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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

City on a Hill: Possibilities

I saw the first episode of City on a Hill on Showtime.  I'll probably keep watching - mainly because its story and characters are nothing we haven't seen before, in movies and on TV, but very well paced and acted.

Kevin Bacon is back playing another FBI man, this time a seasoned and cynical agent in Boston in the 1990s.   He forms an unlikely alliance with a gung-ho DA in Boston by way of Brooklyn, played by Aldis Hodge, last seen by me in Turn.   (The two B's always did have a lot in common, though less so since the Brooklyn Dodgers decamped to LA in the late 1950s.)  As I said, the narrative is well acted.  Another Kevin - Chapman - who has played a cop or detective well in countless television shows, is back doing the same again.

The antagonists are a family of bank robbers (actually, armored car, to be more precise), who, like most of these Boston capers, aren't exactly Brinks robbery calibre.  But it's good to see a Boston crime family again, in full Boston accents, replete with leaders, dummies, and traitors.

The 1990s setting is the most original element in the series, and good to see.   But I thought the commentary was a bit too obvious.  I don't recall anyone especially talking about JFK in the 1990s, even in Boston.   On the other hand, yeah, it is Boston, so if he was talked about anywhere in the 1990s, that would be where it was.   And he did give the famous "City on a Hill" speech there as President-elect in 1961.

There's a great twist at the end of the episode, which of course I'm not going to tell you about.   But it was enough to get me off the fence and decide to watch at least the next episode.  Hey, I'm on Cape Cod right now, in almost shouting distance from Boston, and that's the least I can do.


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