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‘The Chi’ returns with new twists and turns

The Chi

Chicago’s South Side: an average day finds kids prepping for school as their parents head off to work, young adults trying to make a living, and the elders keeping an eye on things from their front porches. But in this tough neighborhood, real dangers threaten daily to squelch dreams, and the simplest decisions can have life or death consequences. The Chi is a powerful coming-of-age drama series about an interconnected group of working-class African-Americans who remind us that no matter what, the human spirit is strong and hope never dies.

“The Chi” premiered the first episode of its 5th Season on June 24, and the action and situations are as exciting as ever.

The younger cast members are caught up in their own life altering situations, and the grownups are treading new terrain in unexpected arenas.

The Showtime series shows the many joys and complications of Black love: relationships, children, career, community and self. Emmett (Jacob Latimore) and Tiff (Hannaha Hall) forge ahead as co-parents, while Tiff grows closer with Rob (Iman Shumpert). Kevin (Alex Hibbert) finds new love in an unexpected place, while Jake (Michael V. Epps) and Papa (Shamon Brown Jr.) try to resolve things with Jemma (Judae’a Brown) and Maisha (Genesis Denise Hale).

New mom Kiesha (Birgundi Baker) works to build her life with baby Ronnie, while Nina (Tyla Abercrumbie) and Dre (Miriam A. Hyman) work at rebuilding their union as they support Lynae (Zara Primer). Jada (Yolonda Ross) assesses her life post-cancer and where Suede (Bernard Gilbert) fits, while Darnell (Rolando Boyce) considers the past for guidance on his future with Dom (La La Anthony).

Roselyn’s (Kandi Burruss) new pet project places her at odds with Tracy (Tai Davis), as they run the community center. Meanwhile, with a push from Douda (Curtiss Cook) and a helping hand from Shaad (Jason Weaver), Trig/Victor (Luke James) considers a political run that might help his city, but at what cost to him and his family? This political run was encouraged by community members who thought that Trig had what it takes for the post.

Produced entirely in its namesake city, “The Chi” is a timely coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents on the South Side of Chicago who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection.

I was able to screen the first five episodes, and this season promises to bring exciting—if not sensational—themes, as cast members take on unfamiliar situations. Look for the series on Friday nights.

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