In an age of so much good television, David Simon, William Zorzi and Paul Haggis have pushed themselves to a new level of excellence with Show Me A Hero. As I say in my video review above, watch the HBO miniseries debuting on August 16. Whether you sit down on Sunday night to watch or DVR it, HBO GO it or HBO NOW it, don’t miss this extraordinary effort.
Show Me A Hero is based on Lisa Belkin’s 1999 book of the same title about the divisive real-life battle over affordable housing and federal mandates in Yonkers in the late 1980s and early ’90s. The drama from The Wire creator and the Oscar-winning Crash director will play over three consecutive Sundays on the premium cabler with two one-hour episodes a week. Meticulous and unsentimental in its depiction of the political and personal aims and costs of the highly charged and deeply flawed court-ordered creation of 200 public housing units in a well-to-do neighborhood in the then-85%-white Yonkers, the miniseries focuses on part of the America of over two decades ago but clearly has a lot to reflect about the nation in 2015.
Leading a very strong cast that also features Catherine Keener, Wire and Treme alum Clarke Peters, Winona Ryder, The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal, Alfred Molina and LaTanya Richardson-Jackson is a transformative Oscar Isaac as opportunistic, triumphant and embattled Mayor Nick Wasicsko. All I’ll add now is remember those names and the miniseries next awards season — because a lot of them are going to be contenders.
I will also say Show Me A Hero does not provide easy answers to the hard questions it raises. Like real life, there are few heroics here; there are some meandering parts and a lot of grey areas, incremental shifts and looming old prejudices and problems. It’s complex and demanding TV. It’s also one of the best things you’re going to see this year.
So check out my review of Show Me A Hero and tell us what you think. Will you be heading back nearly 30 years with HBO on Sunday?
Editors Note: This review originally ran August 13.