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Show Me A Hero

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Yeah, I have no idea where to comment. We've got four separate Show Me A Hero threads on the first page of this section currently.

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That Oscar Isaac, he's so hot right now.   (If you haven't yet, please rent/stream whatever Ex Machina). 

 

As far as SMAH, less complicated than True Detective S2, but settle in, you're going to have to pay attention.   I saw most of the first part, it's very good, a little heavy on the Springsteen, did we really need ALL of Hungry Heart? That's a lot of montage. 

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teddysmom, I loved Ex Machina!  Loved it, kind of want to buy it.  Oscar Isaac is really charismatic (and Alicia Vikander!).

 

I dunno - I thought I would love this.  Part of me thinks that if it weren't David Simon and there weren't all of that goodwill from The Wire, Treme, The Corner, that people wouldn't find this very good.  I think it's necessary but it felt like the Exposition Fairy was in overdrive, and that there was a lot of overacting not only by

Molina, which makes sense, but by the NAACP lawyer, and by the blonde City Hall assistant

explaining the backstory.  Just a lot of scenery chewing for David Simon.  I also probably wouldn't have done the backstories to the Yonkerites in need of better housing in the same manner - I guess part of me thinks the story of

the home health aide and the mom to 3 and now single mom to a newborn were real and accurate but that we, the audience, of COURSE understand that humans are humans and we all DO want the same things, despite the frothing-mouthed East Yonkers residents screaming against the units and using code without (at least some of them) even being able to conceptualize that they were using coded language.

  It all felt very tell don't show to me, I guess.  Which feels like the wrong reaction to have to work by a team that made me obsessed with a fictional stevedore union and a rip and run character.  It just all lacked any kind of subtlety to me and that was the last thing I would have suspected.  It also felt less wonky to me than reviews suggested.  What I read made it seem that there would be some nuanced depictions of policy, and I certainly didn't see that in the first third of the series. 

 

But I still want to like it a lot and definitely will watch eps 3-6.  ETA in part for spoiler tags, not sure if they are needed but should've put them in originally anyway.

Edited by Midnight Cheese

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But I still want to like it a lot and definitely will watch eps 3-6.

I hear ya.  I read a review on Daily Beast and that writer said Paul Haggis may not have been the best choice for director. 

 

The last season of The Wire was almost all politics, right? Other than McNulty's scam on the serial killer.  And that held our attention.  

 

I do almost wonder if this is going to suffer from True Detective faults, too many stories and too much director showing off with long rambling scenes that go nowhere and not enough editing. 

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I enjoyed it for the most part, but like in real life, I tuned out at the screaming crowd scenes. It did bring me back with that last conversation between CK and OI. It was quiet but powerful. 

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I really liked it. It was very Wire-esque actually. I think the show is quite wonky in a way, but not in a way that is hard to keep up with. And I like the context of the show showing me the people we are talking about on all sides of a contentious issue. 

 

I also found the crowd yelling scenes unnerving but I think that's appropriate to the content. I mean, i've been in lots of protest situations and they can be unnerving and difficult. I thought they really got across how much so which will set things up for whatever is next.

 

I can see why this is a limited run series, and probably to stay that way. Once they tell the story of the housing battle, the content for a next series would be more difficult. In any case, i'm enjoying this in bunches. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

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Yeah Simon likes to always use the revered playlist.

 

He should use some schlock, like Billy Joel would have been right for the period and the area of NY.

 

And maybe some early hip hop if he wants the music cred, since there are some black characters who'd be listening to it at this time.

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I pretty much loved the whole thing. The thing about David Simon is that he has a dramatic sensibility so unique to the television landscape that I find myself having to get used to him all over again whenever he puts out a new series. I'm always initially taken aback by there being so many characters, some of which are always more compelling (at least initially), and the slow pace (although that seems kind of an odd descriptor here considering about a year and half passes over these first two episodes), but the whole always ends up being much greater than the some of the parts.

 

By the end of part 2, I'm at the same place I'm usually at about a third of the way through a Simon season, where I feel it all beginning to add up. That final phone call scene between Nick & Mary is one of the best-written scenes I've seen all year. So much was left unsaid, yet still clear as day, in that conversation.

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I watched only the first hour on HBOGo and struggled to get through that much. Winona did nothing for me (sorry, Mark!), even though she was probably my spirit animal at least once during my more impressionable years (Heathers, Beetlejuice).

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Like some, I found the first hour less than compelling for most of it, as I tried to keep straight all the characters being introduced, and didn't know any of them well enough to feel anything about them. But that's to be expected in a true-life story like this--and also a story in which the writer refuses the temptation to oversimplify. By the end of that first hour, I was hooked. And then the second hour was one of the most compelling hours of television I've ever seen. The pressures building on Nick--well, I felt as if those pressures were building on me. And I think that's exactly what David Simon set out to accomplish. Because I think he's trying to show us that we are all Nick.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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I thought it was so nice to Catherine Kenner and especially Winona Ryder.  Catherine kinda seemed like she was playing dress up a little too much and her character was over styled, but I get that it's 87 and Yonkers, so I'm probably just being petty.  I know rumors are Winona is just an odd duck and that's why she doesn't always work so much, but I like her and I root for her.

 

I had a good time watching it.

Edited by Morbs

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I thought it was so nice to Catherine Kenner

 

It took me until almost the end of the second hour to realize that was her. Even then, it was only the timbre of the voice that gave it away. I think she's giving a fantastic performance. I believe that character. It's not just the makeup and clothes, it's the body language, the way of holding the face, the pain in the voice, everything. It might be the first time Catherine Keener has ever given a performance that was something other than patented Catherine Keener®. I like seeing she can do this.

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I think the Catherine Keener character is the most compelling so far. It seems to me she is basically a good person, but the fear of the unknown and the culture of people she's not used to is causing her to behave in a manor she'll probably regret eventually. I especially liked the phone call with Oscar towards the end, I thought she was going to apologize for bringing his dead father into it, but I think she probably is self aware enough to realize that was going too far.

Edited by Morbs
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Parts 3 and 4 of 6. Mayor Wasicsko manages some success by getting a housing plan through after a difficult vote, but his political career may be irreparably damaged as the construction of the townhomes is slated to begin.

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Like The Wire, this show is full of a million characters, most of whom I couldn't name if you offered me a million dollars. Hopefully I will remember some of the names before the series ends in a few weeks. I agree that David Simon gets a lot of slack/credit because of his past projects so fingers crossed that Show Me a Hero lives up to that good will and expectation.

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I found this show because last week I was looking to see what's new on HBO. I watch E1 and I was like, "this seems like The Wire to me." Oh, it's the same guy. 

 

I know literally nothing about this issue. I'm shocked that there was a desegregation fight in the late 80s. I was riveted by the first episode. 

 

I've never had a problem with these shows' sprawling casts. 

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The protesters might as well just be replaced by the South Park townspeople yelling "rabble rabble rabble!", but otherwise this continues to be a pretty compelled and reasonably nuanced series, though the side-stories with the residents are still scattershot. Some of them, like Norma's, feel more relevant; the Dominican lady, on he other hand, still sticks out (also, either have her speak English all the time or have her speak in Spanish and use subtitles; having her speak in unsubtitled Spanish except when she has something important to say comes across as very contrived).

 

I had never seen Carla Quevedo in anything before this, but she's been quietly one of the more engaging parts of the series.

 

The music supervisor for this series is just an iPod loaded with Bruce Springsteen songs and set to "shuffle."

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Nick starts to become more confident and plans his political comeback. Some new residents are wary about moving into the town houses. A vocal opponent of the project changes her tune after talking to some of the new tenants.

 

 

Promo:

 

Lester!

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That Spallone victory speech was something glorious, the way he so casually drops in a "Oh by the way, I'll probably end up complying anyway. Thanks for the votes!"

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Only caught up on these two episodes so far. I really enjoyed it. Enjoying the politics/town council side of it more than the one focused on the people in the housing projects, but that's that. I actually worked in a Town Manager's Office, albeit in a much, much smaller town, so this is right up my alley. Show has done nothing to dissuade me that people who show up and yell at Town Council Meetings are by and large, batshit crazy.

 

The part that's most disturbing is the blatant racism behind it all. :\ Like when Catherine Keener's character said, "Can we keep religion out of it?" that showed me, maybe, perhaps she's more sane then the rest of them.

 

Also, could Alfred Molina be chewing any more scenery? lol

 

I hope there's more Winona Ryder in the next few episodes!

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The thing I liked was when the council guys were all complaining about the liberal judges and someone said, 'uh, these are Reagan appointees actually.'

 

Something I always like, and it's relevant today with marriage equality, is when people say 'what about majority rules?!' Well, in this country the constitution was drafted to protect the rights of the minority, not at the expense of the majority, when issues like this pop up. Everyone should have a shot at affordable housing. 

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I'm surprised to see so few posts for this series -- it's one I would have binge-watched if I could, it's practically all I can think about between Sundays!

 

I agree about longing for subtitles of naturally-spoken Spanish; hell, Deutschland 83 was subtitles all the way down. We can handle it!

 

Love me some Bruce so I'm not going to complain about the soundtrack. He is reliably a songwriter for the lower- and middle-class, so it feels right for this series.

 

Now I think I get what all the fuss was about over Inside Llewyn Davis, if Oscar Isaac was half as good in that. (He is also made to look uncannily like the IRL mayor.)

 

It's fascinating that a story that is so predictable, in a way, can be so compelling. And so timely and of-the-moment at the same time. Those crowds would be right at home at any given rally for the Donald these days.

 

Kudos to the costume people -- reminds me of something I read somewhere that "real" people are usually not wearing fashion of the exact moment, but might be a year or two behind "trend," so the costumes sometimes seeming dated actually makes them more authentic, if that makes sense. (Also re: the boxiness of the cars; most folks didn't have a current-year model.)

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I'm finding it a little slow.

I'm also wonder if this series is too serious for August.

 

...though the side-stories with the residents are still scattershot...

I agree.

I also find that not only do the side stories break-up the flow of the Nick/City Hall/Politics story, but of each other's story. The most engaged I felt was when the two women were talking about whether they'd participate in the march, and then during the march, one of them introduced herself to whatshername and shook her hand.

Sorry for the lack of character names, but I'm still a little fuzzy on them except for Nick and Nay. The only reason I remember Spallone's name is that it looks as if it could rhyme with baloney. I don't think it does, but it ought to.

 

The music supervisor for this series is just an iPod loaded with Bruce Springsteen songs and set to "shuffle."

Sometimes I think I'm watching a Springsteen video. Enough already.

Edited by Constantinople
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I just made a gargantuan nerd-post in the Small Talk thread, only to realize a chunk of it is relevant to this ep, so I'll cross-post that chunk here:

 

David Simon seems to have a good sense of Yonkers (he talks about meeting up with Spallone at his haunt, The Raceway Diner). I found the scene in which Spallone is bitching at the Times reporter and delineates Yonkers from both NYC and Westchester interesting, in that Yonkers was once considered more connected to NYC than Westchester County. My generation knows it as the southernmost part of southern Westchester, but pre-WWII and through the fifties, when Yonkers was on a economic high, many people seemed to consider it part of the City (see the lyrics from "New York! New York! (It's a Helluva Town)" . . .

 

The famous places to visit are so many,
Or so the guidebooks say.
I promised Daddy I wouldn't miss on any.
And we have just one day.
Got to see the whole town
From Yonkers on down to the Bay.

. . . whereas Spallone and his ilk seem to regard it as an island unto itself. Is this a generational thing, I wonder?

Also, I have to laugh when characters (as well as many actual people I've known) refer to Westchester County (both southern and northern) as "upstate." I don't hold it against the character in Show Me a Hero--from her perspective, and in her situation, Yorktown Heights might as well be the Niagara Falls. But it never ceases to amaze me how many NYC-ers, native and otherwise, call Westchester County "upstate." Albany and points north can reasonably be called "upstate." Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester--those cities are undeniably upstate, as in the actual upper part of the state. New York is large state (for the Northeast)--large enough that two inches of snow in Yonkers equals two feet of it in Binghamton. When I lived in Yonkers, the MetroNorth train from Mt. Vernon West station got me to Grand Central in 22 minutes. From Sleepy Hollow, you'd be there in 35-40 minutes. Amtrak (or car) from Ithaca will take you at least four hours. That's upstate.

 

Edited to correct conjunction-itis.

Edited by spaceghostess
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Ugh, that awful grey haired witch. Guess what stupid, EVERYBODY has the same lifestyle.

And the assshole were so worried about their property values going down, they never thought about what would happen if their taxes would go up.

The guy playing the mayor looks a lot like Jack Houston.

Edited by Neurochick

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reminds me of something I read somewhere that "real" people are usually not wearing fashion of the exact moment, but might be a year or two behind "trend," so the costumes sometimes seeming dated actually makes them more authentic, if that makes sense. (Also re: the boxiness of the cars; most folks didn't have a current-year model.)

ITA - there are certain shows set in the past where I expect the characters to be wearing very current up to the date fashions (for example, The Carrie Diaries was about high school girls in the 80s so I definitely expected them to be dressed in the newest trends) but in this case, many of the characters are older and/or middle class people so I don't expect them to be dressed in cutting edge fashion. Carmen spends all her time working and spending every penny on her kids, so I don't expect her to be decked out in the newest trends. Similarly, Mary is the kind of woman who watches the news while eating her dinner on the sofa with a tv tray so I don't expect her to be wearing the latest fashion. Nay, on the other hand, seems like someone who pays more attention to what's current but still isn't the kind of girl who runs to a fancy department store to buy the newest thing as soon as she sees it in a magazine.

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I absolutely love this show, and I can't even really articulate why. The writing and acting are so good, and I think it's almost heroic of Simon to write a show that totally calls out the racism that is underneath the objections to public housing. This subject could be boring, but instead it's thought-provoking and interesting. The guy playing Nick is especially good. I can't even believe he's the same person who played the inventor guy in Ex Machina.  

 

It also helps that I really like Springsteen. 

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It helps that the topic is still fairly relatable to current times too.

Yes! The coded language of racism is very topical, which does a lot to show how little has changed. It's just like Obama has talked about how just because someone isn't using the N-word openly, it doesn't mean racism isn't an issue. While I'm finding the show a little tedious, I absolutely think this story could occur right now

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It helps that the topic is still fairly relatable to current times too. 

 

Very true.  Folks always seem to have self centered fear, fear of losing something they have or fear of not getting something they think they deserve.  The irony is that it's not the low income housing (today it's affordable housing) that destroys neighborhoods, it's the high end condos and gentrification that screws things up.  

 

What's interesting about this show is that I used to believe, for decades in fact that the reason white people moved to Westchester County was to get away from blacks and Hispanics.  (which is why the white people in the show are pissed).  I think some did more for that reason, but others moved because it was cheaper.

Edited by Neurochick
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Coded language, someone on my FB was screaming how "all lives matter" so how dare you, black people, think you matter more.

And it's just like the old lady saying, "They don't want the same things we do." I don't think either my FB friend is racist because i know her nor the old lady, but they aren't stepping back and saying "why are they saying this" or "what are the things they want?" Quite easily a direct parallel. I think they're just ignorant to a degree. The old lady lives in what looks like a low end place, so it's not like she's worried about property values.

This is the one reason why these guys should always have a place to male these kinds of shows. There is a reason the place is slower, it speaks to the larger picture better.

Edited by ganesh

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"They don't want the things we do," that is knowledge based on nothing.  

 

I think that's the reason for the stories of the POC.  Too many white people today still believe that somehow black people and other POC don't want things like safe neighborhoods and schools, etc.  What happened was that manufacturing jobs left the Northeast in the 60's and 70's, leaving a lot of people without much hope.  I find the stories of the four women interesting.  The Dominican woman who is working hard to take care of her children; she wants them with her, but fears the neighborhood; the forty seven year old black woman who was a home attendant, is now going blind and can't get a home attendant to care for HER because of where she lives; the two young black girls who didn't make the best choices in life.  Some may say the two young black girls need more than just a new place to live; but I feel that people do what is familiar to them.  Both of them got involved with not the best men around, because that's what was familiar to them.  (and we don't know what would have happened to one of the men because he died)

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I absolutely love this show, and I can't even really articulate why. The writing and acting are so good, and I think it's almost heroic of Simon to write a show that totally calls out the racism that is underneath the objections to public housing. This subject could be boring, but instead it's thought-provoking and interesting. The guy playing Nick is especially good. I can't even believe he's the same person who played the inventor guy in Ex Machina.

I love it too, not to mention I was born and raised in NYC. But I didn't grow up in Yonkers, all I remember was taking a train there once and thinking damn are we going to another state! It seemed like I was on that train forever. It seemed so far and that's a hard feeling to create when riding the NYC subway system.  It doesn't smell of roses, but it was always damn fast to me.

 Anyway, I was in high school when this was going on and while the local news covered everything Al Sharpton was involved in I just don't particularly remember this, but the Tawana Brawley (not sure of the spelling), I remember that one. Good times. Al Sharpton with his big mouth,velveteen looking sweatsuits and gold chains, LOL, good times in the news in NYC. It's really not funny, but hey, if you don't laugh you'll cry. The man mentions AL Sharpton and the Brawley case when he bends down to Catherine Keener's character's car while the the marchers are protesting. 

The woman losing her eyesight, is played by Samuel L. Jackson's wife, good to see her. I haven't seen her in anything in long time.

Edited by represent

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Very true.  Folks always seem to have self centered fear, fear of losing something they have or fear of not getting something they think they deserve.  The irony is that it's not the low income housing (today it's affordable housing) that destroys neighborhoods, it's the high end condos and gentrification that screws things up.  

 

What's interesting about this show is that I used to believe, for decades in fact that the reason white people moved to Westchester County was to get away from blacks and Hispanics.  (which is why the white people in the show are pissed).  I think some did more for that reason, but others moved because it was cheaper.

My parents (white Italian Americans) moved from a house in Flushing, Queens to one in Mt. Vernon because they could get a "nicer" house with a bigger backyard for us kids, but we were still easy commuting distance to the Upper West Side, where my dad worked. My sister was going to Hunter High School in Manhattan on scholarship and my brother and I both attended Mt. Vernon public schools from grammar through high school (we attended MVHS in the eighties, when minority enrollment was about 92% of total student population [it's now 97% of total enrollment]). They moved away from a public school system that was "whiter", so race wasn't the issue; rather--as you surmised--they wanted to get more suburban bang for their bucks. But as we were moving in, Italians and Jews were starting to move out from other sections of Mt. Vernon. Where did they go--Scarsdale? Rye? Larchmont?--I don't know.

 

Edited to clarify: The city of Mt. Vernon shares borders with Yonkers, New Rochelle, Bronxville, and The Bronx. Its very similar socioeconomically to Yonkers, but much smaller.

Edited by spaceghostess

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spaceghostess:  The last part of my post says:  but others moved because it was cheaper.  

 

Today, I have a friend who lives in Duchess County.  She recently told me that her taxes are going up.  Why?  Many NYC yuppies are moving up there because NYC has gotten too expensive.  Her taxes are going up because, the NYC yuppies need schools, hence she's paying school taxes now, when she didn't a few years ago.  

Edited by Neurochick

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spaceghostess:  The last part of my post says:  but others moved because it was cheaper.  

 

Yup, I know. That's what I responded to here:

 They moved away from a public school system that was "whiter", so race wasn't the issue; rather--as you surmised--they wanted to get more suburban bang for their bucks. 

 

My point--using my family as an example--was that you had a point. :-)

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Some may say the two young black girls need more than just a new place to live; but I feel that people do what is familiar to them.  Both of them got involved with not the best men around, because that's what was familiar to them.  (and we don't know what would have happened to one of the men because he died)

 

Question: Is the young black woman who's now hooked on pills the same woman who was hooked up with the young man who died of asthma? (I'm wondering if that's the case because of your reference to one of the men dying.) If so, I wouldn't call him "not one of the best men around"--he seemed to have good character. But maybe that's not who you're referring to.

 

The fact that I have this question points up one of the few flaws (for me) with this show. Which is that the black characters aren't quite as firmly delineated as the white ones. I totally understand why they're there. They're there to show us how bad public housing can ruin lives. But I keep feeling they're symbols put there to make that point, rather than real people. I want to feel them as fully as I feel the white people in the show, but I don't. That could be my own bias, or it could be that David Simon isn't quite able to bring them to life because he's only able to imagine their pain instead of living it. Like I say, I want to feel as fully invested with them as I do with the white characters, I just don't. Other films and shows have succeeded better in making me feel the black American experience.

 

My heart goes out to the black woman with diabetes who can't find a caregiver after spending her life being one. But even compared to her, I found myself more afraid for the Latino caregiver as she rode down the elevator, certain never to return again. I got her.

 

All that said, I think the show is fantastic for what it is succeeding in doing.

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I hear you, re: the limited profile of the black characters on the show. The show is the story of the political battle for low income housing distribution in Yonkers. Which I think is interesting because it involves very little of the black community. The people calling the shots are largely white, except for the NAACP and their lawyers. And so, to get a glimpse into who is affected in a different way, we get small glimpses of the public housing itself. And that has to be shoe-horned in a bit. It could be portrayed more in depth. We certainly saw that on the Wire. But I also sort of get why it hasn't been thus far. Overall I find it interesting enough as it is, but I do agree it could have been done more in depth. Though I wonder if more time on those stories would lead to more complaints about how little direct influence they have on the dramatic political battle. On that note, it was really nice I thought to see the NAACP lead that march in this episode. It was overdue in the story, but I suspect that was the point, that it was overdue in the political struggle itself. The black community was largely absent from the political struggle, while at the same time initiating it in a way with the litigation (though really the racism that created the segregated housing situation was the ultimate cause).

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The show is the story of the political battle for low income housing distribution in Yonkers. Which I think is interesting because it involves very little of the black community. The people calling the shots are largely white, except for the NAACP and their lawyers. 

 

Thanks for your thoughtful response, seamusk. Here's an irony: Even with the NAACP and their lawyers, the NAACP lawyer who's making the most indelible impression in the show is Sussman! 

 

But maybe the strategy is deliberate on Simon's part. Maybe in order to make a "general" (i.e., majority white affluent) audience care, he's mainly telling the story through the eyes of the different sides of the white community. If that's his strategy, it's working, because I am invested in the show.

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Question: Is the young black woman who's now hooked on pills the same woman who was hooked up with the young man who died of asthma? (I'm wondering if that's the case because of your reference to one of the men dying.) If so, I wouldn't call him "not one of the best men around"--he seemed to have good character. But maybe that's not who you're referring to.

 

 

Yes that is the same woman.  The reason I said that man didn't have good character was because in the beginning, he was dealing drugs.  He was the one who kept telling his "corner boy" to drop the product because the police were around.  Then when he walked outside the police chased him; he hid in an alley and had to use his inhaler.  Not the best of character IMO.  

 

In one of those "inside the episode" segments, David Simon mentioned that by the 60's and 70's the manufacturing jobs had left the Northeast, which is why IMO, the two young black women as well as the young Dominican woman are having such a hard time.  

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Yes that is the same woman.  The reason I said that man didn't have good character was because in the beginning, he was dealing drugs.  He was the one who kept telling his "corner boy" to drop the product because the police were around.  Then when he walked outside the police chased him; he hid in an alley and had to use his inhaler.  Not the best of character IMO.

 

I agree with you--and thanks for confirming it's the same woman.

 

The reason I didn't connect "asthmatic husband who seemed like a basically good man" with "drug dealer" is probably due at least in part to my being unable to follow the black characters very well in the first episodes. And that's partly due to so many characters being introduced back then. As well as most of the focus being on the white characters. As well as the minority characters not being delineated as well in the time they have had on screen. As well as my own blinders.

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Yes that is the same woman.  The reason I said that man didn't have good character was because in the beginning, he was dealing drugs.  He was the one who kept telling his "corner boy" to drop the product because the police were around.  Then when he walked outside the police chased him; he hid in an alley and had to use his inhaler.  Not the best of character IMO.  

 

I figured this is what you meant. I disagree it says much about his character. Being young and poor, your options are limited. The show seemed to portray him as a fairly decent fellow despite his profession. But I get why his character might be in question. I'm very thankful that I didn't grow up poor. Being fortunate has it's benefits.

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Many people grow up poor but don't become drug dealers, most people I know didn't have much but didn't resort to crime.  


I figured this is what you meant. I disagree it says much about his character. Being young and poor, your options are limited. The show seemed to portray him as a fairly decent fellow despite his profession. But I get why his character might be in question. I'm very thankful that I didn't grow up poor. Being fortunate has it's benefits.

 

The thing is, a lot of people grow up poor but for some reason don't become drug dealers.  The problem when the folks in that project wasn't so much poverty as it was that by the 80's, factory jobs had left the Northeast and there were very few opportunities for people without college degrees.  

Edited by Neurochick

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There are a few points I'm confused on, and it may be that I missed a few lines of dialogue.  Maybe someone can help me out...

 

--Did the missing red nail-polished buzzer button indicate that Norma was in the wrong building?  Or is she just unable to find the right button to press?  If it's the latter, wouldn't it have made more sense to count the number of buttons down from the top?  Am I over-thinking this?

--What happened with the phone call in the ob-gyn office?  Did her boyfriend have an asthma attack, get shot, or what?  Was it stated?

--Does anyone know how much time has passed in episodes 1-2?  Am I correct that the pregnant woman started out not pregnant and in fact just met her boyfriend for the first time in the beginning of the episode?  If so, then I guess she's our approximate time-passage-indicator.

 

I also didn't know that was Catherine Keener until I saw her name in the closing credits of the 2nd hour.  I had a moment where I knew her voice, but couldn't place it.  (We had just been referring to her character as 'Tootsie'.  I don't know most of the characters' names yet--since it's a mini series, I better speed up my learning curve).

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