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Chicago Fire Fans Have Mixed Feelings About Otis

From the considerable divergence of fan opinion about former "Chicago Fire" regular Brian "Otis" Zvonecek (Yuri Sardarov), it's almost like some viewers were watching two completely different characters. As the driver of Truck 81, Otis is a familiar face to long-time Chi-Hards, with an on-duty record at Firehouse 51 dating back to the 2012 premiere episode of this founding series in the expansive One Chicago franchise.

Appearing in over 160 installments of the series up through 2019, Otis is one of the heroic first responders on the show that fans would expect to encounter on almost every episode. So when the character is suddenly killed off in Season 8, many "Chicago Fire" buffs were taken by surprise, suddenly losing a cast member they'd come to know as an integral part of the close-knit fire station family. And his death is hardly softened by the fact that he perishes when he's caught in a lethal backdraft while giving his life to save several of his fellow firefighters. However, despite displaying bravery on the job and a seemingly kind demeanor, not all viewers remember the character fondly.

After noticing the negative Otis vibe online, "Chicago Fire" viewer u/bunnybee729 was baffled by the situation, titling their discussion on the show's subreddit "Otis hate?" and writing, "I have seen so many people who are hating on Otis !!? Personally I was always fond of the character. Please tell me why so many of you guys don't like him, I am really curious." Chi-Hards were more than ready to offer up their responses.

Chicago Fire fan sentiment about Otis covers a broad spectrum

As with any major character racking up dozens and dozens of episodes across multiple seasons on a popular network hit like "Chicago Fire," Yuri Sardarov's Otis is a key player in various storylines and, as such, has plenty of opportunities to both endear and alienate fans. And as it turns out, viewers of the series do indeed come down on both sides of the Otis issue in the above-noted Reddit thread.

U/Ta-veren- expressed their feelings about Otis in no uncertain terms, complaining that, "He's a d**che, the show does a good job at making him seem loveable but [he's] anything but." Viewer u/Wafity4841 begs to differ, big time, resorting to all caps to declare that Otis is the best character. Likewise, u/Ribena41 comes to the character's defense by gushing, "Loved Otis!! No one should hate him. He was goofy and sweet," which only prompts u/tamitrail to protest that, "He was not sweet at all. Where do you see that?"

They then bolster their thumbs-down argument about Otis Zvonecek's likeability deficit within the "Chicago Fire" cast. Listing their specific gripes, the poster states that Otis is "a liar and a bragger and a terrible friend." While there are clearly ardent supporters on both sides of the Otis question, one thing is inarguable: "Chicago Fire" fans are seriously engaged when it comes to the show's vividly drawn characters.