"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Hightown 1.1: Top Notch Saltwater and Characters

We were supposed to go up to Cape Cod later this week, but that's on hold, because of you know what.  Fortunately, the first episode of Hightown has just been put up on Starz.   Very fortunately.  This is best debut of a series on network or cable I've seen in I don't know when.  My wife feels the same way.

The story - the murder of a witness in an upcoming drug trial - is something we've a lot of before.  The set of characters, headed by Monica Raymund (Chicago Fire) as Jackie Quiñones a fish cop and James Badge Dale (The Black Donnellys and much more) as Detective Ray Abruzzo a "statie" from drugs assigned to homicide, most assuredly is not.   Jackie is more than a bit of a druggie herself, and Ray is willing to let a prostitute unzip his fly and more to put her at ease so he can get the drop on her to truthfully answer his questions.  And the back-up characters including police, druggies, and fishermen of all persuasions are no slouches, either.

They're all tied together by a Cape Cod environment so vivid and real you can easily smell the fishy saltwater.   Not to mention taste the seafood as the characters walk by all kinds of eateries in Provincetown.   There's something truly magical about P-town in real life, and Hightown conveys this to a tee and the tee-shirts.  I recall a couple of years ago, my wife and I drove our son and his wife from our cottage in Brewster to Provincetown where they were a catching a fast boat to Boston.  The boat was delayed.  It soon became freezing, and all I had on were shorts and a thin tee-shirt with holes in it.  I stepped into a shop.   They had all kinds of expensive sweatshirts.  But I picked up one that for some reason was on steep sale, and for just a few bucks bought the warmest, most comfortable sweatshirt I ever had in my life.  That's the kind of place Provincetown is.

I don't know if Hightown will be the best cop show I've ever seen in my life - it has lots of very steep competition, ranging from The Wire to Dragnet - but it's off to a very promising start, and I'll be back here with more after I see the next episode in two weeks.

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