Critical Condition: City on a Hill

City on a Hill | SoHo, 8.30 Tuesday

☆☆☆ “Showtime’s Boston-set series starring Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge tells a sprawling story of crime, race and police corruption … The big question, of course, is whether viewers will have the patience needed to let a mammoth story like this unfold when the first three hours are more interesting than riveting … Its density demands dedication. ” — The Hollywood Reporter.

☆☆☆ “Sitting at the heart of the action are Kevin Bacon, as morally dubious FBI agent Jackie Rhodes (loveable rogues are Bacon’s sweet spot); and new kid in town Decourcy Ward (Aldis Hodge), an upright reformer working for the prosecutor’s office. In theory, a law enforcement officer and a prosecutor should be on the same side but in this ethically murky world that’s not necessarily so. There’s a lot going on here – and the cast overall is strong – but this really comes alive when Bacon and Hodge share the screen, either as combatants or collaborators.” — Sydney Morning Herald.

☆☆☆City on a Hill isn’t doing anything we haven’t seen many times before, but it plays the hits well. Creator Chuck MacLean loads up the scripts with pithy one-liners, the characters all have shady motives that keep you on your toes, and the supporting cast is stocked with familiar faces like Jill Hennessy, Kevin Dunn, and Sarah Shahi, who all do good work. And since it’s a Showtime show, it feels built to last.” — TV Guide.

☆☆ “Showtime’s new series, with an impressive cast led by Kevin Bacon, wraps race, crime, city government and family melodrama in a Wire-like package … City on a Hill keeps threatening to be interesting and exciting, but so far it hasn’t pulled off the job.” — New York Times.

☆☆☆ “It’s good, if you like gritty crime drama and crooked cops; and, based on the three episodes available for review, it’s going to get better. A fictionalised look back at the genesis of the ‘Boston Miracle’ of the 1990s, an initiative to get cops, community leaders, and religious leaders to help lower the youth homicide rate, it’s the story of a city trying to save itself from more downward spirals.” — Boston Globe.

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