have to be well-known in New York to get past the bouncers. Ghost’s ambitions fuel the club’s popularity, and it seems like everything is smooth sailing in his life. Truth, however, is more than just a club. It is a cover for Ghost’s crime syndicate, a booming drug trade that caters to the rich and powerful. This is an excellent pick if you’re looking for shows like The Chi that show the dark underbelly of the drug world.

The Red Line

What made The Chi so relatable is that it showed the struggles of real people dealing with real problems. If you’re looking for more character-driven shows like The Chi, you will love The Red Line. The drama, which takes place in Chicago, tells the tale of a white police officer who accidentally kills a black doctor while on the job. The Red Line narrates how the incident affects the lives of the families involved. However, their lives entwine as they work to recover and join a political movement demanding justice for Harrison Brennan.

The Corner

What makes The Corner such a great pick for shows like The Chi is that they blend the crime and drama genres really well. The Corner is set in West Baltimore in the 1990s and follows the lives of the people that resided there during this period. The miniseries centers on one family, depicting their struggles throughout six episodes. The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood, a non-fiction book by David Simon and Ed Burns, served as the inspiration for the show, which took home the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries in 2000.

All American

All American is a fictionalized sports drama based on the fascinating life story of footballer Spencer Paysinger. The series focuses on his journey as a promising South Los Angeles high school football player who transfers to Beverly Hills High following getting selected to play for them. Life at Beverly Hills is different from what he was used to in his old high school – South Crenshaw High.  The socioeconomic class disparities in culture and lifestyle are explored in depth in the film All American. If you’re looking for shows like The Chi that highlight addiction and racial bias, add this to your watchlist ASAP!

The Wire

The Wire is the OG of all crime dramas and one of the genre’s best. The show follows Detective James McNulty and his police squad as they look into crimes and learn how drug lords and Baltimore police are connected. The city of Baltimore serves as a mirror for the nation’s general drug problem. It also demonstrates how society, the people, crime, and politics have been impacted. The show did a brilliant job of giving the cops and criminals equal spotlight and is a must-watch for people who enjoy watching crime television.

Chicago Fire

The story of “Chicago Fire” centers on the paramedics and firefighters of Chicago who risk their lives every day to defend the citizens of their city. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of putting their personal problems on hold because of the nature of their work. The first few episodes might be a bit slow, but stick around, and I promise you it will be worth it!

Barbershop

If you’ve seen the film Barbershop, you’re familiar with Calvin, the whack barber. But even if you haven’t, this is still a fun watch! The show continues right where the movie ends. Calvin, once again, must find a way to maintain his sanity while juggling the obligations to his crew of employees, clients, and family life. While there are some serious moments, it’s a light, wholesome show. It has the right amount of stoner humor and is perfect for chilling and watching after smoking a joint.

Show Me a Hero

When the newly elected mayor called Mick Wasicsko assumes office in 1987, the city of Yonkers is engulfed in a bloody conflict. Further, when the federal courts force him to construct public housing for white people in the middle-class area of the town, the community becomes divided even more. The town’s half of the people are enraged by this choice. They turn to crimes, murders, bigotry, dread, and politics because they feel marginalized. If you’re looking for shows like The Chi that narrate how politics impacts people and crime, it doesn’t get better than this.

Rick and Morty glow in the dark bong


Treme

One thing The Chi did really well was capturing the essence of the people and the culture in Chicago. If you’re interested in more shows like The Chi that honor the show’s setting’s culture, you should try Treme. In this series, New Orleans locals’ lives and homes are destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. But these people never give up hope and work to put their lives back together, despite what they’ve been through. In times of hardship, they fall back on their distinct culture and community to build back the lives they lost. 

Atlanta

The last season of this masterpiece of a show has aired recently. But, if you still haven’t had a chance to watch this gem, it’s not too late to start. Created by and starring Donald Glover, Atlanta follows Earn Marks, a college dropout who shares an apartment with his on-and-off girlfriend. The two also have a child together, which complicates things further. Earn decides to work with his cousin Alfred as his manager when he finds himself on the edge of becoming a famous rap artist. Along with Darius, Alfred’s right-hand man, the trio set out to make a mark on the Atlanta rap scene.

More Shows like The Chi For Crime Lovers

Crime, drama, humor, and comedy – this list has enough quality content no matter what you’re in the mood to watch. However, if you’re hungry for more content and are looking for more crime TV shows like The Chi, check out this list of shows like Power.

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