(The Daily Beast) Perhaps it isn't strange that Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago, feels more comfortable and candid around a group of schoolchildren than adults. He can hold forth, and they are unlikely to challenge him, and certainly not call him "Murder Mayor" as the head of the city's teaching union does. But still, the most telling scenes in CNN's compelling new documentary series Chicagoland come when we see the vain Emanuel with a group of schoolchildren, to whom he delivers an astonishingly self-centered, boastful yet whiny summary of his simply-amazing career.
The series, with Robert Redford listed as one of the executive producers, aims, ambitiously, to cut across political, law enforcement, and social classes showing the component parts of a city in action. It has tonal and schematic elements of Veep, The Wire, and L.A. Law, with the kinds of linking shots of the magnificent Chicago skyline and teeming streets of an ambitious movie director. But can this portrait of a city be raw and honest, as well as salacious and sexy?