City So Real: Here’s What To Expect In The Chicago Centered Nat Geo Docuseries Airing 10/29

The Windy City’s story of having an indomitable spirit despite seemingly insurmountable challenges is being told via National Geographic. Tomorrow marks the debut of “City So Real”, the critically acclaimed five-part documentary series from Oscar®-nominated documentarian Steve James of “America to Me” and “Hoop Dreams” fame. As previously reported the series puts a lens on the city as outrage erupted over the police killing of Laquan McDonald and Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided not to run for re-election.

City So Real key art

Source: Courtesy National Geographic / National Geographic

The Windy City’s story of having an indomitable spirit despite seemingly insurmountable challenges is being told via National Geographic. Tomorrow marks the debut of “City So Real”, the critically acclaimed five-part documentary series from Oscar®-nominated documentarian Steve James of “America to Me” and “Hoop Dreams” fame. As previously reported the series puts a lens on the city as outrage erupted over the police killing of Laquan McDonald and Mayor Rahm Emanuel decided not to run for re-election.
It also details the COVID-19 pandemic and social uprising following George Floyd’s death and will include special “I am a voter” PSAs as part of Walt Disney Television’s Civic Engagement Campaign.
It’s a fascinating look at a gritty, misunderstood city that’s filled with pride even in the midst of tough circumstances and while on the brink of a history-making Mayoral election.
Here’s what you can expect to see during “City So Real’ one-night, five-hour, commercial-free event on Thursday, October 29 beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Episode 1 – “Welcome to Chicago”
Facing a growing chorus of activists, incumbent Rahm Emanuel must choose whether to run for reelection against a large and diverse field of candidates in the most contested mayor’s race in Chicago history. How large is the race? A whopping 21 candidates throw in their hat to be the Windy City’s next Mayor. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s decision hits “like an earthquake” and is influenced by the beginning of the high-profile trial for the murder of Laquan McDonald by a white police officer. The episode also explores Chicagoans dealing with the city’s unofficial rep as the nation’s murder capital.

Episode 2 – “Blood Sport”
The Laquan McDonald trial unfolds and dominates media attention. With Rahm Emanuel now out of the race, mayoral candidates submit their petitions to replace him. They must navigate the highly politicized and contentious petition challenge process to make the ballot. Chicago is famous for its rough-and-tumble politics that is considered a “blood sport.” mayoral candidates are; Comptroller Susana Mendoza, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, state Rep. LaShawn Ford, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley, City Hall veteran and attorney Gery Chico, former Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas, former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot, businessman Willie Wilson, former Ald. Bob Fioretti, tech entrepreneur Neal Sales-Griffin, Southwest Side attorney Jerry Joyce, activist Ja’Mal Green, Austin Chamber of Commerce Director Amara Enyia, and attorney John Kozlar.

Episode 3 – “With All Due Respect to the Candidate”
During a bitterly cold Chicago winter, the petition process results in a mayoral ballot with a record 14 candidates. A historic verdict is reached in the Laquan McDonald murder trial, and the longest-tenured city alderman in Chicago history is federally indicted on corruption charges. You’ll also get up and close and personal with the woman who (*spoiler*) won the Mayoral race, Chicago’s current Mayor Lori Lightfoot, as she’s profiled at home and discusses aldermanic corruption.

Episode 4 – “If You Want to Break the Machine”
No clear front-runner emerges in the historic mayoral race. Over a dozen candidates intensify attacks on each other and jockey for votes, culminating in a surprising and historic outcome that promises

Episode 5:
The final episode of the series picks up a year after the mayoral election in 2020, as the city simultaneously grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread social upheaval following the police killing of George Floyd. An already fractured city is further divided by the economic, political, and social fallout, which plays out on the city streets as police clash with protesters, bringing rise to a generational moment that promises to change the city forever.

Tune in to the five-hour, commercial-free “City So Real” event on Thursday, October 29th beginning at 7PM ET/ before you can catch all five episodes will be available on Friday, October 30th on HULU.

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