The Red Line is an American television series, produced by Ava DuVernay, about the personal and political fallout when a white cop (Noel Fisher) shoots an unarmed black doctor, Harrison (Corey Reynolds). His husband Daniel (Noah Wyle) struggles to raise their black adopted daughter alone, while she sets out on a path to find her birth mother Tia, now an aspiring Chicago politician (Emayatzy Corinealdi).
It is shown in double bills on CBS All Access in May 2019.
The Red Line contains examples of:
- The Atoner: Paul sees himself as this towards the end and tries his damnedest to get punished for his actions.
- Break the Cutie: Jira, from the death of her adoptive father.
- Career-Ending Injury: Paul's brother Ethan is a former police officer who is in a wheelchair following a shooting.
- Cop/Criminal Family: Played with. The Evans family (Paul, Gary, and Jim) are all cops. Paul accidentally shoots a doctor, mistakenly believing him to be a criminal because he's black. The other two both start either committing crimes (in Jim's case) or getting close to it and ensuring preferential treatment for his son (Gary).
- Crusading Widower: Daniel's sole purpose after Harrison's death is trying to get justice for it by suing Chicago after they fail to bring charges against Paul.
- Double-Meaning Title: The red line is the Chicago transport system and a point of no return, politically or socially.
- Dysfunction Junction: Where to begin.
- Harrison is a saintly E.R. doctor with a beloved adopted daughter...and he is killed in the first episode by Paul Evans. And was cheating on his husband with a guy from a bar.
- Daniel is struggling with intense grief over Harrison's death and has a great deal of Unresolved Sexual Tension with his co-worker, who is also arrested and slandered for being a gay Muslim.
- Harrison and Daniel's daughter, Jira, is completely brokenhearted over her father's death and wants to find her adopted mother, Tia, who has an ambiguous Dark and Troubled Past.
- Paul himself has a Dark and Troubled Past allegedly courtesy of his abusive father and dead mother, and Paul's older brother Jim is wheelchair bound following a shooting.
- Fighting Irish: Downplayed as they're Americans, but the Evans family are all Irish Catholics and willing to fight.
- Happily Adopted: Jira, prior to Harrison's death. She then subverts this because she feels she has to know her black birth mother, rather than just her remaining white father.
- Has Two Daddies: Jira, of course.
- Heteronormative Crusader: Jira's birth father turns out to be a born-again Christian who opposes homosexuality and comes off like this, insinuating that her deceased adoptive father Harrison is now in Hell due to being gay. She naturally reacts poorly, and says she no longer wants to have any contact with him.
- The Lad-ette: Vic, Paul's police partner.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Paul's reaction the minute he realizes he's mistakenly shot Harrison.
- My Greatest Failure: Paul feels this way about the shooting.
- Protectorate: Jim and Vic towards Paul, and Daniel, Tia, and Liam for Jira.
- Reality Ensues: Evans could have shot Harrison in the front on well-lit 4K tape that the world sees and a Chicago grand jury would still have let him off.
- Straight Gay: Both Harrison and Daniel.
- Tangled Family Tree: Jira's. She was adopted by Harrison first, then Daniel, but her birth mother, Tia, now has another family with a young child and a husband.
- Villains Act, Heroes React: Paul shoots Harrison and then all his cop buddies try to help cover it up. Jira and Daniel are only looking for justice for Harrison.