Show Me a Hero: New HBO Drama Series by David Simon – Part II

Mayor Wasicsko: When does the fun part of being Mayor begin?

Not any time soon. First you’ve got to deal with an angry but calm Judge, an even angrier constituency who might be only seconds away from a full-scale riot, and the Archdiocese of New York contributing land for a housing project that the residents don’t want. And that’s just for starters

Judge: I’ll have the plans for housing on my desk by Wednesday. If not I’ll begin fining the city of Yonkers. Starting with $100 dollars the first day, and with each day, the fine will double.

That doesn’t sound too bad. Hold on. Try doing the math. Never mind – they’ll do it for you.

Councilman: How much de we have?
2nd Councilman: $30 Million
3rd Councilman: How long can we last?
City Accountant: Working backwards – the city will be broke in three weeks.

No one said it would be easy. Most of the action takes place in the City Council Chambers. The public who attended, had to pass through metal detectors after the Mayor was sent a bullet in an envelope through the mail – which while not quite as direct as the Sicilian message with Luca Brasi’s vest wrapped around a fish, and both of those wrapped in a newspaper in the Godfather – was still an ominous threat. So the attendees were in no mood to sit on their hands as the City Council did what it must.

The spectators blithely ignored common courtesy and etiquette. Instead chaos reigned. To call them raucous would be both kind and an understatement of enormous proportions.

So this is where we are in Part II of Show Me a Hero, airing on HBO. Created by David Simon of The Wire fame, and co-written by William Zorzi and Simon – this is a fine drama of less than epic proportions. The citizens of Yonkers voted Wasicsko in on his platform of voting in favor of appealing the Circuit Court’s decision. The incumbent Mayor voted against the appeal. He was shown the door by the electorate.

So Wasicsko, now occupying the chair in the Mayor of Yonkers office has to make a decision. He’s got his hands full – either force a housing project on the citizens, or have the city go broke while fighting against it.

In this second of six episodes, we meet Jon Bernthal who plays the lawyer Mark Sussman. Also getting a terrific scene is Winona Ryder, who worked for the former Mayor. At a dinner with Wasicsko, she tells him how she feels – out of touch, unwanted, pushed to the periphery, and stunned that she’s now out of a job. Ryder was simply superb as she poured out her heart to Wasicsko, who basically had nothing he could say to brighten her.

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