I don't think that I've ever been sold more quickly on a show than Show Me a Hero.
David Simon, creator of my favorite television show*, is once again diving into the complexities of local politics and institutions that almost seem optimized for dysfunction. As a work of historical fiction, Show Me a Hero explores the major local backlash (from relatively wealthy, white people) that took place in Yonkers, NY, against a federal court order to desegregate housing communities. Also, the abstract, broader political and social themes inherent to this material are effortlessly explored through well realized characters in a riveting fashion, because of course they are, it's a David Simon show.
To dwell on this point a bit further, I'm thoroughly impressed by the way in which even the most risible and wrongheaded characters are portrayed in a way where, if nothing else, you can understand the motivations that underlie their actions. Take, for example, Henry Spallone, a Yonkers City Council member who is stridently opposed to the court's order to integrate low-income housing into wealthier neighborhoods. On the one hand, he is representing a terrible cause, and is frequently shown smirking smugly while tossing red meat out to his bigoted constituents (who are only concerned about "declines in property values," oh and also how the judges are Jewish, but they're totally not bigots). On the other hand, it's easy to see the political upside in him acting like a martyr for this popular cause, and he even continues his grandstanding in private council meetings, indicating that he may actually believe everything he is saying.
Much like The Wire, Show Me a Hero manages to be riveting to watch while also providing sharp political and social commentary. I'm only two episodes in, so I don't have much else to say about this show for now, other than "Hey, this shit's pretty good."
*Note: No one else who writes about television on the internet has ever said this about The Wire. This is a wholly original thought that I thought of.