HBO’s ‘Show Me a Hero’: Another Hit From ‘The Wire’ Creator?

The Wire creator David Simon is back with a new HBO miniseries and it looks just as promising as its predecessor. The premium cable network recently unveiled the first look at its upcoming series, Show Me a Hero, which is based on Lisa Belkin’s 1999 nonfiction book of the same name and – like many of Simon’s projects – tackles themes of race and bureaucracy.

Set in the small New York town of Yonkers in the 1980s, the six-part miniseries stars the formidable Oscar Isaac as Nick Wasicsko, a young mayor who finds himself at the crossroads of race and politics when he receives a federal court order instructing him to build low-income housing units in the predominantly white neighborhoods of his community. He hopes to be on the right side of history, but his attempt to integrate public housing threatens to tear the entire city apart and destroy his political future. Catherine Keener, Alfred Molina, Winona Ryder, LaTanya Richardson-Jackson, Bob Balaban, and Jim Belushi also co-star.

In addition to featuring a star-studded ensemble cast, the series features an acclaimed team behind the scenes as well. Simon co-wrote the script alongside William F. Zorzi. Meanwhile, Crash director Paul Haggis will helm all six episodes. All three also serve as executive producers.

Per Variety, the project has actually been in development since the 2003-2004 television season, but is only now getting off the ground. From the looks of the first trailer though, the show will be worth the wait. The clip is overflowing with the boiling racial and political tensions that Simon and Haggis have examined and analyzed in many of their past works. “Justice is not about popularity,” one character is seen saying, to which Isaac’s Nick quickly responds, “No. But politics is.”

For Isaac, the project is coming at an opportune time in his career. The actor recently earned high critical praise for his roles in both A Most Violent Year and Ex Machina. If it earns the attention it seems deserving of, Show Me a Hero could help him break out even further into the mainstream, before he goes on to make notable turns in two major franchises over the next year: December’s Star Wars and 2016’s X-Men: Apocalypse.

The series is also proving to be timely to today’s political climate. Show Me a Hero comes on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision to condemn the implementation of housing policies that are either intentionally discriminate or simply have a “disparate impact” on minorities. Given the notable recent case, the HBO series couldn’t have come at a more sociopolitically relevant time.

Between Isaac and the rest of the superb cast on board and the pertinent nature of its subject matter, Show Me a Hero certainly seems like a project worthy of watching. Add in Simon’s unbeatable storylines and Haggis’s ability to maneuver complex narratives and HBO may have just delivered their latest can’t-miss series.

Show Me a Hero will kick off on HBO this Sunday, August 16 at 8 p.m EDT.

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