Show Me A Hero – TV review

“Show Me A Hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy”, is a famous F. Scott Fitzgerald quote. It applies perfectly to the life of Nick Wasicsko, who at the age of 28 became the mayor of Yonkers, making him the youngest mayor of any major city in America.

All the people and events in this HBO miniseries are true. It begins in 1987 when Yonkers is is fighting a court order to place low cost public housing in white middle class neighborhoods.

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Instead of taking a political documentary approach, this series focuses on the day to day lives of some of the individuals involved. Nick Wasicsko gets elected to mayor by running against the public housing plan.

However, once he come to office, he soon realizes that court ordered fines of $1 million dollars a day will bankrupt Yonkers unless the desegregation plan  is enacted. Nick’s main focus then becomes implementing the best plan possible for all involved. Instead of being appreciated for his efforts, he becomes hated by the very people who elected him.

Show Me A Hero is one of the best miniseries ever presented. The acting is superb. Oscar Isaac is Nick Wasicsko, and displays the emotional toll being hated day after day takes on an individual.

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Winona Ryder is councilwoman Vinni Restiano, who is willing to do anything at all to retain that position, even if it means betraying old friends.

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Jim Belushi is Angelo Martinelli , the old long-time mayor, who finds himself faced with a political problem that simply cannot be solved.

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Carla Quevedo plays Nick’s wife Nae Noe Wasicsko. Carla Quevedo is perfect in this role, and has some of the most dramatic and moving scenes of the series.

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Alfred Molina plays Henry Spallone, a councilman who refuses to ever go along with the desegregation plan.  He is not a racist, but a man who is honestly representing the best interests of his constituents. They are worried about what public housing will do to the values of the homes they have lived in their entire lives.

The plot summary does not fully describe the emotional impact of this series.  We highly recommend this series and give it our top rating.

We rate Show Me A Hero Five Stars *****

 

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