TV Review: Show Me a Hero Finale


Show Me a Hero has been a powerful and incredibly timely piece of television. Running at only six episodes long there was a fear that it wouldn’t have the impact it could with a longer running time, but six hours proved satisfactory in being able to tell a full, emotional and succinct story. From youngest mayor in America Nick Wasicsko; to Billie, a child who won’t listen to her mother and ends up being the mother of three and locked in a dangerous cycle; to Doreen who goes from addict to advocate, Show Me a Hero is about a brief period of time and how it altered these people’s lives for better and for worse.

David Simon and Paul Haggis have created a show that far outreaches the confinement of a television screen, and instead, have added to a current social narrative. The issues of race and class relations in the series aren’t far different than the ones we see today on the news. There’s a universal nature to the plights of these characters, both on the sides of justice and bigotry; and despite of its late 80’s, early 90’s setting, it wouldn’t have been surprising if it took place now. Simon has the mind of a journalist, and his dialogue speaks to this greatly as we’re both educated and entertained, which is what all good journalism should do.

In all frankness, the last few moments of this series hit me hard, in part due to the naked emotion and fear in Oscar Isaac’s wavering voice as Nick called desperately for his brother, and in part due to the power in which it was presented as lives went on with or without his input. Nick isn’t the tragic hero that he paints himself to be, but his story is a tragedy, as is many of those around him.

Show Me a Hero is great television, simply put. It has some of the best in the business on it’s calling sheet, with a story as equally haunting as it evocative. If you have the chance, or six hours to spare, seek this out.





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